6 Business Continuity Strategies to Implement Post COVID-19

The health crisis of COVID-19 impacted businesses, people, and communities in numerous ways, causing us to change our strategies and the way we live going forward. This means that businesses are adapting to an incredibly new business landscape that’s changing the way we will work for the foreseeable future. Organizations are challenged with reinventing strategies, enabling virtual teams with remote workspaces, and exploring what’s possible for creating new innovations. Here are some key strategies to implement to accelerate business continuity and transition to a new working world:

Establish Your Team Leaders

The greatest asset any organization has are its people. Choose the team members with proven reliability, organization skills, and strong leadership qualities, especially under pressure. Situations like COVID-19 can prove to be stressful, so it is wise to choose to your Business Continuity team with these things in mind. Some roles you might consider designating specifically for Business Continuity purposes are Executive Business Continuity Manager (overall Team Lead), Communication Lead, IT Lead, Human Resources, Facilities/Maintenance, and Operations/Logistics Lead. These roles can depend on your specific business needs and internal departmental breakdown. Once you’ve decided your key players, it’s time to evaluate the primary business processes that need to continue in case of business disruption.

Document & Identify Critical Processes

From internal human resources processes like payroll processing, retirement plan administration, healthcare benefits to business operations such as supply chain management, customer support, operational processes, each of these requires certain access to various technology and secure applications. It is important to know if these processes will still be able to be performed with the current systems architectures and IT tools in place. That leads us into the next strategy, where we connect each process with existing resources in place to determine if the business continuity plan being developed will need specific changes, updates, or additions.

Identify Key Technology and Tools

Performing a proper assessment of current tools and technologies to validate capability will reveal where there might be gaps that need to be filled. One key question to consider is “Will these tools and technologies we currently have in place work in the case of a future change in working environment?” The answer to this will help identify what potential technologies or tools that might be needed in order to continue seamlessly operating with minimal disruption. Need help strategizing? Learn more about how to leverage cloud technology to improve business operations and increase performance efficiencies here.

Consider Contingency Technology and Tools

Is your system architecture set up for a new working structure for virtual teams? Is your cloud strategy crystal clear and strong enough to handle changing needs in terms of scalability and operations? Is it ready in case of another change in the working environment or future disaster? For example, it might be necessary to set up virtual workspace situations for employees. As a preferred AWS partner, Idexcel can help implement AWS Workspaces solutions in your organization – enabling business continuity by providing users and partners with a highly secure, virtual Microsoft Windows or Linux desktop. This setup grants your team access to the documents, applications, and resources they need, anywhere, anytime, from any supported device. Learn more about how we can help do that here.

Build A Customer Communication Plan

Communication with your staff, clients, and partners is perhaps the most important element of these strategies. The more they hear from you, the better off you will be with establishing trust and reliability. When communicating, be sure to follow these 3 guidelines:

1. Timing is everything. Responding quickly is key to establishing trust, visibility, and proactivity. It’s critical to be timely with messaging and depending on that communication sent, to give proper response and planning time to the recipient.

2. Be clear, concise, authentic, and provide value. Keep your communications simple and to the point. Create messaging that provides value, help, and support during any business changes or possible disruptions. Another key tip: keep it positive and avoid the use of negative words to evoke a more positive feeling and reaction to the communication. The more authentic and personable the messaging, the more likely you are to receive a positive response and invoke a sense of comfortability.

3. Leverage all communication channels. Social Media is a great way to keep in touch with your audience. Employees, clients, and partners alike are all very active, especially on LinkedIn, given it’s a key point of communication and connection digitally among professionals. Keep up with email communication with your teams internally as well, checking in often and also checking in how it may have impacted them.

Set Your Organization Up for Innovation

With a Business Continuity plan in place and the team assembled, now might be the time to consider strategically planning for innovative solutions. Specific technologies can be implemented to ensure accelerated business continuity measures are in place to better set your business and teams up for success.

For example, many organizations are adopting Machine Learning solutions with RPA (Robotic Process Automation). Many websites are using chatbots for answering general FAQs asked by the customers, eliminating the need for personnel to respond, and enabling them to focus on other tasks. They can positively impact the customer’s experience and are an ideal tool for short-staffed employers, saving thousands of hours of productivity and cost.

If you need help strategizing and creating your business continuity plan, get in touch with us to get connected with an expert.

What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud

What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud

Moving to the Cloud might be on every organization’s agenda, but the constant question to ask is, “Are these organizations ready to make a move to the Cloud?” The benefits of the Cloud might be numerous, but every organization needs to be prepped before the move can be successfully made. To get the most out of the move to the Cloud, here are a few necessary steps which need to be performed before moving to the Cloud.

Does the Cloud Have all the Resources to Sustain Your Needs?

The first step is to understand what resources you would need to post your move into the Cloud. During the investigation stage, check what hardware your business already has, and all you would need to move to the Cloud successfully. You need to take into consideration all your applications, web servers, storage possibilities, databases, along with the other necessary components. These days, most businesses are relying heavily on AWS services, along with databases like RDS and NoSQL to do their bidding.

An organization can make use of AWS services like EC2, S3, Glacier, and RDS amongst many other things. This way, one can understand the Cloud and its service options, while there are other ways to understand the different resources available within the Cloud. The idea is to know if these resources are enough for you to manage your deliverables.

Which Applications Go First?

This concept is a crucial factor since an organization can have a series of applications, which need to be migrated to the Cloud. During the migration stage, an organization has an option to push everything in one single instance or migrate slowly and steadily over some time. If you are doing the latter, you might want to identify the most critical applications to be relocated, which might be followed by the rest of the applications. On the contrary, you can try and push those applications which have minimum complexity, and dependencies, so that post-migration, there is minimum impact on production and operations.

How do You Use Scalability and Automation?

The Cloud is well known for its scalability and automation options, amongst other benefits. If you are using AWS, then you will soon understand that you have the opportunity to design a scalable infrastructure, right at the initial stage, which can help support increased traffic, while allowing you to retain your efficiency model. You have the liberty and flexibility to scale horizontally and vertically, depending on the resource availability. These are some excellent discussions which can be looked at, right during the planning stage, as these are primary factors worth considering in the long run.

How does Software Licensing Work?

Software licensing might look like a cake walk, but the reality is far from it. After moving into the Cloud, your software might need some additional licensing, which might not be available as and when you need it; this can be discussed with the Cloud vendor, at the time of negotiations. Licensing might seem like a big step, involving heavy financial budgeting; make sure you speak to your legal and business teams, before finalizing the list of software to be moved to the Cloud.

How Can We Make the Transition?

One has to understand that moving to the Cloud is no simple task. Having said this, it is essential to decide the migration plan, and what all it will entail. There is a lot of critical planning which goes into determining the type of Cloud service to undertake; an organization needs to weigh the pros and cons of each kind of Cloud model, and accordingly make a move. There are three types of Cloud services which are currently prominent: private, public, and hybrid. As per the cost, security needs, and other factors, an organization can narrow down the options and choose the one with the best fit.

What About Training Staff to Work in the Cloud?

While this might seem to be a bit overrated, it’s nonetheless essential to train your staff to work on the Cloud more seamlessly and efficiently. Rest assured, your team would face a few teething issues, considering the exposure to an altogether new environment, which might not seem as conducive in the beginning, as you might want it to be. Identify the teams which will be on-boarded to the Cloud first, and create elaborate training manuals to help the teams move forward and adopt the Cloud to the best possible extent.

See how Idexcel can help your cloud migration strategy with a free Asset discovery and Dependency mapping report

Infographic: Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits

Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits: Know more about cloud migration facts and figures, business benefits of cloud migration, how to calculate migration cost and cloud migration investments. See the below infographic for more details.

Infographic: Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits

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Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

Six Cloud Migration Strategies for Applications

The Cloud has become the go-to computing point for enterprises these days. Many companies prefer to transition their existing apps to the Cloud, simply because of the security and efficiency benefits the platform can provide. No matter the type of IT environment within your enterprise, chances are the Cloud will prove to be beneficial.

Moving to the Cloud needs to be practical and resourceful; it does not have to be simultaneous and all at once. In other words, some applications should be run in the traditional manner, while some can slowly and steadily be transitioned to the Cloud. With this mode, one can make use of the hybrid Cloud model, wherein a few apps can work on the Cloud, while others are slowly and steadily moved over.

If you are also looking at making use of the Cloud for running your business-related apps, then it is time to check out the following options available for the process.

Re-Hosting

Re-hosting is all lift and shift since it entails redeploying apps to a cloud-based environment, where changes are made to the app’s host configuration. This type of migration is not only easy but also considered to be a quick and seamless transition methodology.

What makes this solution appealing is the use of the re-hosting capabilities with the likes of AWS VM Import/Export; however, this does not stop customers from learning as they go. In other words, once apps are in the Cloud, redesigning them to meet your current demands is an easier task. Generally speaking, re-hosting as a migration option is best suited for large-scale enterprise transitions. With such extensive scale migrations, enterprises can realize cost savings up to 30%, without having to involve any cloud optimizations.

Re-Platforming

Re-platforming is all about migrating applications, and their components, to a cloud-managed platform without having to change the core application architecture. The essential idea is to run applications on the Cloud provider’s platforms, which entails replacing the configuration of the app’s architecture, without worrying about the implementation of developer cycles.

Backward compatibility is an added advantage of re-platforming, as it allows developers to reuse known resources, without going into the nuances of new app development. However, at the same time, re-platforming is a relatively new concept and is yet to gain the necessary traction in the PaaS market.

Re-Architecting

As the name suggests, this method is all about re-architecting existing applications to run smoothly in the Cloud platforms by leveraging the features or services provided by the cloud provider. This feature usually comes into play, when an enterprise is interested in customizing and developing the software within the Cloud, to cater to new ventures or software needs. However, this comes with its own set of disadvantages, which translates into the loss of legacy codes and known development frameworks.

Despite the disadvantages, it is difficult to overlook the advantages it brings with it. When you look at re-architecting as a migration option, it opens up the enterprise’s access to a series of world-class developing tools, which are available on the cloud provider’s platform. Such advantages include the likes of pre-designed customizable templates, along with a set of data models, which can enhance productivity greatly.

Re-Purchasing

Repurchasing often means that old application platforms are discarded with the aim to purchase new ones or to upgrade to the newer versions. Through the repurchasing option, enterprises can deploy the use of SaaS platforms, such as Drupal and Salesforce.com in a more secure, efficient manner. While it comes with its own set of disadvantages, this option offers companies a better view of their app deployment strategies.

Retiring

During the migration process, an enterprise has to do a deeper dive into the list of its owned apps’ this would mean going through every app which needs to be migrated and further trying to understand its uses and cost to the company. If the company feels the app is obsolete or not worth the money and effort of migrating to the Cloud, it can be downsized, and removed from the existing kit — this not only simplifies the cost and translates into saving for the company, but also makes it better for an enterprise to promote scalability and efficiency.

Retaining

This process involves holding back applications from migration which could either attract a significant amount of time in rearchitecting to be able to run in the cloud or are not migration ready as they were upgraded recently and may turn out to be a costly affair if migrated. One may also decide to retain an application if the cloud doesn’t support the app or if there is an existing sunk cost associated with the application.

Depending on the need of the hour and the immediate uses, an enterprise can pick and choose the best available option, when it comes to migrating to the Cloud. An enterprise needs to weigh the pros and cons of the selected method and act on it accordingly. This way, there is a lot of effort which is saved in running old apps in a traditional and unconventional manner.

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