What does the term "Digital Immune System" refer to?

A powerful Digital Immune System shields and protects applications and services from anomalies.

September 8, 2022
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Leroy Ratnayake

Vice President, Customer Success
South Africa
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Businesses are facing unparalleled difficulties in maintaining robust operating systems, fast-tracking digitalization and providing a dependable user experience.

Why is a Digital Immune System Important?

Having a well-functioning digital immune system (DIS) is crucial for interlinking best practices from areas such as observability, software testing, chaos engineering, site reliability engineering, and supply chain security of applications. DIS combines software design, development, automation, operations, and analytical technologies to enhance the user experience (UX), minimize system failures and maintain business performance. DIS protects applications and services, making them more resilient and allowing them to quickly recover from any failures.

As a recent Gartner survey highlights, the primary goal for digital investments is to improve the customer experience (CX) for 48% of respondents. A DIS plays a crucial role in ensuring that CX is not compromised by defects, system failures, or anomalies such as software bugs or security flaws.

“By 2025, organizations that prioritize enhancing their digital resilience will improve customer satisfaction by reducing downtime by 80%.”

To establish a robust digital immune system, it is crucial to start by creating a clear vision statement that will unify the organization and facilitate seamless execution. Subsequently, the following six strategies and tools should be considered:

The concept of observability allows for software and systems to be monitored and monitored in real time. Incorporating observability into applications provides a valuable tool for optimizing accuracy and resilience while enhancing the user experience by tracking user behavior.

AI-enhanced testing helps organizations minimize human involvement in software testing processes. It extends traditional test automation by offering complete automation of test planning, creation, maintenance, and analysis.

Chaos engineering involves conducting experimental tests to detect weaknesses and flaws in complex systems. Teams can master this technique in a safe, non-intrusive manner in pre-production environments before applying their findings to regular operations and hardening production.

Auto-remediation aims to integrate context-sensitive monitoring and automated remediation capabilities directly into applications. It monitors itself, automatically resolves issues as they arise, and returns to normal operations without the need for operational support. By combining observability with chaos engineering, it can even prevent problems and improve user experience.

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a set of principles and practices aimed at improving customer experience and retention by utilizing service level objectives to manage services. It balances speed with stability and risk reduction, reducing rework and technical debt for development teams and allowing them to focus more on creating an engaging user experience.

Software Supply Chain Security mitigates the risk of attacks on the software supply chain. The software bill of materials (BOM) increases the visibility, transparency, security, and integrity of both open-source and proprietary code in the software supply chain. Strong version control policies, including the use of an artifact store for trusted content and vendor risk management, protect the integrity of both internal and external code.

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