What are the steps involved in a tried and tested cloud migration strategy?
Cloud is becoming an integral part of today’s market. More and more companies are adopting it. Commenting on the statistics of cloud adoption, Hosting Tribunal said that “the hybrid cloud is the weapon of choice for 45% of enterprises.” Also, it forecasts that the public cloud service market is expected to reach 623.3 billion dollars by 2023 worldwide. Why is cloud adoption so popular right now? Is cloud necessary in today’s market? What is the best cloud migration strategy for a smooth transition? These questions will be addressed in this article.
Is cloud necessary in today’s market?
“Cloud computing is not only the future of computing but the present and the entire past of computing.”
– Larry Ellison, Oracle.
Not so long ago, enterprises had to establish and maintain their own server to host and run applications on their premises. Today, cloud computing is revolutionizing all operations of the business world. Though relatively new, this technology became the cornerstone for the digital transformation of enterprises. Cloud technology provides companies with on-demand data storage, computing power, and many other cloud services. These services are maintained by service providers at remote data centers.
By partnering with a cloud migration services provider like Fingent, you can easily overcome the challenges that come with sudden operational demands, higher operational expenses, and ineffective processes. This frees your business and employees from maintenance issues.
Read more: Why It’s Time to Embrace Cloud and Mobility Trends To Recession-Proof Your Business?
Here are a few more compelling reasons why the cloud is necessary for today’s market:
Cloud computing is a subscription-based model. That would mean there are no purchasing, labor, or maintenance costs. Since cloud computing is a technology that provides services to companies, you only pay for what you use. This allows you to optimize your budget more efficiently.
2. Digital transformation
The traditional ways of operation are becoming too costly and obsolete. Digital transformation is the surest way to remain competitive in today’s market. Digital transformation occurs when a company uses a cloud migration strategy to migrate all business operations to the cloud.
3. Data backup and recovery
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is cloud storage. That means cloud makes data accessible and usable, even remotely. Such accessibility does not expose data to risk because, in the cloud, data is never stored in one place. It is split into fragments and encrypted before it is distributed across various locations. This also ensures that your data is protected from cyber-attacks or natural disasters.
While there are many benefits of cloud migration, you must exercise caution. Miguel Angel Borrega, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner warns: “Through 2024, 80% of companies that are unaware of the mistakes made in their cloud adoption will overspend by 20 to 50%.” What is the solution? A well-planned cloud migration strategy!
Read more: 7 Common Mistakes Non-Tech Businesses Commit While Taking Up Tech Projects
7 steps involved in cloud migration strategy
Having a cloud migration strategy ensures you do not miss any essential steps during your move to the cloud. Use the steps below to create a cloud migration strategy and make your transition as smooth as possible.
1. Understand and select cloud migration options
Each company has its own peculiar scenarios. Understanding these will help you choose from all available options for a smooth migration. These options could range from leveraging an existing application workload environment to rewriting the application partially or even wholly. These options are:
- Lift and shift/rehosting
- Extend to the cloud
- Cloud optimized
- Replace with SaaS
2. Set up a cloud management team
The first step is to create a cross-functional team to oversee the transition. This team should be capable of managing the migration from start to finish. Cloud migration teams serve as a central point of contact. This team includes representatives from each department who would either be hosting or using the applications in the cloud.
They must ensure the following:
- Adjust applications before migration begins
- Monitor each application as it moves to the cloud
- Address any functionality issues
- Collect and implement feedback from users
3. Pick the right platform and provider
Don’t make the mistake of picking the first option you come across. Before making a choice compare different cloud platforms and migration models and then pick the one that best suits your business. Here are the three principal levels of cloud platform services:
- Infrastructure as service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
After you choose the level of service, pick the cloud provider that works best for your business.
4. Collect baseline analytics
Ensure to collect baseline analytics before you move anything to the cloud. Such pre-migration data provides you a basis for comparison when you run analytics on your cloud-based applications. This will help you see how speed, user experience, and other metrics have improved. This also allows you to understand when something goes wrong during the transition and correct it.
5. Gauge and Address Security Risks
Implement cybersecurity to protect sensitive data. Ensure security at your end and in the cloud. Most importantly, ensure that the migration itself is secure. According to Forrester, 43% of internal data breaches were from accidental mishandling of sensitive information. You must evaluate and address any security issues before migrating any applications or data. This will prevent data breaches.
Read more: Safeguarding IT Infrastructure From Cyber Attacks – Best Practices
6. Initial strategy: Move a single application as a test
Now that everything is in place for a smooth migration, you must be eager to make a complete shift as soon as possible. Hold on! Starting small is a wise cloud migration strategy. First, move one application or a group of applications that do not have a lot of dependencies. Once it starts running in the cloud, evaluate its performance. That first app will help you make pre-migration changes to the rest of the applications.
7. Refine and finalize your strategy: Measure post-migration performance
Once the migration is completed, measure the performance of all your applications with the help of KPIs. Comparing the performance data will help you see how performance changed after cloud migration. That data can be used to make logging improvements and to detect problems. At this point, if you notice errors or low-performance levels, you can address these quickly before they cause any significant downtime.
Cloud computing is called a “no-brainer” because it offers enhanced security, stability, and greater flexibility. To completely benefit from it, companies must have a successful cloud migration strategy. The success of migration depends on meticulous planning and consideration of every aspect of your business. The seven-step cloud migration strategy given above will ensure an easy migration for your organization. Partner with us to ensure that your cloud migration strategy goes without a glitch and propels you to success.
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Cloud and Mobility: The two pillars to recession-proof your business
- How Does the Recovery Shape of The Coronavirus Recession Look?
- What is a recession-proof business?
- What can business leaders do now?
- How Do Enterprise Mobility Solutions Help in The Current Crisis?
- Five Unique business benefits of enterprise mobility during recession!
- Recession-proof your business by embracing Cloud
- Cloud is not a future aspiration rather an urgent mandate
- How can you capture the full value of the Cloud to recession-proof your business?
- Staying Afloat Despite the Crisis
- Are You Keeping Up with The New Normal?
In just a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has chopped off nearly a third of the global market cap triggering panic across the world and shaking the confidence of investors. According to an analysis by the World Bank, the “coronavirus disease pandemic and ensuing lockdowns in several parts of the world have led to a recession unmatched in eight decades.”
The coronavirus-inflicted recession which started unfolding itself in February and March of this year has left the macroeconomic landscape in a state of dilemma. For the past six months, business leaders have been trying to navigate shattered expectations and continued uncertainty forcing them to rapidly shift their expectations for the future. During the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, unemployment soared to almost 10 percent by January 2009. From then on, recession-watchers have been equipped for the reversal of fortunes.
The economic distress caused by coronavirus may be the trigger that leads to a prolonged slump. If so, it is time for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs to seek refuge in recession-proof business practices. This article explains why it is the perfect time to recession-proof your business through cloud and mobility trends.
How Does the Recovery Shape of The Coronavirus Recession Look?
Recession is defined as a significant decline in economic activity lasting more than just a few months and is evident in decreased levels of real income, real GDP, industrial production, employment, and wholesale-retail sales. According to the forecast by the World Bank, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% by the end of this year culminating in the deepest recession since the second world war. The World Bank Prospects Group Director Ayhan Kose noted, “the Covid-19 recession is singular in many respects and is likely to be the deepest one in the advanced economies…The current episode has already seen by far the fastest and the steepest downgrades in global growth forecasts on record. If the past is any guide, there may be further growth downgrades in store, implying that policymakers may need to be ready to employ additional measures to support activity.”
Thankfully, all recessions including the present recession will not last forever. The economy will reopen at some point and start growing again. Unfortunately, the uncertainty of the times makes recovery shapes more widely dispersed. Recovery shapes are not about speed but more about the eventual return to pre-crisis levels. Therefore, the expectation for the path of recovery is hotly debatable. Perhaps we can confidently say that full return to the pre-crisis stage looks ever more challenging with the passage of time.
This raises a few pertinent questions:
- Can any business be recession-proofed?
- What can business leaders do?
- How do enterprise mobility solutions help in the current crisis?
- How can they leverage technology to recession-proof their business?
What is a recession-proof business?
Recession-proof businesses are defined as industries that can stay afloat during terrible economic times or somehow survive unscathed or a business that has a better chance of riding out a recession.
What can business leaders do now?
Debatably, six months into the corona crisis, economic outcomes are not quite certain. Yet, business leaders can take these steps to prepare for the next phase of the corona crisis.
1. Prepare early
A key to surviving any recession is to act as early as possible. The willingness to make strategic and necessary moves decides if a business is weathering the storm of economic downturn or is sinking their ship.
2. Take stock
As economies reopen with varying degrees of success, now is the right time for business leaders to take stock and to reallocate resources appropriately. Take a realistic look at what is possible for your business and accept what is not possible. This is an important step towards creating goals that fit the new normal.
3. Build resilience
COVID-19 has demonstrated an immense power to surprise and upend well thought out assumptions about how business works and who is likely to win. Businesses should thus actively prepare by creating optionality to maneuver. You may have to shift your mindset from growth to survival.
4. Capture advantage
Leaders must leverage all technological trends to reinvent their superpower. Explore crisis-specific solutions to adapt to the new normal faster than ever before.
How Do Enterprise Mobility Solutions Help in The Current Crisis?
Enterprise mobility solution services basically refer to solutions for businesses that enable employees to use their personal mobile devices securely from anywhere to enhance productivity for the company. For example, an employee should be able to access any uploaded data at any given point through any device that’s available such as a Smartphone, Laptop, or Tablet, and carry out tasks required by the company and thus increase productivity.
What does it offer?
Enterprise mobility offers employees flexibility, freedom, and choice. It can make a huge positive impact on their job satisfaction while increasing their work hours. Most businesses practice enterprise mobility in some way. Along with work flexibility, it helps businesses to maximize profits and reduce costs.
Five Unique business benefits of enterprise mobility during recession!
During the recession, enterprise mobility offers endless opportunities that help broaden the sphere of your customers and your business.
1. Improved employee productivity
Mobile applications mechanize paper-driven procedures to streamline work processes. This brilliant approach enhances information exactness and grants clients access to updated and often real-time data. During situations such as a lockdown, it allows companies to build propelled functionalities improving employee productivity.
2. Reduces operational cost
Since the implementation of enterprise mobility enables employees to work from home, it is bound to minimize the cost of your infrastructure drastically. Also, if it becomes necessary for some employees to come to the office, mobility solutions can enable workspace collaboration for your mobile environment across multiple platforms and devices.
3. Efficient collaboration
When many employees work on the same project, they will have to coordinate with each other regularly. With enterprise mobility solutions they can easily share data and important information through mobile devices, update their work progress, and collaborate continuously.
4. Data security
Security is one of the most important requirements of any enterprise. Enterprise mobility management offers businesses the necessary levels of data security and risk management allowing a secure communication medium.
5. Provides customer satisfaction
Customer service is the top business priority for all enterprises. Enterprise mobility facilitates quicker customer service increasing the customers’ trust in your business.
Recession-proof your business by embracing Cloud
Though cloud computing was increasingly adopted by large companies and startups in the last few years, the work-from-home culture during the pandemic has highlighted the critical advantages of using cloud-based solutions. Cloud integration services have open, continuous assistance, and discounts for their customers and prospective clients.
Internal cloud services can provide resources and orchestrate the entire application stack across different servers. The external cloud services can easily leverage the scale of application and infrastructure while providing an enhanced computing environment. This way, cloud solutions create several opportunities for both service providers and clients. It eliminates unnecessary spending of resources for work, successfully reducing the costs involved.
Cloud is not a future aspiration rather an urgent mandate
Though the concept of cloud is not new, most enterprises remain in on-premise data centers. The current pandemic has reinforced the fact that the cloud is an urgent mandate at the heart of all businesses. You need an intelligent cloud journey that balances speed and value. Each migration should be started by mapping out the journey and determining how the cloud will empower the overall business strategy and goal. Once you migrate the majority of your workload to the cloud, you will be able to realize the full business value of the change. You will see how it makes your business resilient, efficient, and customer-focused.
How can you capture the full value of the Cloud to recession-proof your business?
1. Migrate at scale
The first step would be to align the entire enterprise including strong leadership from the top to provide direction. Second, focus constantly on realizing value throughout the migration process without getting stuck in a pattern of aimless experimentation. Finally, weigh out the cost savings against application complexity, data-location compliance requirements, and legacy needs. Realize the potential value and innovation that can be unlocked through cloud optimization.
For your business to work with speed and agility, you need to think comprehensively about the data flow across all your systems. Hence, carefully consider your modernizing needs and long-term process that are based on a solid application discovery assessment. While planning a strategy, take into account where the organization is headed and why. Doing this will make you a cloud-first enterprise.
Constantly monitor and optimize cost and capacity, manage consumption and performance, and leverage the right services from cloud providers to maximize the value/performance ratio and sustainability.
Since the cloud enables experimentation at speed, try out several ideas at the same time and point to the right one quickly and securely. Gain access to cutting-edge technologies by collaborating with your partners.
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Challenges Your Business Should Overcome in the Post-COVID Phase
- Challenges in Reopening Strategy
- Challenges of Shifting Customer Habits
- Challenge of Operations and Employee Safety
- Impact on Operations for Manufacturing Units
- Challenges of Finance and Banking
- Tax, Trade & Regulatory Challenges
- Crisis Management
- Focus on tomorrow
The past few months have been an extremely challenging time for communities across the globe as the pandemic continues to take its toll. Amidst all the chaos and anxiety however, the world is trying to return to the new normal. During this unprecedented reality, businesses are witnessing the beginning of a dramatic restructuring of economic and social order. Everyone is looking forward to the next normal that will materialize after the battle against COVID-19 has been won, with hopes that it will be better and more profitable. Challenges lie ahead though. What are these COVID-19 Aftermath challenges and how do we combat them? This article will discuss that.
Where Do We Start?
With lives and livelihoods in danger, businesses are running a spreadsheet for basics that never mattered so much before. Plans are being drawn how many people can fit into a workplace spaced six feet apart, where the one-way path should begin and end, and what adjustments can and need to be made to the entrance, lunchrooms, and restrooms.
All of these are critical tasks but chalking them down is not going to be enough to mobilize and stabilize businesses. We need an enterprise-wide ability to absorb uncertainty while incorporating lessons into operating models quickly. This might seem like a daunting path beset with challenges, but an action plan can get you through this successfully. This article discusses 7 major challenges and resolutions to jumpstart the recovery.
1. Challenges in Reopening Strategy
The pandemic has impacted nearly every industry including retail. Manufacturing is on a downward slope as production moves at a snail’s pace. Supply chains are being disrupted due to higher air freight costs. This supply shock is having a knock-on effect on retail. Navigating their way out of this spiral is going to need a solid reopening strategy.
What can businesses do?
- Restart and reset, not just reopen: Employee and customer behaviors have drastically changed. Be ready to start a new era of business. Build courage and foresight to change for more than just immediate needs.
- Be ready to adopt omnichannel integration: Omnichannel initiatives offer contactless curbside pickup and other features, so be willing to continuously improve services.
- Shape your future workforce: Redeploy store associates to fill other roles. Upskill then to achieve the required digital fluency. Cross-train employees so that they can fill in when others are away.
- Act swiftly to radically accelerate in-store integration: Customers may not be inclined to visit stores unless you give them a good reason to do so. Offer your consumers compelling value propositions for store traffic.
- Develop a future-state vision: Adopt an omnichannel view that includes store closure plans or rent negotiations.
- Digitize and automate non-core tasks: Automate labor scheduling. Expand the use of self-checkout and mobile checkout processes. Provide remote-management tools for in-house and field managers.
- Shift tasks: Sourcing and distribution teams must find ways to move certain tasks, such as price tagging and labeling, away from stores.
2. Challenges of Shifting Customer Habits
As the coronavirus spread progressed across geographies, customer behavior has also changed drastically. Customer habits are changing, and we can expect them to continue to change in the weeks and months ahead. We can break down their behavior into three phases where each phase shows a distinct behavior:
- Escalation: Customers tend to load up on essential goods such as groceries and medicines which include immunity-boosters.
- Accumulation: Customers brace for a sustained quarantine by stocking up on everyday personal care products.
- Recovery: Customers will continue to spend on consumer goods.
Also, customers now prefer making purchases online, their focus has shifted more to eCommerce.
How can businesses respond?
- Enable flexible product flow: Ensure your product inventories align with consumer demand. Make distribution centers more flexible. As more customers purchase products online, make sure you minimize distribution disruptions.
- Bolster online presence: Accelerate direct-to-customer sales.
- Maintain close contact with customers: Ensure they know that products are available.
3. Challenge of Operations and Employee Safety
One of the main concerns of a company leader during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is its impact on operations. Evidently, the epidemic has adversely affected sales volume and the ability to serve clients and customers as well as manage the business. Companies are faced with the challenge of employees being quarantined for weeks after business or vacation trips. They lack the tools required to organize remote work during the quarantine.
How to reorganize the workplace?
- Establish dedicated cross-functional teams: They can coordinate the activities between various business units, provide necessary information to the management team, and communicate with employees, partners, and employees.
- Analyze critical roles and key positions: Develop an effective process for managing decision-making under various scenarios.
- Ensure the safety of employees: Review policies for maintaining good hygiene at the workplace.
- Ensure that there is no crowding in the office: Decide on which roles can be done remotely and which roles require employees to be present in the office. This will help you optimize the work with only 20-30% of employees at the office.
- Easy Transportation: Ensure that transportation is arranged for and accessible by the employees.
- Plans for support staff: Have a written plan on how to stagger the arrival of support staff such as receptionists and security guards.
- Workout checkpoints: Have a series of checkpoints where testing can be done.
4. Impact on Operations for Manufacturing Units
Manufacturers face formidable challenges when it comes to restarting their operations. Globally, they are facing workforce disruptions at an unprecedented scale. Most manufacturers are yet to determine how they will function and perform while struggling to cope with the present scenario. They need fit-for-purpose plans.
How can manufacturers respond?
- Start with possible scenarios: Start with the current need for workforce and design a workforce approach.
- Tap into technology: Consider the possibility of automating certain aspects of the industry which would avoid too many people at the site.
- Create a roster: Ensure that teams come in at different times during the day depending on the number of workers and the skill required at any given point.
- Focus on a safe work environment: Organize regular cleaning and disinfection of workplaces and tools. Invest in medical equipment such as thermometers and sanitizers.
- Review sick leave policies: Consider the possibility of providing temporary sick leave without the need to provide a doctor’s notice.
- Develop agile workforce strategies: It keeps the global economy viable.
- Create your own news channel: Misinformation can create particular challenges for manufacturers. Combat this by ensuring that you put out timely, accurate, and appropriate information for your workers.
5. Challenges of Finance and Banking
Economic uncertainty and risk have either directly or indirectly impacted most finance companies. As businesses slow down, companies are seeing lower revenue due to reduced cash flow.
Managing cash and liquidity positions may become crucial in the coming months. This situation is worsened by inadequate digital maturity, staff shortages and immense pressure on the existing infrastructure as companies deal with the impact of the pandemic. You need strategies to safeguard your customers’ financial security while you safeguard their wellbeing and yours as well.
What can finance services do?
- Craft a strategic response: Adopting the right digital technologies enables innovations. These must include solutions for analytics and insights to detect and prepare for new risks.
- Enable Automation: Ensure availability of digital banking services through business process reengineering and automation.
- Leverage AI capabilities: There has been and will be a surge in call volumes during and after COVID-19. Leverage AI-backed tools and conversation platforms to deal with the surge.
- Initiate video banking: Live web video banking solutions can assist your team in serving customers and maintaining business continuity.
6. Tax, Trade & Regulatory Challenges
There are significant tax provisions and other measures to assist businesses that stakeholders should carefully review. Post pandemic, they should think about the broader implications of their business decisions and strategies.
What can you do?
- Business disruption: Develop restructuring plans. Review intra-group service expenses and expense allocations.
- Cash tax savings: Manage cash taxes by potentially reducing taxable income. Obtain available refunds. Work with the treasury function to align repatriation strategies. Model taxable income against the company’s overall tax posture.
- Agile tax models: Supply chains and business strategies need reevaluation, which is best achieved by agile tax models.
- Review all aspects: Stabilize supply chains. Brace for an unpredictable revenue. Reduce costs and increase productivity.
- Meet regulatory obligations: Despite budget constraints, tax compliance requirements must be met. Consider co-sourcing or outsourcing tax compliance.
- Stay informed: Understand the expense of various supply chain configurations and opportunities. Make informed decisions quickly.
7. Crisis Management
Your response to the crisis today can position your business to thrive tomorrow. You need to prioritize incident management along with the safety of workers. It is important for organizations to understand what data is relevant to their business. Some companies are developing new contingency plans while others are using existing ones.
What can organizations do?
- Dedicate a team for crisis management: Ensure that every team member knows what their role is. Train each team member in executing the plan to be sure that they are ready at any moment.
- Establish facts: Strong data reinforces a central element of crisis planning. Establish facts accurately during the crisis. Use the facts to inform your response strategy.
- Collaborate: Collaborate with the public relations team, legal and regulatory teams, and operational and response teams. Create a small core committee from among them.
Focus on tomorrow
The response window for any crisis is measured in months but recovery is measured in years. Create scenarios today to plan for a stronger tomorrow and beyond. Wider and longer-term perspectives can help your business emerge stronger and more sustainable. Data, Readiness, and Empathy are the three vital qualities required to keep people healthy and businesses running. Fingent is closely monitoring the situation and helping businesses return to work with our technology consulting and innovation capabilities. Contact us to know more.
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6 Hot Technologies that Handhold Businesses Amid COVID-19 Impact
The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging ramifications for several businesses. Forrester predicts that the retail sector will endure a 2.1 trillion-dollar loss in 2020 due to COVID-19. It also said that it will take four years for retailers to experience the growth seen before the pandemic. As COVID-19 continues breathing threats down the neck of businessmen, hot technologies are emerging as a relief to counteract them and lead businesses towards their goals. We will discuss a few of these specific technologies such as cloud, eCommerce, eLearning, automation, virtual collaboration, and contactless services that can help you minimize the effects of COVID-19 on your business.
1. Cloud Adoption During COVID-19
With physical interaction no longer being an acceptable form of communication, organizations and institutions have had to swiftly shift to digital solutions to retain productivity. The domino effect of COVID-19 was seen in various sectors, accelerating the adoption of facilities for seamless remote work. Cloud computing has emerged as an essential technology for critical application and scalability of infrastructure in this regard.
Companies from various sectors are now starting to realize the benefits and value of cloud computing as far-reaching beyond the scenario created by the pandemic. As a result, businesses will have to scale up their digital transformation efforts and invest in cloud resources without delay. If anyone had reservations about investing in cloud computing before this, COVID-19 has proved that its necessity is indisputable.
CCInsights reported that as of 21 April 2020, US and Canadian e-commerce orders have seen a 129% increase.
With restrictions on the number of people that can be gathered in one place, gone are the glory days of shopping malls and brick and mortar stores. COVID-19 has changed shopping behaviors overnight, necessitating brands to adapt and be flexible to meet changing needs.
For example, the Buy Online Pick up In Store (BOPIS) capability has become vital to maintaining sales volume with the restrictions in mind. A good example of this is the mobile phone industry. When foot traffic is curbed, then Mobile Point of Sale programs can be set up to take orders and payment at the same time for business continuity. Membership or Loyalty cards can be now digitalized through mobile applications.
3. Virtual Collaboration
Many developed nations are now stipulating that employees of non-essential businesses work remotely for an indefinite time, making video conferencing vital. Schools, colleges, and universities are also leveraging video conferencing platforms through live or recorded lectures.
This has brought many virtual collaboration solutions to the forefront that facilitate video conferencing, instant messaging, task and calendar management, work collaboration, file sharing, attendance tracking, and so on. A few examples include Zoom, DingTalk, WeChat Work, Zoho Remotely, and so on.
At Fingent, we use InfinCE, a powerful cloud-based enterprise collaboration software that offers support for remote work.
Read Our Case Study: How Fingent enabled a smarter digital workplace solution for Sony Mobile
During this time of crisis, the entire education ecosystem is coming together to ensure that students do not suffer. Educational applications, platforms, and resources offer functionalities across multiple categories such as:
- Resources to provide psycho-social support
- Digital learning management systems
- Digital systems designed for use on basic mobile phones
- Massive open online course platforms
- Self-directed learning content
- Mobile reading applications
- Tools for teachers to create digital learning content
Automation has been helping businesses mitigate disruption by enabling them to stay connected across teams and systems while maintaining customer support in times of uncertainties such as this pandemic.
Robotic Process Automation improves the efficiency and reliability of work outcomes and automates the time-consuming, repetitive tasks that weigh down intelligent workers. The benefits are:
- Digital workers do not need to have the weekend off. They can work 24 hours a day, 24/7 to respond to spikes in business activity.
- They do not have travel restrictions nor are they at the risk of COVID-19 infection or affected by physical office closure.
During the pandemic, companies that have already invested in automation technologies are doing exponentially better than those who did not. It is obvious, that automation can pave the way for a better future.
6. Contactless Services
The coronavirus pandemic has driven a preference for self-service purchasing, boosting contactless services. Consider a few examples available now and upcoming in the future:
- Dining experience: Technology can take care of everything: reserving a table at the restaurant, pre-ordering your food, digital valet services, contactless seating, contactless payment, and online feedback.
- Contactless payment: It lets shoppers integrate their payment information to their loyalty account through an app and then use a QR code for payment through self-checkouts.
- Contactless delivery: This ensures end-to-end hygiene because a customer places an order, makes the payment online, and gets the food delivered without ever coming in contact with the delivery agent.
Grab a Slice of Hot Technology
While the end of the pandemic remains elusive, capturing even a slice of these hot technologies could make a huge difference to businesses. They can even help smaller businesses gain a stronger foothold during this pandemic and into the future. Get in touch with us and help us guide you through this pandemic by implementing the right technology solutions for your business.
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The Need for Digitalization
Digital technologies have penetrated into every aspect of our lives, transforming the way we seek and receive information. For instance, today, we search for products and services on search engines rather than in yellow page directories and other offline media. We communicate our experiences with other people through chats, email, blogs, or social media posts. In other words, the media we use, the content we consume and share, the customers we engage with – all benefit from digitalization and digitized data.
Read More: A Road Map To Digital Transformation in 2020
Why is digitalization inevitable for businesses and how can organizations benefit from it?
Before we discuss the advantages of digitalization, we need to understand the difference between digitization and digitalization. According to Gartner’s IT Glossary, “digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities, whereas “digitization is the process of changing from analog to digital form.”
Digitalization is already influencing the way we do business
Digitalization already has had an impact on our business – from the way we acquire and retain customers to the way we present our business and manage our reputation. While in the past, brick-and-mortar stores were sufficient to establish your business, now consumers want to know what services or products you offer before deciding to make the purchase.
Today, businesses have to be in close proximity with their customers to find out about their opinions and improve customer experiences. When you know more about your customers, you have more data at hand. Digitalization helps apply this data to make better business decisions.
With digital technologies, you have more tools that make work easier. This can lead to increased productivity and reduced costs. Digital tools such as dashboards and collaboration tools such as messengers and video chats help align your employees with business goals and improve internal communication.
What does digitalization mean to you?
Digitalization does not just mean implementing various technologies into daily business. You need to also rethink your business and operating models to implement the technology. Technology is just the tip of the iceberg. Together with it, you need to understand your digital maturity as an organization. Technology does enable digital engagement, but you need to assess the big picture of what digitalization means to your business – whether you are a public organization, a small private company or a global player. To gain control over customer relationships, you need to develop end-to-end strategies to reach customers.
Top 3 opportunities for digitalization
1. Converting excel sheets to dashboards
In any organization, we find an opportunity gap between the growth of the company on a revenue basis and the growth of the support staff. This part of the company needs to focus on improving automation and scalability to better support the rest of the company.
Most of us still enter information in excel spreadsheets. For example, if we track our projects (work in progress), contracts, savings, etc. in separate spreadsheets, we’re only entering the same data many times. Converting to dashboards can help you quickly view and analyze your entire data in one place.
Along with consolidated views, dashboards provide opportunities for business intelligence by allowing users to display only what’s required through the use of filters. Once you start adding insights and recommended actions along with the summary, the dashboard becomes more useful by closing any communication gaps between various departments in your company. In short, you save time, provide clear communication, and drive business goals.
2. Document Management systems
The advent of digitalization has opened up new avenues of data, making its’ management complex. The traditional file and paper methods have become archaic as well as cumbersome. Document management systems have proved themselves indispensable for businesses of all sizes.
With digitalization dominating the trend in business, enterprises are looking for new ways to streamline documentation by using various automation techniques. The rise of cloud-based document management systems has simplified the creation and sharing of digital documents for enterprises.
Managing huge volumes of data has also become relatively easy. Today you have document management systems that vary in scope from simple systems that cater to small enterprises to more sophisticated ones that cater to large global enterprises. Document management systems reduce physical storage, enable quick access of documents, promote security, make maintenance and customization easy, and reduce monotonous tasks.
3. OCR Technology
Another technology that helps with the digitalization of businesses is OCR. The ability of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to automatically extract data from an image file or scanned document has helped businesses to streamline their operations. It reduces the time required in manual data entry and extraction. A robust and accurate OCR can extract data from multiple document formats. Thus, it saves time in data collection, reduces human effort, and aligns business processes with customer needs. AI-powered OCR eliminates manual entry, thereby reducing errors and improving productivity. Businesses that are equipped with AI-powered OCR technology can stay afloat in the digital wave that has swept across the world.
Digitalization can drive recovery from COVID-19
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on people’s lives, it has also stimulated change in the social, personal, economic, and corporate forefronts. The focus has now shifted from growth, business development, and digitalization to just riding out the storm, that is, ensuring business continuity. However, organizations should not lose sight of the long-term effects of the crisis. Companies would have to rethink their business models according to changing customer demands. This crisis has forced organizations to invest in their digitalization strategies to establish sustainability.
Companies need to direct their digitalization strategies towards increasing resilience and optimization. Rather than just focusing on increasing productivity, a sustainable and comprehensive digitalization strategy should focus on maintaining productivity during future challenges. Write to us to know more.
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Can Robotic Process Automation Rescue Businesses From An Economic Recession
COVID-19 is panning out to be a historic tragedy both for the human race as well as our economy. While most businesses are stalled due to the economic recession induced by COVID-19, there is a ray of hope. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is rising up as the savior for many businesses by offering recession-proof operations. RPA might be that one alleviating factor that can keep your business and the economy afloat.
When implemented successfully, RPA can help many sectors experience an undeniable upsurge. How RPA can help businesses get through these unprecedented times? This post takes a look. We will also examine a few automation cases.
Related Reading: Jaw-dropping Facts about Robotic Process Automation
Businesses Can Stay Afloat in These Unprecedented Times
RPA goes beyond allowing businesses to stay afloat. It also helps them respond instantly to drastic changes in demand during such critical situations as COVID-19. It has proven to be an invaluable technology for businesses by ensuring that employees remain productive even if they have to work remotely and from home.
Here are some benefits of RPA.
RPA allows your business to run smoothly despite ever-changing demands while automating manual processes and increasing efficiency. Furthermore, it is helping organizations combat the spread of COVID-19 and is providing customers with timely support as businesses move on to new operating models. For instance, deploying chatbots or automated answering machines in contact centers or help desks can help handle bulk volumes of customer service calls and emails, especially when organizations are forced to function remotely or operate with a limited number of employees.
Less dependency on the individual employee
Though we can’t deny the need for human intervention in most processes, certain tasks need to be accomplished with precision and speed. Here is where RPA becomes useful as a fast and flexible way to replicate employee-driven processes. RPA enables businesses to automate certain critical processes with greater precision and efficiency. And soon, RPA will free businesses from being dependent on the limitations caused by employees’ absence.
Keep up with production
RPA enables organizations to keep up productivity by providing assistance to an overwhelmed customer using attended automation or front office bots. This frees up employees to attend to other critical aspects of the business. RPA can cater to an increase or decrease in the supply chain demand while allowing you to rely on automated back-office activities.
Industries leveraging RPA
Here are a few examples of industries who have successfully leveraged automation: (examples cited by UiPath)
Health of the workforce: Updating all relevant data of sick employees in real-time while keeping track of healthy employees could be painstaking. With RPA, bots can be set up to keep track of hospital employees. This minimizes manual errors and ensures employee safety.
Increasing demand in virus testing: With the increasing demand for virus testing, the wait time for registration also increases. Cleveland Clinic in the United States reduced their patient verification and registration time considerably by deploying an attended robot that collects and prints patient data, thereby reducing hospital backlogs.
Accelerating clinical testing: Filling test reports itself would take about 3 hours per day in the life of a staff nurse. But since Mater Hospital in Dublin automated its process through robots, medical personnel are able to use their precious time taking care of their patients rather than chasing admin tasks.
Banking and financial services
Surge in trading volume: Global markets have seen a trading surge by about 300% daily. This is tremendously increasing the operational burden. Leveraging automation has ensured business continuity while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction despite the huge spike of activity in areas such as trade allocations and reconciliations.
Acknowledging customer complaints: Acknowledging customer complaints in line with UK regulations has been especially challenging for financial services because of their reduced staff. Automation has allowed the banking and financial services to acknowledge complaints in time in compliance with UK regulatory government requirements.
Helps HR specialists to remain focused on analysis: COVID-19 has overwhelmed the HR department with a large volume of sick leave requests. Automation of two phases of this process has reduced backlogs in processing leave requests while allowing HR specialists to stay focused on their people.
Optimization of the supply chain: COVID-19 has forced factories to shut down leaving their production line idle. RPA allows companies to optimize their supply chains. This has resulted in accurate delivery estimates, optimized vehicle routes, efficient shipment consolidation as well as accountable sourcing.
Reduced manufacturing expenses: Prolonged closures of manufacturing plants have forced manufacturers to cut down their operational costs. RPA automates repetitive and manual tasks thus reducing operational costs.
Related Reading: How Robotic Process Automation Is Revolutionizing Industries?
Weather These Turbulent Times with Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation will enable businesses to efficiently allocate funds to areas that need greater focus. It can automate qualification ad validation processes, update public health data in real-time, and much more. Educational institutes can also leverage automation to schedule and activate their classes using LMS and eLearning platforms.
Obviously, COVID-19 has brought about changes in the working style of both the consumers and clients. RPA will cater to their needs and help ensure that businesses can stay afloat during these difficult economic times.
How Can You Get Started?
Start small! Start by automating small tasks that will give you the needed confidence and experience in automation solutions. Research and evaluate how far automation is applicable to your IT environment. Talk to experts at Fingent and find out how you can build on the benefits of RPA.
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Top 10 Algorithms to Create Functional Machine Learning Projects
From simple day-to-day functions to making computers smarter, Machine Learning algorithms help automate manual tasks for making our lives simpler. The significance of Machine Learning has grown even further, which is why enthusiastic data scientists and engineers look forward to learning different techniques to hone their skills.
Below are the top 10 Machine Learning algorithms that you should know. These will help you to create practical projects, no matter whether you choose Supervised, Unsupervised, or Reinforcement Machine Learning model.
Read our Infographic: What Machine Learning is and why it is important in business
1. Apriori Algorithm
Apriori algorithm is a type of machine learning algorithm, which creates association rules based on a pre-defined dataset. The rules are in the IF_THEN format, which means that if action A happens, then action B will likely occur as well. The algorithm derives such conclusions by analyzing the ratio of action B to action A.
One of the most common examples of the Apriori algorithm can be seen in Google auto-complete. When you type a word, the algorithm automatically suggests associated words that are mostly typed with that.
2. Naive Bayes Classifier Algorithm
Naive Bayes Classifier algorithm works by presuming that any specific property in a category is not related to the other properties of the group. This helps the algorithm to consider all the features independently as it calculates the outcome. It is very easy to create a Naive Bayes model for huge datasets, and can even do better than many of the complex classification methods.
The best example of the Naive Bayes Classifier algorithm will be email spam filtering. The function automatically classifies different emails as spam or not spam.
3. Linear Regression Algorithm
Linear Regression algorithm determines the correlation between a dependent variable and an independent variable. It helps understand the effect that the independent variable will cause on the dependent variable if the former’s value is changed. The independent variable is also referred to as the explanatory variable, while the dependent variable is termed as the factor of interest.
Generally, the Linear Regression algorithm is used in risk assessment processes, especially in the insurance industry. The model can help to figure out the number of claims as per different age groups and then calculate the risk as per the age of the customer.
Related Reading: Can Machine Learning Predict And Prevent Fraudsters?
4. K-Means Algorithm
K-Means algorithm is commonly used for solving clustering problems. It takes datasets into a specific number of clusters, which is referred to as “K”. The data is categorized in such a way that all the data points in the cluster remain homogenous. At the same time, the data points in one cluster will be different from the data grouped in other clusters.
For instance, when you look for, say, “date”, on the search engine, it could mean a fruit, a particular day, or a romantic night out. The K-Means algorithm groups all the web pages that mention each of the different meanings to give you the best results.
5. Decision Tree Algorithm
Decision Tree algorithm is the most popular Machine Learning algorithms out there today. The model works by classifying problems for both categorical as well as continuous dependent variables. Here, all the possible outcomes are divided into different standardized sets with the most significant independent variables using a tree-branching methodology.
The most common example of the Decision Tree algorithm can be seen in the banking industry. The system helps financial institutions to categorize loan applicants as well as determine the probability of a customer defaulting on his/her loan payments.
Related Reading: How Predictive Algorithms and AI Will Rule Financial Services
6. Support Vector Machine Algorithm
Support Vector Machine algorithm is used to classify data as points in a vast n-dimensional plane. Here, “n” refers to the number of properties in hand, each of which is linked to a specific subset to categorize the data. A common use of the Support Vector Machine algorithm can be seen in the regression of problems. It works by categorizing data into different levels using a particular line or hyper-plane.
For instance, stockbrokers use the Support Vector Machine algorithm to compare the performance of different stocks and listings. This helps them to device the best decisions for investing in the most lucrative stocks and options.
7. Logistic Regression Algorithm
Logistic Regression algorithm helps calculate separate binary values from a cluster of independent variables. It then helps to forecast the likelihood of an outcome by analyzing the data against a logit function. Including interaction terms, eliminating properties, standardizing techniques, and using a non-linear model can also be used to create better logistic regression models.
The probability of the outcome of a specific event in the Logistic Regression algorithm is calculated as per the included variables. It is commonly seen in politics to predict if a candidate will win or lose in the election.
8. K- Nearest Neighbors Algorithm
K Nearest Neighbors or KNN algorithm is used for both the classification as well as regression of different problems. The model saves the data available from several cases, which is referred to as K, and classifies new cases as per the data from the K neighbors based on distance function. The new case is then included in the identified dataset.
K Nearest Neighbors needs a lot of storage space to save all the data from different variables. However, it only functions when needed and can be very reliable in predicting the outcome of an event.
9. Random Forest Algorithm
Random Forest algorithm works by grouping different decision trees based on their attributes. This model can deal with some of the common limitations of the Decision Tree algorithm. It can also be more accurate to predict the outcome when the number of decisions goes higher. The decision trees are mapped here based on the CART or Classification and Regression Trees model.
A common example of the Random Forest algorithm can be seen in the automobile industry. It is seen to be very productive in forecasting the breakdown of a specific automobile part.
10. Gradient Boosting and Adaptive Boosting
Gradient Boosting and Adaptive Boosting (AdaBoost) algorithms can be used when you need to handle a huge amount of data and predict the outcome with the highest accuracy possible. Boosting algorithms combine the power of different basic learning algorithms to improve the results. It can also merge weak or average predictors to get a strong estimator model.
Gradient boosting is generally used with decision trees, while AdaBoost is typically used to improve binary classification problems. Boosting can also correct the misclassifications found in different base algorithms.
The above-listed Machine Learning algorithms will help you get started with your desired projects right away. These will equip you for understanding the scope of Machine Learning as well as work out complex problems more easily.
Related Reading: How Machine Learning Boosts Customer Experience
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