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April 2020

5 Cost Rationalizing Measures That CIO’s Can Consider
5 Cost Rationalizing Measures That CIO’s Can Consider Raju G

5 Cost Rationalizing Measures That CIO’s Can Consider

The success of business continuity plans depend on making well informed, integrated business decisions. A big part of such decisions would involve careful analysis and implementation of application portfolio rationalization plans.

Natural disasters, a tanking economy, an aggressive competitor or trade wars could all be reasons an organization may introduce application portfolio rationalization in keeping with the business continuity plan.

The application rationalization plans should be such that they align IT with business plans. IT spending covers a vast range of areas including business applications, networking, IT personnel, end user technology and data centers. CIOs the world over today are facing increasing pressure to achieve immediate IT cost savings in a manner which is least damaging to the long term health of the organization. In order to do this CIOs need to have a thorough understanding of all IT items in the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet.

It is said that organizations cannot cut their way to growth but can cut their way to survival. A thorough understanding of this is required especially since digital transformation helps to sustain retail business and is extremely necessary to stay competitive.

5 Cost Rationalization Measures

The amount of time and level of effort for such programs is often dictated by time pressures. Businesses should prioritize planning regardless of these pressures as it will drive the strategy, approach and effectiveness of the execution in the long term. Beyond the size of the budget, the CIO should also determine and establish the enterprise’s preparedness and willingness to allocate the budget necessary for undertaking this.

Assessing IT cost rationalizations measures could be done bearing the following in mind

1)Target Immediate Impact

Annual billing plans offer tremendous in terms of increasing cash flow. It therefore would make sense to eliminate, reduce or suspend items that will impact the organization immediately. This would include items such as quarterly license fees or monthly subscription fees. Options with annual payment work best.

2)Address Discretionary and Non-Discretionary Costs

Discretionary spending refers to costs and expenses that are non-essential whereas non-discretionary spending is one that is required to be honored by a budget, contract or commitment.  Discretionary spending such as for a new project, additional capability or services is often an easier place to start with. However even certain non-discretionary expenses such as certain infrastructure and operations can be cut by reducing usage or service levels.  The spotlight therefore would rest on digital transformation return on investment (ROI) which may not be evident in the short term.

3)Assess Total Operating Expenditure (OPEX) and Capital Expenditure Costs (CAPEX)

OPEX( Expenses that an organization incurs for its day to day functioning)  has the maximum impact on the finances of a company. Whereas CAPEX (Expenses incurred when the organization acquires assets which will be beneficial beyond the current financial year such as equipment and buildings) and can be considered for  cost reduction too.

4)Reduce But Do Not Freeze

The focus should rest on costs that can be reduced or eliminated completely.  Some costs tend to be categorized as frozen and remain under the surface for a certain period only to resurface at a later point of time. Such costs needed to be avoided. Memberships and subscriptions to organizations/clubs related to the business of the organization or reading material, are good examples here especially since they can be eliminated completely or reinstated down the road if the necessity arises.

5)Complete Evaluation and Action

The fact that cost rationalization measures can be hard and confronting, is reason enough for several organizations to skim through the surface and not delve deep enough for  complete assessment. As a result of this, there is a possibility that this exercise needs to be revisited again and again. To ensure a thorough job in application portfolio rationalization, it would help to bear in mind this sequence of steps

  • Data collection

Here a questionnaire to gather information about data elements across business, technology strategic fit functionality and cost dimensions can be the starting point.

  • Profiling and Value Analysis

Each of the parameters collected during the previous stage is assigned a weight depending on its contribution towards the technical health and business value of the organization. This would determine further course of action for each of the items listed on the survey.

  • Opportunity Mapping

A rationalization map is then created based on the above steps which will help to identify opportunities for application decommissioning, application consolidation, technology upgrade and functional enrichment.

Success Strategies in Cost Optimization

Based on the available budget, CIO’s need to adopt the appropriate cost rationalizing measures keeping the business continuity plan in mind. Digital transformation of various processes is a good way to cut costs in the long term. Some of the methods could be

  • Virtualization

It involves replacing physical hardware with their virtual counterparts. This maximizes the use of server resources.

  • Software Defined Data Centre

Here service providers deliver networking, storage, computing, telecommunications and other IT functions. Doing so eliminates the need for extra space during high demand times as well as employees spending time on the maintenance of the same.

  • Hybrid Cloud Implementation

Cloud computing is a popular method for companies to reduce IT infrastructure costs. Today using the hybrid cloud model, workload can be distributed between public and private environments.

  • Standardization of IT Infrastructure

Standardization would ensure consistency across different hardware and software applications. It also helps to maintain compatibility and serves to put everyone on the same platform.

Conclusion

In today’s world operating an agile landscape is of utmost importance. With digital transformation in retail completely driving customer demand, the IT architecture will need to evolve. Many businesses tend to utilize a large part of their IT budget on supporting aging low value legacy systems leaving them with very little capital for optimizing business processes. The goal of application portfolio rationalization is to articulate an architectural vision that enables business continuity plans while creating a solid foundation for the future.

Application rationalization efforts will ultimately help to optimize the application stack of the company, dramatically cut costs and have enough budget to concentrate on trending innovations.

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InfoVision is a Global IT Services and Solutions company offering Strategic Resources, Enterprise Applications and Technology Solutions. InfoVision’s specialized Technology Solution offerings include Mobility, Outsourced Product Development, Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, DevOps, IoT, Testing Services and Cloud Services. InfoVision’s Integrated Value Delivery capability is the combination of proven talent, technical depth, delivery discipline and domain expertise.

2020 © Copyright InfoVision. All rights Reserved.

5 Ways Cloud Managed Services Can Make A Difference To A Business
5 Ways Cloud Managed Services Can Make A Difference To A Business Raju G

5 Ways Cloud Managed Services Can Make A DifferenceTo A Business

There are several reasons why CIOs and business leaders might consider moving their IT systems on to cloud managed services.

For businesses, it is no longer just about the products they create or the services they offer. Along the way they are working through lots of data which they continuously gather, store, and process, for themselves and for their customers. In doing so, they need to be agile and nimble enough to react to security threats, accommodate changing regulatory requirements, or simply display resilience against a variety of other hurdles. Regardless of how well they are organized, these unplanned scenarios keep increasing the operating costs and lead to loss of productivity.

Which is why cloud managed services have so many takers across industries. The cloud service providers specialize in many services like providing highly resilient storage servers, infrastructure on-demand, platforms that can be provisioned on-demand, software solutions, centralized network solutions, etc.

Benefits of Cloud Managed Services

#1. Efficiencies from Scale

Cloud managed services are usually set up to be multi-tenant to service multiple businesses at the same time. This gives them the scale to create competitive pricing which is very lucrative as compared to an on-premise setup. There are many models of pricing to suit businesses of various sizes and needs. They can be operated as a pay-per-use model or a subscription-based model.  Managed cloud services providers offer services tailored to small startups and can even scale up to serve global enterprises. Moving to cloud gives businesses greater control over how to manage their costs. It also allows them to divert these costs to operating expenses. Not only does this become cost-effective, they also save on constantly having to recruit specialists, keeping them relevant, and managing attrition.

#2. Higher Performance and Resiliency

Depending on the business operations, cloud managed services providers can guarantee high uptimes. They maintain the entire infrastructure and specialize in these services. Hence, they are equipped to foresee problems, remediate them as they occur, and even make repairs remotely.  

Cloud managed services companies offer better control over service levels, performance, and maintenance. With a comprehensive service-level agreement, the business can be assured of service continuity. For example, the data centers for cloud-managed servers have built-in redundancy. They are equipped to continuously backup the data and replicate them across multiple data centers. This redundancy allows businesses to recover from disasters very quickly. Certain providers offer recovery from disasters as a service often called Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).

#3. Evolving Security Models and Regulatory Requirements

Cloud infrastructures are architected in a way so that they can be compliant with regulatory requirements. Additionally, when the regulations change, it is their responsibility to provide timely assurance of compliance with the new regulations.  They cater to data residency requirements of governments and deep tech research organizations that are keen to store sensitive information in a very specific manner and secured with high-security standards. Cloud infrastructures can be configured to provide the right levels of data protection. In order to achieve such high standards, they are supported by equally robust network infrastructure with round the clock support. Their infrastructure is regularly and automatically patched and kept to the latest version of software upgrades required.

#4. Agile Enough to Scale Up or Down

Cloud managed services allow businesses to make real-time changes in their service needs. It can automatically scale up to allocate more resources or scale down to an agreed baseline depending on business needs. This helps businesses manage seasonal peaks in infrastructural needs and the need for more processing power. Christmas and Black Friday sales are good examples when e-commerce retailers will see extremely high server traffic and huge processing needs to maintain an optimum online shopping experience for their customers.

#5. Service Assurance

In a cloud setup, the responsibility of maintaining service standards is with the cloud management services company. The problems which arise from the infrastructure or platforms do not need the organization to coordinate to arrive at the resolution. The cloud managed service provider takes care of working with various vendors; they all have their own resolution SLA’s which are aligned to the organization’s expectations. This can really take a lot of pressure from the IT organization who can focus on bringing real value to business.

Understanding Cloud Economics Before The Big March

While all the above pointers make a good reason to move into the cloud, it is a big transformation for a business and its people who will be using the cloud applications. The organization needs to go through a journey-to-cloud assessment to evaluate the transition-state cloud economics and the target-state cloud economics.  This study identifies the most relevant systems to move into the cloud and provides a view on how to stagger the movement to minimize disruption.  It takes into account challenges the organization will face due to complexities in the current processes. The assessment can also forecast with sufficient accuracy whether the IT organization will eventually achieve what they aim for or only a part of what they hope to gain from cloud migration. It will also highlight the people’s transformation impact that this migration will require.

Conclusion

Finally, this assessment prepares the CIOs on what to expect, predicts where the safety nets are needed, and finally how to maximize the benefits from the cloud.

Once the assessment is done and a cloud migration project is put into motion, it will not take long for businesses to see the difference that cloud managed services make to their company’s quality of service, customer satisfaction and overall performance.

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InfoVision is a Global IT Services and Solutions company offering Strategic Resources, Enterprise Applications and Technology Solutions. InfoVision’s specialized Technology Solution offerings include Mobility, Outsourced Product Development, Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, DevOps, IoT, Testing Services and Cloud Services. InfoVision’s Integrated Value Delivery capability is the combination of proven talent, technical depth, delivery discipline and domain expertise.

2020 © Copyright InfoVision. All rights Reserved.

Digital Ubiquity and Personalized Contextual in Retail
Digital Ubiquity and Personalized Contextual in Retail Raju G

Digital Ubiquity and Personalized Contextual in Retail

A Channel-Agnostic Landscape
We live in a digital-first world. A world where window shopping happens on our mobile screen while the actual purchase takes place in a brick and mortar store. All thanks to digital ubiquity in retail, the landscape is more competitive and complex than ever before. The only way to stay relevant is to embrace digital transformation and find innovative ways to engage with your customers at every step of their shopping journey.

Consumers Are Smarter Than Ever

Digital ubiquity in retail has put the customer in the driver’s seat. They can now carry out online market research in between meetings, check out product reviews in digital forums, compare prices from a smartphone while shopping and share shopping experiences on his or her social media page. And throughout this buying process, the customer is free to choose any channel in any possible stage. What’s more complex, is that the journey of each buyer is as unique as they are. You can’t predict whether the buyer will google their query or ask a friend. Whether the decision is dictated by price, or by their knowledge of the product. Whether the buyer is in a hurry to buy the product from the nearest store or prepared to wait until the next sale season. This brings into play the importance of personalized contextual relevance in the sector.

Digital Ubiquity & Personalized Contextual: Drivers Of Change in Retail

Digital ubiquity in retail coupled with the need to remain contextually relevant and personal are driving digital transformation in the retail industry. Digital transformation is an enabler for retailers to persuade shoppers and close sales by engaging with them continuously. Research shows that managing customer engagement is a major hurdle for retailers in this age of Digital Ubiquity. It emphasises on the need for using technology to transform the retail experience.

Digital Transformation: The Way To Grow

According to Microsoft: “Digital transformation is about reimagining how you bring together people, data, and processes to create value for your customers and maintain a competitive advantage in a digital-first world.”  A dynamic sector like retail which is always at the forefront of technological advancement cannot waste any more time in implementing digital transformation which helps to sustain the retail business.

 Innovate & Disrupt 

Retailers must be innovative while selecting the right technology in the right places. They need to find new and exciting means to connect with their customers. Be it using machine learning analysis to personalise product recommendations, or adapting AI to answer customer’s queries, or setting up an immersive in-store experience with the help of Augmented Reality, digital ubiquity in retail can be a game-changer in many ways. It helps retailers bridge the gap between what the tech-savvy customers expect and what traditional retail can deliver.

Retailers can also not ignore the impact of Big Data/ Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing in their business. All these have revolutionized the way they manage inventory, operation, pricing and sales. The store experience, the in-store layout, delivery options, loyalty programs – technology has literally transformed every part of their retail business.

Creating A Borderless Retail Experience

The incredible range of technology available today can bring a paradigm shift in the retail business and offer a shopping experience that’s refreshingly new. It can seamlessly blend the digital with the physical experiences to offer a borderless retail journey to customers. Technology can help you differentiate from your competition and meet the expectations of your evolved customers.

The Right Strategy Matters

Devising the right strategy for digital transformation is critical in winning over omni-shoppers. Although the objective of every company is to add value to customers, the digital transformation strategy varies from business to business. Businesses need to understand that adopting new technologies not just affects their retail mix but also brings a sea change in the organizational structure. Gone are the days when retail technologies were invented to cater to the requirements of the retail industry. Digital transformation has made sure that the retail sector keeps pace with emerging digital technologies and runs like a well-oiled machine.

Many retailers are reaping the benefit of digital transformation ROI by implementing the right digital strategy in their business. Companies like Walmart, Home Depot and Sephora are surprising their customers by constantly being creative in tapping the right technology.

Turning Challenge Into Opportunity

Technology ensures digital ubiquity in retail no longer remains an impediment for traditional retailers. It turns it into an opportunity by allowing retailers to go that extra mile to attract customers and build loyalty. It gives them more than ample options to be omnipresent in their customer’s journey and drive them to the store. After all, the customer can be in the driver’s seat, but organizations can still be the navigator. All they need is a trusted technology partner to make their digital transformation in retail a reality.

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InfoVision is a Global IT Services and Solutions company offering Strategic Resources, Enterprise Applications and Technology Solutions. InfoVision’s specialized Technology Solution offerings include Mobility, Outsourced Product Development, Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, DevOps, IoT, Testing Services and Cloud Services. InfoVision’s Integrated Value Delivery capability is the combination of proven talent, technical depth, delivery discipline and domain expertise.

2020 © Copyright InfoVision. All rights Reserved.

Remote Workforce at Scale
Remote Workforce at Scale Raju G

Remote Workforce at Scale: Key Lessons in Enterprise Infrastructure and Operations Management

Maintaining social distance and working remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak has changed our present working models and may also impact our collective future. While digital tools offer excellent support to remote workers, shifting work patterns on such a massive scale can have serious implications for cyber security, identity management and stress testing of the infrastructure.

Organizations need to urgently analyze their infrastructure and ensure they can maintain their business continuity in a secured fashion.

Enterprise Infrastructure and Operations Management Considerations

The ability to operate and succeed during this time will depend on a number of choices which can be grouped under four main categories:

  • Network Architecture

Considering a change from a physical focus to specific enterprise software can prove to be beneficial since it enables dynamic configuration. This can improve network performance as demand patterns change.  Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is one such arrangement wherein a desktop operating system runs and is managed in an on premises or cloud data center. Cyber security and a robust identity management protocol are extremely important before implementing any changes.

Communication is at the heart of an organization’s success. Consider putting applications to the cloud so that a company network is not necessary to access every time.

  • Customer Service Support

Customer service support is specific to companies, customers and divisions and tend to be more difficult to manage centrally. This can be managed by using cloud based project management tools which allow the customer support team to login from wherever they are and retrieve the necessary information/solution for the customer. Zendesk, Zoho Desk, Vision Helpdesk and HubSpot Service Hub are some of the customer relationship management (CRM) software available.

  • Operations Management

The need to transition to remote work mode has happened at lightning speed due to the current pandemic. However controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in such times require thinking in the following directions

  • Procuring laptops and other equipment to staff since there could be a disrupted supply chain
  • Working out how to preload the correct software on the equipment when offices are closed
  • Addressing communication and network issues such as VPN and VoIP capacity
  • Considering the extent of cloud based solutions for email, collaboration and conferencing. This should provide the flexibility to scale and work remotely.

Challenges to Remote Working

The challenges to adapt to remote working will vary from one company to another depending on its previous technology choices. Some of the issues to consider when it has been decided to work majorly towards remote working would be

  • Cyber Security

 More homes are getting connected and consumer IoT devices such as light bulbs, refrigerators and so on which are created without much security in mind are getting connected through the same Wi-Fi system. This puts corporate assets on the same Wi-Fi network thereby providing an entry point for hackers to reach corporate targets. 52% of the respondents of the CISCO 2020 Benchmark Report said that mobile devices are extremely challenging to defend. As employees bring corporate devices unto unsecure networks they also face an increasing number of phishing attacks as hackers tend to lure them with coronavirus related malware.

  • Identity Management

In an office setup identity management parameters can be defined precisely.  However, in a remote setup challenges could range from determining endpoint protection for home users, review of what software the remote workforce needs additionally, implementing 2 factor authentication, assessing the impact to firewalls, conditional access policies and other logging as well as updating the acceptable use policies for remote staff.

  • Stress Test

Stress testing refers to testing of software and/or hardware and the infrastructure to determine whether its performance is satisfactory under unfavorable conditions. The COVID-19 situation has created an enormous unplanned stress on an organization’s network resources and also human resources. This is because there is a need to secure employee health and network security while ensuring business continuity.

Scaling Remote Work-  6 Key Lessons in Enterprise Infrastructure and Operations Management

It is clear that businesses are scrambling to balance remotely connecting its workforce while producing revenue and supporting clients at the same time. Companies are rightly concerned about ensuring operational capabilities are in place first as well as locking down any security issues. Discussed below are some imperatives to assist smoother remote work

1.Reassess Priorities

The urgency and pressure of setting up staff for remote working is likely to shuffle priorities, which would mean assigning staff differently to ensure that the growing number of IT requests are taken care of. This translates to putting aside the necessary IT budget to ensure that the organization’s core infrastructure is ready to cope with remote work. It is also necessary to secure enough bandwidth to support VPN  by subjecting the network to necessary stress tests.

  1. Prepare For a Surge in Hardware Support Requests

IT infrastructure alone will not ensure a company’s systems, software and security are properly configured and operating well. When incorporating technology for remote work into the company infrastructure the following measures need to be implemented to overcome cyber security threats

  • Encrypt and install firewalls on all devices without exception.
  • Secure access to company systems
  • Ensure cyber incident response processes are strong
  • Install remote collaboration safeguards
3.Embed Cybersecurity in Business Continuity Plans

Cybersecurity and identity management teams should constantly upgrade security measures that include:

  • Guaranteeing emergency security access
  • Training backup teams and enable remote support
  • Putting clear communication plans in place
  • Adapting to the plans and be flexible in the current ever changing scenario
  1. Make the Remote Workforce Aware of the Security Risks

Cybersecurity training and awareness building initiatives are also critical to reducing risk. Some of the steps in this direction are

  • Training remote workforce to use new tools and features securely
  • Establish protocols for remote workers to authenticate each other for effective identity management
  • Prepare guidelines for best practices to avoid stress points for the infrastructure
  1. Document, Announce and Provide for Remote Meetings, Digital Collaboration and File Sharing

Meetings can be conducted via WebEx, Zoom or Skype securely. Whatever be the tool, clear communication must be sent out with regard to the same. The host should be extremely vigilant about the participants at all times. Enterprise level collaboration platforms such as Trello, Skype and Slack provide secure chat and project management capabilities. Commercial platforms should be avoided since they lack sufficient cyber security and identity management features . Organizations should therefore regularly review and assess  the security configurations of these platforms to detect any form of shadow IT set up to collaborate in unapproved ways.

  1. Start Planning for the Next Time

Building resilience into the existing system and having a disaster recovery plan should be an ongoing process. The University of Sussex, which is completely dependent on face to face interactions, is now completely closed in response to the global pandemic regulations. A week before the close down only 100 staff members had the ability to work from home via remote desktop protocol. But today 3000 staff and 19000 students can connect to the University. This massive switch has happened in super quick time. Jason Oliver, director of IT, at the University of Sussex says that they had to convert a 5 year road map to a one week deliverable. It adopted a digital transformation strategy which includes introduction of cloud based applications, networking and video conferencing technology.

Some of the tasks that need to be undertaken in an ongoing manner towards building resilience are

  • Finance personnel should be on the lookout for phishing, phone and email business scams especially those claiming to have connections with health organizations or charities
  • Procurement officers should ensure that contractual and other confidential data are shared using secure internet connections, enterprise file sharing solutions and encrypted company issued USBs only
  • All remote personnel to ensure proper verification of any requests from seniors from unknown entities

Conclusion

The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the vulnerabilities of the world’s health care systems and created a massive shift to remote working which has put existing enterprise infrastructure and security measures through extreme stress tests. However the necessary technology, digital tools and procedures for mitigating cyber security threats are available and can be implemented in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Additionally thoughtful planning takes into account digital modes of communication and collaboration can avoid potential cyber disruption and enable businesses to successfully continue operations.

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InfoVision is a Global IT Services and Solutions company offering Strategic Resources, Enterprise Applications and Technology Solutions. InfoVision’s specialized Technology Solution offerings include Mobility, Outsourced Product Development, Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, DevOps, IoT, Testing Services and Cloud Services. InfoVision’s Integrated Value Delivery capability is the combination of proven talent, technical depth, delivery discipline and domain expertise.

2020 © Copyright InfoVision. All rights Reserved.

Business Transformation Vs Digital Transformation
Business Transformation Vs Digital Transformation Raju G

Business Transformation Vs Digital Transformation

The corporate watchword today is transformation and for good reason. Be it digital transformation or business, their impact on businesses and consumers has so far, been unprecedented and disruptive. Business transformation encompasses the cultural shift in business processes driven by changing market demands. Digital transformation on the other hand, encompasses the tools and processes implemented to support business transformation.

Business Transformation

 

Business transformation is about identifying techniques or processes that are not performing to their maximum capacity and fixing them. Alternate solutions such as digitization or applying streamline technology, to gain further market share, increase revenue and raise customer satisfaction is what business transformation all about. The concept of transformation is not new. Companies have to constantly adapt and innovate in order to stay in business. The history of IBM shows how the technology pioneer has reinvented itself multiple times in the last 100 years.  Modern day customers choose to do business with organizations that are driven by personalized and seamless experiences. To successfully transform, each business requires a unique strategy that is centered around the customer and around the people in the company who get the work done.

Solution Transformation

Solution transformation is a kind of business transformation that focuses on solving a customer’s challenges in a holistic way.  This means rethinking how a product is built, bundled and sold to the customer to provide a complete product experience. Solution transformation particularly impacts well established companies that have built and acquired many products over the years but still go to market with an isolated set of point solutions. The benefits of solution transformation include

  • Lasting relationship with customers built on understanding their needs and solving their problems
  • Differentiated offerings that highlight the value of using a combination of products to provide a holistic solution
  • Cross sell opportunities since existing customer are open to trying additional products and services that meet their other needs

Why is Business Transformation Crucial?

Business transformation is about identifying what needs to change and strategically updating from within in a focused way. With the markets growing and expanding on a daily basis, prioritizing effectiveness and efficiency in the organization’s systems and the employees who use them is extremely important. It can help to drive lasting positive change in the people and their work through better leadership, strategy and culture. It is important to think of business transformation as an evolving strategy.

How to Implement Business Transformation
  • Strategy

The business transformation path begins with a strategy, which means having a clear picture of the end result to be achieved.

  • Desired Capabilities

Identifying which capabilities are desired to achieve the strategic goals such as processes, technology, talent.

  • Commitment to Change

The ability of the company to maintain the changes inculcated and not fall back on its earlier processes p is an absolute must to stay in competition in the market.

To achieve meaningful business transformation, organizations need to support it with a good Digital Transformation strategy.

 Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new or modifying existing business processes, culture and customer experiences to meet changing business needs and market requirements.  Today for established companies the pressure to digitize business models and products has reached a new intensity.

The benefits of digital transformation include

  • Investment in the right technology that will ensure growth and excellence in the long term
  • Growth opportunities in new and existing markets
  • Exceptional customer experiences that are personalized, responsive and hassle free
  • Efficiency gains through automated workflow processes

Data Transformation

A subset of Digital transformation, data transformation changes the way organizations make decisions by putting information at the core of innovation. It allows companies to gain deep intelligence into all aspects of the customer’s experience and provides information about areas of improvement. Data transformation impacts an organization immensely in many ways

  • Insightful reports with context enable making faster and informed decisions
  • Improved product and service development based on customer insights.
  • Strategic focus on achieving specific customer outcomes such as increased conversion rates and reduced churn
  • Use of data to experiment, measure and define new approaches
  • Additional revenue streams since aggregated data and its analysis is valuable to customers and employees

 Importance of Digital Transformation

Staying competitive in a constantly changing global marketplace depends on an organization’s ability to adopt new technologies. The International Data Corporation estimates that worldwide spending on technologies and services that enable digital transformation will reach almost $2 trillion in 2022. The importance of digital transformation is growing day by day and its importance is showing in various ways such as

  • Customer Experience

Providing customers with innovative products and meaningful interactions forges brand loyalty

  • Employee Experience

Digital transformation is not just about providing employees with the latest gadgets and apps but also about creating a simple, modern, more fulfilling experience for the employees

  • Process Optimization

Streamlined workflow, digital processes and automated tasks are ways organizations can create a seamless experience for great employee and customer experiences

  • Product Digitization

Using technology to enhance a product or service creates an agile infrastructure necessary to innovate and adapt to change and customer demands.

Factors for a Successful Digital Transformation

The State of Enterprise Digital Transformation survey found six core factors of success

  • Dedicated CXO Level Leadership

The survey found that 83% of digital transformations that are on track or ahead of  schedules are led by a CEO, CIO, CDO, CTO.

  • All in Approach

Transformations that are on track are 30% more likely to be structured as full scale  change initiatives. Piecemeal and partial transformations are likely to have limited  impact.

  • Defined Digital Roadmap

92% of transformations that are on target or ahead of schedule have a defined strategy and road-map.

  • Alignment Between Infrastructure and Apps

Conducting Development Ops functions audit is a good way of avoiding bottlenecks during digital transformation. An integrated DevOps approach is more likely to see success

  • Platform Mindset

Businesses that include IT infrastructure as a big part of their digital transformation are 36% more likely to have a better transformation success rate.

  • Commitment to Intelligent Operations

Companies that monitor IT performance in real time and remedy issues quickly are  24% more likely to undergo a successful digital transformation.

 Business Transformation Vs Digital Transformation

Although business transformation and digital transformation have some elements of cross over, the two are distinctly different

  • Business transformation is about the cultural shift and the underpinning of business processes that are driven by the changing needs of the market. Business transformation helps the organizations overcome market challenges, capitalize on changing technologies and change the way they do business.

  • Digital transformation on the other hand is about the tools and technologies used in order to drive change in an organization. It also addresses business processes which is where one of the major crossovers exists.

  • Business transformation focuses on the market and go-to market models

  • Digital transformation focuses on the technologies that support the above business efforts.

Conclusion

It is evident that business transformation and digital transformation go hand in hand and are critically important to the success of a company. Without either of them a company will not be able to sustain its relevance or competitiveness in the market.

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InfoVision is a Global IT Services and Solutions company offering Strategic Resources, Enterprise Applications and Technology Solutions. InfoVision’s specialized Technology Solution offerings include Mobility, Outsourced Product Development, Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics, DevOps, IoT, Testing Services and Cloud Services. InfoVision’s Integrated Value Delivery capability is the combination of proven talent, technical depth, delivery discipline and domain expertise.

2020 © Copyright InfoVision. All rights Reserved.

The Smart Role AI is Expected To Play in Epidemic Control
The Smart Role AI is Expected To Play in Epidemic Control Raju G

The Smart Role AI is Expected To Play in Epidemic Control

The role of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science can be crucial for the medical fraternity, law enforcement agencies, and societies to deal with the epidemic turned pandemic of COVID-19 effectively. With limitations of movement, enforced lockdowns, closure of travel routes, the AI can help in curtailing the damage and overcoming the crisis. The right implementation of AI technology also safeguards healthcare workers and officials from infection.

There are solid reasons to believe that the use of AI in this pandemic is vital. It was an AI system that first saw the coming of the COVID-19 crisis. On December 30, an artificial-intelligence based Canadian startup company BlueDot reported an unusual rise in pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. Within nine days of it disclosing the threat, the World Health Organization officially flagged COVID-19 as a global pandemic. An automated service at Boston Children’s Hospital called HealthMap and a model run by Metabiota, based in San Francisco also caught the initial signs. The ability to detect the early signs is a promising proposition for healthcare services. 

In What Ways Can AI Technology Help the Healthcare Sector?

When the right amount of data is fed into an AI system, it can draw inferences and recognize patterns. Thus, large volumes of patient histories, medical images, statistics, and other data can all be put to use. There are three main areas where AI could help the healthcare sector.

  1. Prediction

Organizations can use natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to monitor news sites and official healthcare reports from around the world, in whichever language it may be. These algorithms can then flag high-priority diseases, such as coronavirus in 2020, or more endemic ones, such as the ongoing threat of HIV or tuberculosis. They can also analyze air-travel data to assess the risk of infected people during transit. Social media posts can also be tabbed with NLP algorithms. Using AI posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other such platforms can be scanned and cross-referenced with descriptions of diseases taken from trusted sources.

Letting an AI technology identify the patterns rather than training it on preselected conditions can be a good way to address epidemic scenarios that the human race has not thought of. However, in such cases, human interpretation of data is needed to discard predictions that hold no threat.

  1. Early diagnosis

When AI is provided with sufficient data, it can then identify people who have been infected and pose a danger to others. When examining medical images, machine learning models can catch early signs of disease that human doctors may have missed. However, these models require a lot of data to learn from. In the future, effective tools in AI in epidemic could be built to detect early stages of diseases. Sharing of more patient data now will help train ML techniques even when little data is available at the time of any pandemic.

  1. Treatment

With the right kind of data, AI can also develop treatments for disease. To identify which drug works and which doesn’t, companies can use generative design algorithms. These algorithms produce a vast number of potential results. Professionals can then sift through the findings. This technique can be used to swiftly search through biological or molecular structures that will help pharmaceutical firms come up with medicines.

Smart Role of AI in Epidemic

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported that Chinese authorities relied on facial recognition cameras to track a man from Hangzhou with traveling history to an affected area. Once he was back, the local police were there to instruct him to self-quarantine or face repercussions. Spain has been using artificial intelligence to enforce the quarantine. Drones are being used to patrol and broadcast audio messages encouraging the public to stay at home. Authorities are distributing monitoring bracelets to people flying into Hong Kong airport. These bracelets alert the authorities if the flyers breach the quarantine by leaving their home. Some hospitals are already using smart devices to assist diagnosis and train stations have installed AI-empowered thermal imagers to take passengers’ temperature.

Artificial intelligence technology is fighting the COVID-19 outbreak n various specific ways:

  1. Diagnosing Corona Virus

To help front-line healthcare workers detect and monitor the disease, AI company Infervision, based in China, launched a coronavirus AI solution that can improve CT diagnosis speed. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, also built an AI-powered diagnosis system. They claim the system is 96% accurate at diagnosing the virus in seconds.

  1. Speeding up Claim Processing

Ant Financial’s blockchain platform helps speed up claims processing. It also reduces the amount of face-to-face interaction between patients and hospital staff.

  1. Delivering Medical Supplies using Drones

Drones also being used to patrol public spaces, track non-compliance to quarantine mandates, and for thermal imaging. Terra Drone is using its unmanned aerial vehicles to transport medical samples and quarantine material between Xinchang County’s disease control center and the People’s Hospital.

  1. Performing Tasks Using AI

Companies are deploying robots to complete tasks such as cleaning, sterilizing, and delivering food and medicine to quarantined individuals. They can also be used in telepresence systems for remote meetings, consultations, or simply to connect friends and family. Thus, use of robots reduces human-to-human contact. Blue Ocean Robotics’ UVD robots use ultraviolet light to autonomously kill bacteria and viruses.

  1. Communicating Using Chatbots

 

Chatbots are also proving an essential communication tool for healthcare providers to share information. They can be used to update patients on the latest procedures and treatments available to fight a pandemic.

5 Developing drugs

Google’s DeepMind used its AI algorithms to understand the proteins that might make up the COVID-19 virus, and shared their findings to help others develop treatments. BenevolentAI uses AI systems to build drugs that fight the toughest diseases. The company is now supporting the efforts to treat coronavirus. 

  1. Developing Advanced Protective Fabrics

Companies such as Israeli startup Sonovia are working to create face masks made from anti-pathogen and anti-bacterial fabric. The fabric will rely on metal-oxide nanoparticles and empower healthcare workers to stay protected from the virus.

  1. Developing the Vaccine for Coronavirus

Researchers are using the cloud computing resources and supercomputers of major tech companies such as Tencent, DiDi, and Huawei to develop a cure or vaccine for the Coronavirus. The systems are much faster than the standard computer processing and can thus run calculations and come up with solutions much quicker.

Conclusion

The potential of artificial intelligence in healthcare sector is enormous and rea. The right use of AI in epidemic can help the world win this fight against COVID-19. Researchers can work together to use AI in diagnosis, treatment, and cure of the disease. The various uses of AI and technology will also push the case for digital transformation in various sectors like retail, healthcare, manufacturing, education, and others. This would mean improved services for the consumer in every sector.

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How Tech Giants Can Fight Fake News on Coronavirus
How Tech Giants Can Fight Fake News on Coronavirus Raju G

How Tech Giants Can Fight Fake News on Coronavirus

Even before the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 12, the WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the world wasn't just fighting an epidemic but an ‘infodemic’ as well. As the reality of life under quarantine in this age of Coronavirus has crystallized, the fight with Coronavirus using technology is also gaining prominence.

Misinformation of the novel Coronavirus outbreak is everywhere online, ranging from conspiracy theories to unverified reports to malicious campaigns carried out by scammers. Major tech firms have made fighting misinformation a goal in recent years and the Coronavirus outbreak is testing their capacity to crack down on fake information during a global emergency.

According to cybersecurity firm, Checkpoint, 4000 new websites that mention Coronavirus in their name have been created this year and 3 percent of those are considered malicious.

Tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are acting fast in an attempt to quash misinformation as quickly as possible. Experts say there is little evidence of coordinated misinformation campaigns, the bigger threat is speculation and false rumors about the Coronavirus that is rapidly spreading on online forums.

What Big Tech Companies Are Doing to Fight Fake News on Coronavirus

With whole populations shut indoors all day and eager to stay informed about new developments, misleading tweets, posts, searches, advertisements and videos are flooding into homes around the world.

Scammers are trying to market products online stating them to be various cures for the virus, one such miracle drink is akin to drinking bleach as was clarified by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA). There is also a massive increase in the number of scam mails that try to get financial information or infect computers with malware through a message about the Coronavirus. Disinformation such as that the Coronavirus is a biochemical weapon that leaked from a Chinese laboratory, that it is caused by 5G because technology would absorb oxygen from the lungs, rinsing the nose with saline, taking hot baths and eating garlic will keep the virus at bay are making the rounds.

The tech giants have already realized that fighting Corona using technology to dispel rumours and false information is half the battle won and are putting in place measures to do just that.

The fight against Corona using technology is fast gaining traction. Tech companies have tried to intervene with varying degrees of success. Google announced a 24 hour incident response team dedicated to Coronavirus and has committed to scrubbing from Search and YouTube while promoting accurate information from health agencies. Facebook and Twitter have taken similar steps to ban content about Coronavirus that could cause harm – Both platforms have announced tools that highlight government agency information under searches related to Coronavirus related items.

Amazon restricted sales of protective masks after reports of hoarding poured in. The online retailer also removed more than 1M products that falsely claimed to protect people.  Google is struggling to keep removing ads selling masks to consumers while medical personnel desperately need them.  Democratic governments have responded to the infodemic too while addressing their nations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte each included warnings about disinformation in addresses to their nations. The question however remains as to how the average internet user can weather the storm.

This crisis is a moment of truth for tech platforms, as they are major arteries through which much information flows.

Here’s how some of the tech giants are fighting the menace of misinformation and fake news:

  • Fact Checking by Facebook (Including Messenger and Instagram)

The world’s largest media giant, Facebook, has tasked its fact checking partners with rating COVID-19 content as true or false. Once certain content has been labelled false, it will limit its spread and also intimate the individual(s) that the content has been fact checked. Any content flagged by WHO, CDC, and other such authorities, links will be directly removed. In addition to this, Facebook and Instagram will link users to official content on the WHO platform. Facebook is also giving WHO free advertising on their platform.

  • Twitter’s Fight Against Fake News

 Twitter, the microblogging platform has created a page that works as an information hub     to help people discover accurate information easily. In every country where the initiative has been launched they have partnered with either the National Public Health Agency or WHO directly in order to provide people with the most accurate information about the pandemic. The proactive search prompt is in place with official local partnerships in over 70 countries around the world.  They also have a dedicated COVID-19 event page which contains credible information about COVID-19 and is available at the top of the Home timeline for everyone in 30+ countries.

  • Limiting the Spread of Misinformation on WhatsApp

The world’s most popular chat application, has a built-in WHO Health Alert, a chatbot that gives people access to accurate information about COVID-19. Users can activate the chatbot by texting a phone number designated for sending out information either in English, French, Spanish or Arabic. The bot then answers users questions with travel advice, case statistics, symptoms to look out for and clarifications on popular rumours.

  • Identifying Misleading Content on YouTube

YouTube has been raising authoritative content with respect to the COVID-19 situation and  actively removing misleading or dangerous videos. This is being done through an Artificial Intelligence based technology. The homepage of YouTube directs users to videos from CDC and other locally relevant public health agencies.

Conclusion

Chief of Technology of the White House, Michael Kratsios, said, “Cutting edge technology companies and major online platforms will play a critical role in this all hands on deck”. Mid-February, tech companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon got together with WHO to discuss how to deal with fake news about the virus and plan to do so regularly. In this light, it is very heartening to see the fight against corona using technology growing by leaps and bounds. The Coronavirus is a clear enemy and tech companies continue to work together in an attempt to weed out false and misleading information.

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Coronavirus & Behavior Change: What Does it Mean for Brands?
Coronavirus & Behavior Change: What Does it Mean for Brands? Raju G

Coronavirus & Behavior Change: What Does it Mean for Brands?

Marketing experts would know that consumer behavior in epidemics such as the current COVID-19 pandemic is bound to change in myriad ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown all businesses and industries across the globe in a chaotic state. The impact of quarantine, closed stores, and social distancing will last long, even after the enforced lockdowns are lifted and will result in a permanent shift in consumer behavior.

During these times of crisis, innovation is what it will take for brands to flourish.  To cater to the consumer changing behavior during and after the epidemic, many companies will have to think of novel ways to encourage home-bound consumers to purchase their products. It is pertinent for brands to understand the consumer mindset – what is driving their purchases in these times and what are they not buying. How to respond and add value to this new reality of lifestyle is something brands need to figure out at the earliest.

How can Brands Adapt to the Changing Consumer Behavior

Here are some pointers for brands to consider and adapt their businesses accordingly.

Go Virtual

Going virtual over shopping in-store, attending online sessions over classroom learnings, holding video conferences over physical meetings, enjoying live streaming at digital platforms over late night parties, these changes could become the ‘way of life’ for consumers post corona crisis. Retailers, thus, have to look for ways to deliver virtual experiences rather than working on drawing crowds to their brick-and-mortar stores. Needless to say, stores have to invest in virtual experiences like in-store demonstrations that can be viewed online, or virtual salesperson who can engage with shoppers.

Go Digital

Bulk-buying, low contact commerce, and crowd avoidance shopping make up some prominent changes in consumer behavior during the epidemic. Till the end of last year, shoppers were accustomed to getting things delivered to their homes within a day or two. They never felt the need to stock up in advance. Online shopping portals such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and others delivered everything buyers needed on demand.

Now consumers are shopping online more frequently to purchase products they usually bought in-store. Thus, e-commerce sales, are expected to surge. Grocery apps in the US have experienced record numbers of daily downloads in March, according to app analytics company Apptopia. Consumers are turning to online grocery delivery, rather than risking a trip to the store themselves. Grocery delivery platforms such as Instacart, Walmart Grocery, and Shipt are seeing dramatic spikes in sales. The probability of consumers coming back and selecting stuff from the pre-loaded items on any online grocery site even after the crisis is over is very high due to its convenience. Additionally, contact-free delivery options by big brands play a vital role in the rise of such app demands.

Cater to the Demand for Non-essential Items

Since consumers are getting used to staying indoors, the demand for certain non-essential items that are required to stay occupied inside homes will increase. Shopping habits will now extend beyond grocery and essential stuff. These non-essential items may include exercise gear, hobby equipment, gardening tools, and home improvement DIY kits.

There are also chances that retailers themselves drive the change. As physical stores have been exposed the most by the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers might go in for quicker expansion into automation. They need to chalk out plans to deliver products efficiently during a crisis and even otherwise. Operations can now shift away from physical stores and warehouses. Drone delivery and automated warehouse processes could be the future calling.

Invest in Consumer Relationships

Retailers also need to invest in consumer relationships to deal with the changing consumer behavior in epidemic and distress management. Brands might get tempted to go into cost containment mode in times of crisis. However, by maintaining continued presence and delivering value for money, brands can earn the trust of its consumers. They must also work towards being a trusted source of accurate information or consumer-centric counsel and eliminate acts of profiteering and price gouging. On the way, they need to show empathy and give support to consumers who are facing a difficult time.

Acknowledge New Social Norms

Another sentiment as part of the changing consumer behavior during an epidemic is a feeling of being marginalized and alone.  However, knowing others are going through the same behavior change can be extremely reassuring during these uncertain times. Brands must thus play a crucial role in affirming new social norms to consumers. They need to pursue consumers in the right way, deliver value and be consistent during any behavioral change phase.

Conclusion

Coronavirus crisis has made it clear that consumers are adaptive and contextual decision-makers. During a crisis, consumer behaviors shifts fast, and things and behaviors are taken out of their automatic rhythms. In distressing times like these, brands need to grow keeping in mind the shift of consumer behavior as a result of the epidemic. More so, because there will be no such thing as going back to ‘normal’.

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How Can AI and VR Help Fight The COVID-19 Pandemic
How Can AI and VR Help Fight The COVID-19 Pandemic Raju G

How Can AI and VR Help Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the last few days and its rapid spread across several nations of the world has cast a grim and difficult shadow. This coupled with uncertainty of the future has only added to the anxiety. Governments, citizens and companies are pooling in their combined efforts to deal with the pandemic in order to prevent any further damage as far as possible. In the face of the coronavirus, digital technologies are vital for both, social health and economic performance.

A digital response to the COVID-19 pandemic can take multiple forms and bring significant value. Artificial intelligence(AI) and Visual Reality (VR) are today playing a huge role in detection, checking the spread and helping in hospitals to prevent cross contamination of the disease.

Fighting COVID-19 with Artificial Intelligence

A WHO report published last month said that AI and big data are a key part of the response to the disease in China. Here are some ways people are turning to AI to detect and fight the Coronavirus.

Disinfecting Robots

Danish Company, UVD Robots along with Sunay Healthcare Supply, distributed its robots in China. UVD’s robots drove around healthcare facilities spreading UV light to rooms in order to disinfect them. The XAG Robot has been deployed in Guangzhou to spray disinfectants.

These robotic solutions limit exposure of the medical staff thereby reducing contamination too.

Fever Detection in Public Places

One way AI detects possible presence of Coronavirus is through cameras equipped with thermal sensors. Hospitals, the airport and public health facilities in Singapore quickly adapted this method.

Baidu Approach

Baidu’s AI approach can combine computer vision and infrared sensors to detect the temperature of upto 200 people a minute within a range of 0.5 degree celsius. The system alerts authorities if it detects a person with temperatures above 37.3 degree Celsius (99.1 degree Fahrenheit) since elevated temperatures is one of the indicators of the COVID infection.

AI based Tele-ICU services in Israel

Predictive analytics platform CLEW is working with 2 Israeli hospitals to manage and treat patients infected with COVID-19 while protecting front line care workers. Their tele-ICU solution CLEW-ICU is being deployed at Sheba Medical Centre and Ichilov Hospital at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre. The platform uses AI based predictive analytics to exponentially expand ICU capacity and resources. Its algorithms are trained to identify respiratory deterioration in advance enabling early intervention that might change the clinical outcome in the COVID-19 patients.

Drug Development

AI can be used for the identification and validation of novel drug targets for the COVID-19 virus as this requires screenings of large amounts of medical data. This system is used for iterative drug discovery processes involving data mining, hypothesis generation, lead compound identification and optimization. Therefore by rapidly and accurately scanning millions of combinations AI can predict the suitability of a molecule for drug development. Subsequently, AI can be used to assess potency, selectivity and binding affinity towards the intended target.

Virtual Reality to Fight COVID-19

There is a shift in individual behaviour due to the social distancing norms being practised across the world. This self quarantine places a huge limitation on the traditional work environment. Yet the COVID-19 situation has given a lift to the virtual and digital world. With a large number of individuals compelled to work remotely, organisations are trying to make the best use of the collaboration tools available in order to keep work going.  During these phenomenal times, VR offers a solid option to video calls where all individuals involved can be in the same virtual space. Work can be shared in real time and in a collaborative manner through VR. Members can visit simulations to improve procedures and record content too. An additional advantage of VR is that all distractions can be expelled and individuals can completely focus on the job on hand.

Some Chinese hospitals even let doctors put on VR headsets to virtually visit potential COVID-19 patients in isolation wards.

Conclusion

The fight against COVID-19 will be a long drawn one with far reaching impacts. Technology innovations can help to minimize the impact and possibly win this war for humans.

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Work in the Time of Corona. 7 Tools to Make Working From Home Efficient
Work in the Time of Corona. 7 Tools to Make Working From Home Efficient Raju G

Work in the Time of Corona.
7 Tools to Make Working From Home Efficient

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak has led to companies around the world asking employees to work from home. Professionals, who had never worked from home earlier have also moved on to working from their self-quarantined homes as work can’t stop. Undoubtedly, social distancing curtails the pandemic, however, not having the right tools can lead to loss of productivity, miscommunication, and lower business output.

Here is a list of some of the best tools that is helping people around the world to stay productive and work as a team while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Zoom for Video Conferencing

Zoom was already a popular tool before the Corona outbreak, being a leader in 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions. Not surprisingly, it has now emerged as the go-to tool for WFH teams, educationists, governments and healthcare services. Effective communication is more than just hearing voices and following the presentation slides. Zoom checks all those boxes and provides an easy interface to have the team meetings and board room discussions.  Zoom’s video chat application allows big team meetings that include lots of remote workers. The Pro, Business and Enterprise versions of Zoom can support large meetings with up to 500 participants.

  1. Slack for Real-Time Communication

Employees send and receive close to a hundred emails daily; which can lead to lost communication. Slack is a widely used collaboration tool that reduces the number of internal emails in a company. Staff can direct-message team members or smaller groups. Employees can also set up channels by subject matter like tech, marketing, sales, or around departments, projects, employee fan clubs, etc. Channels ensure that only the relevant people see the message. Team members who do not need to be involved full time can still drop in the channel to see its status. Slack also integrates with Google Docs and DropBox. The bottom line is, Slack improves productivity even during normal circumstances and is now working brilliantly during the COVID-19 induced social distancing.

  1. Trello for Project Management

Trello is a great tool for effective project management and has now become very popular since the COVID-19 outbreak. It is built around the concept of bulletin boards each of which represents a project. Managers can view a Trello board and get status updates and due dates on projects.

Various columns in the tool ease the project management process. Projects that are in the pipeline go under the ‘unassigned’ column; when a team is assigned to the project, it is moved to ‘assigned.’ Once the project team starts working, it goes under ‘drafting’ columns. After the completion of the project, it is moved out of the remaining three steps.

Each board allows teams to create lists, which they then populate with cards. These cards are then assigned to specific team members, labeled, given a deadline, and comments or attachments are added.

  1. Basecamp for Project Management

In this time of coronavirus, professionals are also using Basecamp for project management which has some unique features. To record minute of the meetings, Basecamp has message boards. This comes handy for employees who need to step in and get things moving quickly. Additionally, the chat feature makes it easy for anyone to ask questions and get instant feedback.

Basecamp has an automatic check-in to keep project managers abreast of the latest in the project. The ‘To-do lists’ feature makes it clear who is responsible for what role and the responsibilities around it. All the team members access files from one place. File storage location also acts as a backup disk.

The central schedule keeps employees up to date on major milestones, vacation schedules, and any other upcoming events that impact the project deliverables.

  1. Google Apps for Document Management

Remote working during CVOID-19 means access to your company LAN may not always be possible and that can impact document management. Google Drive offers unlimited storage of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and PDFs. Google online suite is a place where employees create, share, access, evaluate, edit, and provide feedback. With Goggle Drive, sharing and co-working between remote workers can be done in real-time. Employees just copy and paste a link and send it around on emails or chats, and everyone in the team can view it without downloading anything. Additionally, everyone can work on the same document online simultaneously. The best part is that everything is backed up. If a team member’s computer crashes, everything will still be saved on Google Drive. With Google Docs every employee can access the most recent version as well as the past versions online anytime anywhere.

  1. Taggbox for Connectivity

Work from home creates chaos and complexity in communications. With everyone working remotely, it can be a cumbersome and time-consuming task to collect and curate all the necessary employee-generated content from various internal communication tools like the Workplace, Yammer, Slack, etc. Taggbox makes it a simple task to embed all this data on a website or display on independent digital screens like mobiles, laptops, Home Tv, etc. with just a URL for people working from home.

Employees can aggregate their communication content from Team groups, task ID’s, projects, knowledge-sharing from varied platforms into a feed via Taggbox. They can also share the live feed with their superiors, management, team leaders, and team members; which is all very important due to the uncertainty around COVID-19.

  1. Teamviewer for Screen Sharing

File transfer, clipboard transfer, wake-on-LAN, and easy setup make Teamviewer a great option for screen sharing among professionals who need basic desktop access during the WFH imposed on account of coronavirus outbreak . To access Teamviewer, no port forwarding is necessary, and very little firewall futzing is required. The tool also supports two-step authentication. Team viewer also allows users to provide remote access to the system to another user. Users can organize, manage, and store the screen sharing sessions.

Conclusion

These are some of the best tools that are helping employees manage work from home without hampering their team’s productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. Technology is playing a huge role in helping governments, organizations and the common man around the world fight the current coronavirus pandemic. Who knows, maybe WFH might even become a norm after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, thanks to the tools technology is bringing us.Until then, find the tools most suitable for you and your team and get started. Stay Home, Stay Safe.

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