Imagine Magic Video, a fastest-growing fictional video platform in the United States that lets customers create and share videos.
Magic Video started small with a 50,000 user-base. After investing heavily in its video platform product, the user base increased to more than 300,000 within a year, and up to 500,000 monthly active users in just two years.
With growth, comes challenges for a company. User experience is extremely critical for Magic Video. Some users started experiencing latency and stopped using the application. Also, Magic Video faced increased competition, which led to a dip in its bottom line.
Eventually, Magic Video developed aggressive expansion plans and sought out a reliable technology partner to help the company accelerate content delivery and maximize bandwidth – enabling users to access its website and application without any type of delay.
This whitepaper describes:
- Challenges that Magic Video faced before implementing Alibaba Cloud’s solutions
- How Alibaba Cloud’s solutions help Magic Video build a global hybrid enterprise network, accelerate content delivery of the application, and maximize bandwidth?
Communication remains the backbone of all sectors and industries, connecting all stakeholders. The organisation must consider the cost, scalability and efficiency of communications. Many businesses have switched from Public Switched Telephone Networks (PTSNs) to cloud communications.to better and more effectively meet their needs.
There are numerous benefits to using cloud telephony over traditional landline services, including costs. Moreover, with lower fixed investment, cloud communications are more cost-effective.
Apart from the initial investment, the reduction in maintenance and commutes associated with face-to-face meetings results in lower overall expenses and increase staff efficiency. With reduced travel time to and from appointments and the office, the number of conversations and virtual meetings per day increases exponentially.
Migration to cloud-based systems results in faster and more efficient communications with significantly greater reach and flexibility. Cloud solutions allow for easy downsizing or expansion without significant capital investments. Ease of scaling with reduced capital outlay allows organisations to respond more quickly to fluid environments.
Given that the hybrid workplace is here to stay, cloud communications remain the primary solution for meeting the rising demand for effective organisational communications across a diverse geography and variety of gadgets. Cloud calling allows businesses to make and receive calls from any phone or internet-connected device in any location.
Cloud communications’ user-friendly features make it easier for employees to adapt to the technology. Features like breakout rooms allow multiple sub-groups to convene during a call, replicating face-to-face meetings in offline offices. In addition, sessions are greatly enhanced by features such as file sharing, which can be accomplished by sending files or sharing a screen.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight with Thailand’s top public sector leaders on 08 December 2022 at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel provided current information on the benefits of the most recent cloud technology that can help the nation’s public, education, financial services, and healthcare sectors.
Cloud Communications to Drive Productivity
Cloud communications can become a solution for eliminating bad connections and lag in connectivity, says Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia. Moreover, cloud technology has drastically changed how businesses communicate.
Digital communication strategies include the replacement of traditional telephony with cloud-based unified communications (UC) platform systems to increase digital agility and flexibility.
During the pandemic, internet-based communication platforms provided significant benefits to businesses. One of the challenges of a hybrid work environment is that employees must be able to access the system from any location. They must also be able to connect regardless of the device they use.
Cloud communications have become the primary solution to address meeting the growing demand for effective organisational communications. This technology conveniently and practically supports a work-from-anywhere model. Such platforms assist companies in integrating their existing business applications in a seamless, user-friendly and powerful cloud-based technology.
In terms of cost, cloud communication is a great return on investment, with low deployment costs and easy scalability. Virtual meetings result in reduced expenses due to lower maintenance and transportation costs. Cloud telephony combined with cloud communication solutions, enables businesses to make and receive phone calls from any internet-connected device.
A cloud communications platform helps businesses to make the most of their resources. It can accelerate procedures, simplify implementation and offers flexibility all while providing unlimited high-volume information exchange. In addition, organisations can quickly analyse and scale cloud services and business operations according to their current needs.
Communication gets more complicated and complex every day with each additional tool and app that’s available. All stakeholders – employees, customers, and prospects – have preferences and expectations about how, when and where they do business. Cloud is a user-friendly solution that meets a plethora of needs and is a must in a communication-centric landscape.
The world is experiencing two massive shifts nowadays: productivity and remote working, says Dinesh Bedi, Solution Engineering Manager, Zoom Phone APAC accentuating the importance of communication applications.
As a result, businesses are under intense pressure at the macro level to improve productivity, adapt quickly and handle the steep competition.
There is also an increasing proclivity worldwide to work remotely or in a hybrid environment. People want the option to work remotely, and they are demanding advanced tools and communications capabilities to perform their jobs.
Organisations must meet the needs of this new hybrid environment and ensure everyone has a high quality of service regardless of situation or geography.
“75% of senior HR managers agree that collaboration, constant communication, and a mentorship culture between managers and teams will become the future mandate of a high-performing workplace,” Dinesh cites.
This VUCA business environment is an incredible opportunity for companies to move beyond essential communication into universal communication, building intuitive connections to all parties – employees, customers, and investors – regardless of location, device, or business activity.
There are several issues to tackle when it comes to enabling cloud communication applications. Decision makers often are inclined to maintain their existing systems, adding embedded tools or integrating with other software packages which only meet some needs. Alternatively, they may use multiple solutions depending on the situation. For example, organisations may use one communication solution for internal collaboration and a different product for customers, investors and external events.
Although these approaches offer some flexibility, they create unnecessary confusion. Different environments for customers, employees and prospects force people to switch between multiple solutions depending on their needs. Employees can become disconnected and frustrated. Customers have a disjointed and unprofessional experience with the brand. In the end, these options can slow down business.
The question is: why does this matter? The reason – 32% of customers will “break up” with a favourite brand after just one poor customer experience. The hard reality today is that communication is a critical path activity. If the communications fail, the company falls on a business-critical path.
With Zoom, users can use zoom API and SDK to offer new services and products to their customers. Zoom SDK enables users to build Zoom into new products and services and create additional revenue streams for the business. Feedback from a few past Zoom customers shows that video engagement services improve net promoter scores by 70%.
The company aims to improve productivity, remove silos, improve responsiveness and streamline the process. Zoom also works to reduce customers’ costs, minimise the burden of IT-related jobs, and create a seamless experience for users. The cloud communication platform promises to deliver consistency across multiple use cases.
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
Cloud communications have become the go-to option for addressing the expanding need for effective organisational communications, especially in a hybrid workplace. Thanks to cloud communications, organisations may scale up or down to meet shifting demands says Theresa Mathawaphan, Chief Strategy Officer National Innovation Agency. Cloud computing has the capability and agility to comply with the demands of the new normal.
Be that as it may, organisations face the harsh reality of budgets when implementing any platform. To address these constraints, Theresa suggests a start-up mentality. She cites the example of a company that started small with three on-premises server rooms and worked its way, step by step, to the cloud.
She also explained the government policy around cloud communication, which provider they choose and what type of security they use.
“We are not very big in terms of a budget. So we can start small when you don’t have a big budget – doing MVP first. As an executive, we need to think in two layers. First, see the low-hanging fruit, something you can start now, something that is visible. But at the same time, you also need to think in a big layer, strategy, budget, long-term plan and the infrastructure,” she believes.
There are several benefits an organisation can take from the cloud; it enables the user to start small, test out how it works, shift, invert or pivot, or keep up with what the organisation is currently doing.
Another challenge is how to convince decision-makers to agree to cloud adoption. Theresa shares some tips on the issue. First, seeing is believing; people can’t just motivate their top management or make them think. Management needs to experience and know first-hand how the solution can improve the business.
“It’s kind of a roadshow. Let them see what is going on. Then, take them to other organisations to make them see it with their own eyes. Because people don’t believe your words only,” explains Theresa. Once they recognise the value, leaders can come up with a business plan and the actual numbers.
Dinesh is convinced, like any other cloud solution, cloud communication brings about scalability and agility. As a result, companies are already transitioning from traditional office culture to cloud culture.
With the trend toward remote work digitalisation being well established, a new corporate culture – the cloud culture – has replaced the traditional 9-5 mindset and office culture. The hybrid or remote model of work, enabled by the cloud, can satisfy both organisational demands and keep employees happy.
Both Mohit and Dinesh agree that happy employees keep customers comfortable and, this, in turn, ensures business growth.
Moreover, in terms of implementation in business settings, to convince top management to buy in for the cloud communication solution, education and experience are necessary.
To add more confidence in the implementation from the top level, the next step is to prepare a plan and RoI. On the employee level, the adoption rate of a cloud communication solution depends on the simplicity and convenience of its user experience. If it’s not simple, there’s hardly any inclination to adoption and little chance for success.
Mohit agrees that for the IT department, cloud communication needs to be a unified experience and the cloud environment needs to be able to speak with other settings.
Ultimately, cloud communications are the premiere solution that can manage the growing demand for effective organisational communications in the post-COVID era where remote working in a VUCA environment is the norm, Mohit concludes.
Four industry titans in technology have been given contracts for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), according to the Department of Defense (DoD) of the U.S.
JWCC is a multiple-award contract vehicle that will give the DoD the chance to obtain commercial cloud capabilities and services directly from the commercial Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) at the pace of mission, at all classification levels, from the corporate headquarters to the tactical edge.
With this Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle, cloud services can be provided more quickly and at commercial cost, if not better.
The following capabilities will now be available to warfighters under a single contract thanks to JWCC: global accessibility, readily available and resilient services, centralised management and distributed control, usability, commercial parity, elastic computing, storage, and network infrastructure, advanced data analytics, fortified security, and tactical edge devices.
Those interested in knowing more about JWCC, register for the JWCC Customer Portal or contact the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC), can visit this website.
To make cloud purchasing, provisioning, and onboarding simpler for DoD clients, DISA has created user-friendly cloud accelerators.
In addition, the DoD MIIs build a national network of public-private partnerships, establish an industrial common for manufacturing R&D, and advance workforce education and development while accelerating new technologies using federal funding combined with matching investment from academia, industry, and state governments.
The network strategically coordinates resources to solve important technologies and create interconnected manufacturing systems by marshalling the greatest talent from around the nation. The nine MIIs supported by the DoD are under the direction of ManTech, the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program.
Finding industry partners, including small enterprises, that have cutting-edge technology that could help the warfighter is essential to the DOD MII mission. DoD makes investments in these sectors of advanced manufacturing through the MIIs.
Conversations with some research institutes earlier this year shed light on how the DoD and the country are benefiting from the pace of technology.
Combining silicon integrated circuits with semiconductor lasers is known as silicon photonics – a speciality of the American Institute of Manufacturing — Integrated Photonics.
Compared to conventional electronics, this technology allows for faster data transfer over greater distances while making use of the advantages of high-volume silicon production.
COVID sensors are some of the most fascinating applications for photonics. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provided funding for sensors that can identify COVID-19 from a drop of blood in less than a minute.
In various sensor regions of the chip, there are proteins linked to SARS-CoV-2 and eight other viruses. Antibodies to those viruses will bind to the proteins in a blood sample and be found if a person has been exposed to any of the viruses.
On the other hand, additive manufacturing creates parts that can be formed of ceramics, rubber, metal, plastic, rubber, and polymers. The ability of the military to build parts additively improves its capacity for swift and agile operations, particularly in hostile circumstances.
The qualification and certification of processes and materials are other areas of emphasis for some manufacturers. The primary obstacle to manufacturers fully embracing additive manufacturing is a lack of training and certification.
The manufacturing sector also examines how the supply chain’s capacity compares to the need for components made additively.
Together, these initiatives are assisting the U.S. in strengthening its manufacturing sector and taking the lead in global competitiveness.
Communication remains the backbone of organisational operations and has been bolstered by cutting-edge technology. Many organisations have migrated from Public Switched Telephone Networks (PTSNs) to cloud communications, which resulted in faster and more efficient communications with vastly increased reach.
Cloud communications remain the primary solution for meeting the growing demand for effective organisational communications in the hybrid workplace. It is agile enough to adapt to ever-changing business environments while keeping mission-critical business functions unified on all levels.
Organisations can place and receive phone calls using cloud calling from phones and any internet-connected device, including computers and tablets, from any location with an internet connection.
Cloud communications’ inherent capacity enables organisations to expand as needed without regard to geographical boundaries quickly. It makes it simple for organisations to scale up to accommodate changing needs. Less capital expenditure means expansion can be undertaken and completed more quickly, resulting in increased
These possibilities make businesses more accessible and responsive to customers. Having scalability and flexibility in communications regardless is a vast advantage irrespective of a company’s geographical spread.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight with the Philippines’ top public sector leaders on 6 December 2022 at the Dusit Thani Manila provided the current information on the benefits of the most recent cloud communications technology that can greatly empower the nation’s public, education, financial services and healthcare sectors.
Intensifying the Cloud’s Role in Fostering Digital Transformation
The adoption and implementation of cloud-based strategies are currently used by businesses of all sizes to boost growth and profits, says Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia. Moreover, cloud technology has drastically changed how businesses communicate.
Cloud technology is bringing massive change to how various sectors of modern-day digital communities interact with each other. Cloud communications vendors allow businesses to delegate management of their IT infrastructure by taking on provisioning, switching, data storage and security responsibilities. The cloud’s cutting-edge features and functionality facilitate unprecedented staff collaboration and communication across time and space.
These changes have transformed the way people work where employees experience increased levels of productivity. With the cloud, people have the option to follow the traditional work model, a hybrid one, or a purely remote work model. Such possibilities for workers also translate to added advantages for employers with geographical boundaries; hiring only locally has become passé.
A hybrid or remote work setting makes cloud communications a necessity. Collaborative technology like cloud communications allows employees to transition or shift from one work model to another without losing productivity, effectiveness or efficiency. However, Mohit cautions, remote and hybrid models can still fail if they are not built on the right technology.
As shared by one of the attendees, their company did not experience any downturn when the pandemic hit because they were prepared for remote work. The experience of this company highlights that preparedness with the right technology enables an organisation to weather a black swan event.
Having workers functional in various locations amid an unexpected situation will prevent work disruptions. Moreover, a company gets empowered to collaborate with other groups and individuals regardless of their geographical location. Globalisation is further strengthened with cloud communications technology.
Cloud communications allow businesses to maximise resources by facilitating rapid deployment, enhanced adaptability and unlimited high-volume data sharing. Additionally, the safety measures built into cloud communication ensure compliance with privacy regulations.
Cloud security refers to the set of tools, protocols, and best practices used to keep cloud-based servers, apps and data safe. The first step in protecting cloud services is gaining an awareness of what must be protected and what parts of the system must be managed.
The development of the backend to guard against security flaws is the responsibility of cloud service providers, in general. Customers’ primary focus should be on establishing a secure service configuration, developing secure routines for using the service, and choosing a service provider who takes security seriously.
“Nonetheless, clients should also confirm that any end-user networks and hardware are properly secured,” Mohit advises.
Cloud security goals include protecting against malicious data theft on networks and storage, preventing data leaks caused by human error or carelessness, facilitating data recovery in the event of data loss, and limiting the impact of any data or system compromise.
Since the advent of cloud computing, conventional methods of protecting digital assets have undergone extensive development. Although cloud models improve efficiency, constant online access requires innovative safety safeguards. Compared to traditional IT models, a few key features set cloud security apart as a cutting-edge cyber protection option.
There have been major shifts in the macro business environment, says Nathan Guy, Zoom’s Phone Leader for Asia Pacific. There is a lot of pressure on businesses to improve productivity, to be flexible in the face of intensifying competition, and to be more productive to keep up with the ever-quickening pace of technological innovation and advancement.
With the global economy in shambles, the urgency has only increased. It will be impossible to solve these problems if customers, prospects and employees cannot communicate effectively.
Nathan pointed out that a generational shift is also occurring in the labour force. Remote work is becoming increasingly popular. They have also requested state-of-the-art tools and communication infrastructure to carry out their duties better.
When a new app or device is released, it adds another layer of complexity to a complicated process. Stakeholders, including employees, clients, and potential customers, have individual preferences and expectations regarding the manner, frequency, and location of business interactions.
Therefore, according to Nathan, many companies are selective in the ways they invest in improving internal communication.
They might do this in several ways, including staying up to date with systems already in use that is judged to be adequate, using built-in communication tools that are part of other software packages or investigating a variety of potential solutions. These plans aim to improve the company’s ability to spread the word.
Although these approaches provide more leeway, they also alter the dynamics between businesses and their prospective clients, employees and customers. Depending on their predicament, people are forced to switch between several potential answers.
In the event of a communication breakdown, the firm will inevitably fail. An essential trait of effective leaders is the capacity to chart a course for their people, providing a sense of purpose and direction even when difficult situations arise.
In Nathan’s opinion, organisations need to expand their communication strategies beyond the bare minimum and into the global scope. An enormous advantage in today’s unstable business climate will go to the company that can always make seamless connections to all stakeholders, regardless of location, device, or business activity.
To achieve this, as Nathan puts it, “You deliver a consistent and quality experience for all participants, making human connection effortless, and enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance by combining the connection needs of the individual and organisation.”
By taking these measures, businesses may be able to better respond to their customers’ wants and needs, free up internal resources that were previously spent on communications management and expand their capabilities and agility.
The credibility of a company rises or falls with its communication strategies. Since employees, clients, and customers can do their jobs from anywhere, the channels through which the message is sent must be fit for the times, the resources, and the ever-changing need of organisations.
The failure of a session owing to dropped participants or bad audio and video is now considered unacceptable. Businesses must adapt to a more complex hybrid environment and ensure that all clients, regardless of location or condition, receive the same high level of service.
Nathan recognises that “business transactions become impossible” when communications are disrupted in today’s world. In solving communications needs amid disruptive situations, an unpredictable risk that has the potential to impede productivity for businesses also gets removed. The result is a continuance of operations and avoidance of deterioration or decline of productivity.
Zoom will shield businesses from communications breakdowns because its top-notch infrastructure was explicitly designed to prevent failures. Examining the root cause of problems is essential in giving lasting and effective solutions. In the case of communications strategy and technology for organisations, addressing various approaches made by organisations and guiding them to dig up the root cause will allow them to focus on the now without overly worrying about the future.
However, some users may be unable to fully participate due to severe audio and video quality degradation due to differences in network performance and bandwidth. This is a reality in the Philippines, where many areas still lack fast internet speed.
Zoom allows businesses to host effective meetings even in the face of significant packet loss. If you’re doing business on a global scale, having this kind of consistent network and infrastructure in every country is a must.
The complexity of communications is increasing. Now, besides travelling or working from home, “you have workers returning to the office, frequently in a hotel setting,” acknowledges Nathan.
During the pandemic, people are often left trying to balance ad hoc, piecemeal solutions developed as the crisis unfolded. As a result, three significant environments have emerged: at-home/in-the-office and on the go. A personal mobile phone, a videoconferencing method for in-person gatherings of a few people, and something else for more momentous occasions all fall under this category.
Nathan believes that both staff and customers will need to adjust to a new user interface. “Communication platforms are undeniably crucial to the success of hybrid teams.” A cutting-edge communications platform like Zoom could help increase output, expand possibilities, and reveal levels of employee engagement.
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
According to Dr Jennalyn Raviz, Director, Management Information Service, Department of Transportation, when it comes to promoting, developing, and regulating a dependable and coordinated network of transportation and communications systems, the Department of Transportation (DoT) is the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity within the executive branch of the Philippines. “Transport by air, sea, rail, and highway are all included.”
Since multiple parties are involved and a hybrid structure has been established, maintaining consistency may prove difficult.
“The pandemic has become a motivator for us, and we seek secure communication across many platforms, which is why we use cloud communication,” says Dr Jennalyn.
Despite some reservations, cloud communications are the preferred method of meeting the growing demand for efficient organisational communications in today’s hybrid workplaces. With cloud computing and communications, businesses can quickly expand or contract to meet fluctuating demand.
Cloud computing allows workers to do their jobs from any Internet-connected device; it has the dual benefits of increased productivity and expanding the geographical scope of their operations.
Since the cloud facilitates remote work, organisations will gradually reduce their reliance on outsourcing. As a result of the use of the cloud’s effect of reducing in-office and staff expenses, businesses are now able to hire more full-time workers across the globe.
Dr Jennalyn highlighted that getting cloud is cost-effective. Additionally, cloud computing can be particularly cost-effective for organisations due to the improvement in workforce efficiency in addition to direct labour savings. “Cloud software deployment is far quicker than a traditional installation.”
Because of this, more employment possibilities can be made available to people in the area who possess the necessary skills. As the popularity of self-sufficiency rises, organisations can select from a greater pool of eligible candidates for a wider variety of positions.
More efficient teamwork is one of the main advantages of cloud computing. The advent of the cloud has had a profound effect on teamwork, and this transformation will continue so long as the cloud undergoes progress and improvement.
Improved communications, cheaper technology, and the ability for smaller organisations to cooperate with worldwide partners and expand their reach in the global arena are all possible because of the cloud’s ability to provide capabilities that were previously only available to major companies.
Dr Jennalyn believes that to have the greatest possible effect, digital transformation must occur in tandem with a thoughtful cultural shift.
As most businesses are already utilising cloud computing in some form, Nathan emphasised the importance of cloud security. While cloud storage has many advantages, “organisations are still hesitant to move more data and applications to the cloud due to security, governance, and compliance concerns.”
Collaborating with Zoom could streamline human connection while also adding safety measures. Businesses can benefit from workers’ improved routines and skill sets over the past two years. They also guarantee uniformity in a wide variety of applications.
“The key to progress is providing the appropriate value in each solution,” Nathan asserts.
Businesses can stay competitive through Zoom’s partnership with rapid innovation, Zoom allows clients to have access to a continuous stream of new capabilities that reflect actual user requirements.
Mohit stressed the importance of communication in fostering collaboration. He concurred with an attendee that when their partners offer a secure platform for cloud communications, organisations become more powerful. Mohit believes that rather than just being providers, vendors are also the transformation partners of every organisation.
An important aspect of cloud security, in Mohit’s opinion, is making sure sensitive information like customer orders, confidential design documents and financial records are safe. Maintaining customer confidence and protecting strategic assets necessitates a solid data security programme. “Cloud security’s ability to safeguard data and assets makes it essential for businesses moving to the cloud.”
Through collaboration with development partners, businesses can better serve a diverse set of customers and expand their customer base. Therefore, it is important to incorporate platform or integration capabilities and a partner strategy when creating cloud-based applications.
It is important to consider business potential, engineering prowess, and platform marketing when formulating a strategy for your cloud partners. Mohit concludes that a well-rounded approach will allow for an expansion of the partner ecosystem, the delivery of more comprehensive customer solutions, and higher earnings potential.
In the new normal, everything is moving online, including employee workloads, leadership insights, and how the services and businesses interact with customers or clients. Organisations must undergo a digital transformation to create entirely digital processes, better experiences and streamlined operations.
Successful digital transformation allows all processes and systems to communicate with one another. Users have a single source of truth, updates occur in real-time, and data is integrated.
The transformation enables organisations to effortlessly pivot when necessary because all their systems and teams are interconnected. Everything can be done quickly and without impacting the operations – whether it is to add more users, connect new business software or begin automating tasks.
In a cloud-first strategy, organisations are not merely adding a new layer of technology when they transform. They are expanding their IT capability in an entirely new way. Data and systems are hosted in the cloud, allowing for a seamless, effective and adaptable connection of all their IT.
Increasingly, companies of all sizes are aware of the potential and power of the cloud. Due to the increased security, scalability and convenience, more businesses and services are moving their apps and data onto the cloud.
Within this suite, that offers consumers a significant advantage is cloud communications. As remote and hybrid work models become the norm, cloud communication is quickly gaining importance.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight with Indonesia’s top public sector leaders on 1 December 2022 at the Westin Jakarta provided the current information on the benefits of the most recent cloud technology that can help the nation’s public, education, financial services and healthcare sectors.
The Cloud at the Heart of the Digital Transformation
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief OpenGov Asia, believes cloud-based strategies are being adopted and implemented by companies of all sizes to spur growth and increase profits. Cloud has fundamentally altered business communications.
Cloud transforms how people communicate, collaborate and conduct business in today’s digital world. It has sparked advancements in machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), devices, healthcare and autonomous vehicles.
“The cloud offers cutting-edge features and functionality that let staff members collaborate and communicate in ways – and places – they never imagined,” says Mohit. “Organisations can outsource systems management tasks like provisioning, switching, data storage, and security to cloud communications providers.”
Moreover, with remote and hybrid models, employees report higher productivity and greater satisfaction.
Nonetheless, according to Mohit, even though remote and hybrid models are becoming increasingly popular, they will not be successful if they are not based on the right technology. Cloud communications are a crucial component of any hybrid or remote work environment.
With cloud-based communication tools, staff can easily switch to working remotely, teams can keep meeting, and operations can go on as usual.
“Technology for collaboration will be more crucial than ever with employees working in different time zones and locations. Hence, teams have the resources to connect with coworkers across boundaries thanks to cloud communications,” Mohit explains.
Organisations can make the most of their resources with cloud communications, which can quicken implementation, increase flexibility, and provide limitless high-volume information exchange. Moreover, cloud communication security features guarantee adherence to data privacy laws.
The technology, protocols and best practices that safeguard cloud computing environments, cloud-based applications and cloud-stored data collectively constitute cloud security. Understanding exactly what needs to be secured and the system components that must be managed is the first step in securing cloud services.
As an overview, cloud service providers are responsible for backend development against security vulnerabilities. Clients should concentrate primarily on the proper service configuration, safe use habits, and selecting a security-conscious provider.
“Clients should also confirm that any end-user networks and hardware are properly secured,” Mohit says.
Every step taken to secure the cloud aims to facilitate data recovery in the event of data loss; guard against malicious data theft on networks and storage; prevent human error or carelessness that results in data leaks, and minimise the effects of any data or system compromise.
The transition to cloud-based computing has resulted in a significant evolution of traditional IT security. While cloud models offer greater convenience, always-on connectivity necessitates new security measures. There are a few ways in which cloud security differs from conventional IT models as a modernised cyber security solution.
According to Nathan Guy, Zoom Phone Leader, Asia Pacific, Zoom, the macro business environment has significantly changed. Businesses are under tremendous pressure to increase productivity, adapt quickly as competition heats up and be productive to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and technological advancements.
This problem is becoming even more pressing because of economic uncertainty. Without effective communication between customers, prospects and employees, it will be impossible to address these issues.
Nathan highlighted that the workforce is also experiencing a generational shift. People prefer the option of remote employment. And they are asking for cutting-edge equipment and communication systems as they need to do their jobs.
With every new tool and app that is made available, communication becomes more complex and confusing. Employees, clients, and potential customers are just a few stakeholders with preferences and expectations about how, when, and where they conduct business.
“Due to this, many businesses choose their battles carefully when it comes to facilitating communication,’ says Nathan.
Among the routes they take are keeping up with currently used systems deemed adequate; embedded communication tools included with other software packages; exploring multiple solutions depending on the situation; among others. “These strategies are meant to provide the organisation with fundamental communication.”
Such methods allow for some flexibility but also change the environment for prospects, employees and customers. People are compelled to alternate between various solutions based on their needs.
Some consumers “separate” from a favourite brand after just one disappointing interaction. Today’s harsh reality is that communication is a critical path activity; your business will also fail if it fails. A path that is crucial to the business failure.
Nathan believes that organisations must go beyond essential communication to universal communication. Creating intuitive connections to all parties – employees, customers, and investors – regardless of location, device, or business activity – will have a tremendous advantage in this uncertain business environment.
“You do this by combining the connection needs of the individual and organisation by delivering a consistent and quality experience for all participants, making human connection effortless, and enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance,” says Nathan.
These steps could result in:
- Meeting both the organisations’ core business needs and the demands of their customers;
- Refocusing internal resources away from administering communications and towards new services and capabilities; and
- Improving the agility and the perceived value both in the company and the market
An organisation’s reputation is directly linked to the quality of its communication services. In addition to the fact that employees, clients, and customers can work from anywhere, people returning to the office do not want them to be disappointed by the home office environment to which they have grown accustomed.
Expectations have increased; a session that fails due to dropped participants or subpar audio/video is unacceptable and embarrassing. Organisations must adapt to this new hybrid environment and guarantee that everyone receives high-quality service regardless of circumstance or location.
“When communications are disrupted in today’s world, business transactions become impossible,” claims Nathan. “Organisations can eliminate a work-limiting unpredictability risk by doing this. They provide a controlled experience by enabling the staff to work without concern about the underlying technology.”
By using a top-notch infrastructure specially built to prevent failures, Zoom will protect organisations from communications breakdowns. Organisations could troubleshoot the underlying cause of environmental problems and take preventative measures. This allows the workforce to concentrate on their work without unneeded interruptions or uncertainty. Hence, employees will have confidence that the communication system they provide will work as expected.
Differences in network performance and bandwidth can seriously impair audio and video quality and lead to intermittent problems, preventing some users from participating fully. Even with severe packet loss, organisations can use Zoom to deliver a productive meeting experience. This makes it possible to eliminate local network and infrastructure variability, which is crucial when doing business internationally.
More complexity is being added to communications. “Now you have workers returning to the office, frequently in a hotel setting, as well as those travelling or working remotely,” says Nathan.
Three main contexts have been produced as a result: remote, office and mobile. Unfortunately, all too frequently, people are forced to juggle a patchwork of disjointed point solutions created during the pandemic. This includes a personal cellphone, a videoconferencing option for small meetings and another tool for significant events.
Nathan believes that employees and clients must learn to use a different interface. Even if the organisations stick with a single vendor, many have expanded through acquisitions, leading to various products with no shared characteristics.
“There’s no doubt that communication platforms are a big part of how hybrid teams work,” Nathan asserts. “A modern communications platform like Zoom could help boost productivity, add to what can be done, and show how engaged employees are.”
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
According to Deddy Kartika Utama, Head of Information Security, Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri), policies regarding political and general governance and regional autonomy are developed, determined and implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Ministry also plays a role in establishing regional and village administration, governing issues, regional finance, demographics and civil records.
Given the number of parties involved and the nature of the hybrid organisation, including the Ministry, maintaining consistency may prove difficult. Because of this, compelling and trustworthy means of communication are crucial.
Cloud communications, Deddy emphasised, continue to be the preferred method of meeting the growing demand for efficient organisational communications, considering the advent of the hybrid workplace. With cloud computing and communications, organisations can quickly expand or contract to meet fluctuating demand.
In the public sector, by using internet-based connectivity to reduce lag time and unreliable connections, organisations can communicate with their team and customers through various channels, including email, voice calls, chat and video.
Through the advancements in IT, organisations now have access to a flexible, instant, scalable, stable, and conveniently located environment. Organisations that switch to cloud-based communication technology can take advantage of full cloud communication’s mobility, scalability, security, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.
The rapid development of cloud computing services and collaboration technologies has apparent benefits for remote and hybrid workforces. It enables teams to work together and achieve their shared goals even when they are not physically present in the same office.
“Using a cloud collaboration strategy, coworkers can work together on documents stored in the cloud while having access to the same files and making changes to them in real-time,” Deddy explains. “One method for cutting costs while maximising organisational resources despite growing communication capabilities and reach is to concentrate on the quality of the technology.”
By utilising the cloud, businesses have found cheaper alternatives while ensuring that their customers can access their data and systems from any location at any time. Transitioning from traditional to cloud office culture is exciting and promising. To protect the organisations and their operations, a solid security foundation must first be established.
According to Deddy, the potential of cloud computing is becoming increasingly apparent to various organisations, and it is also growing. “Organisations are already transitioning from the traditional office culture to the cloud culture, and doing so is profitable. They can save money and space by switching to cloud technology.”
Nathan emphasised the significance of cloud security, albeit that most organisations are already utilising cloud computing in some form. “Organisations are still hesitant to move more data and applications to the cloud due to security, governance, and compliance concerns when storing their content in the cloud.”
By partnering with Zoom, the human connection could be simplified and security could be included. Organisations can capitalise on the habits and competencies individuals have developed over the past two years. Additionally, they will ensure consistency across multiple use cases.
“By partnering with Zoom, businesses will be able to maintain their relevance through rapid innovation. They have access to a constant stream of new capabilities that reflect actual user requirements,” Nathan claims.
According to Mohit, a critical component of cloud security is the protection of data and business content such as customer orders, secret design documents and financial records, among others.
Preventing leaks and data theft is critical for maintaining customer trust and safeguarding assets that contribute to competitive advantage. “The ability of cloud security to protect your data and assets makes it critical for any organisations that are transitioning to the cloud.”
Development partners can assist organisations in meeting a broader range of customer needs, resulting in increased market reach. As a result, when developing cloud applications, make sure to include platform or integration capabilities as well as a partner strategy.
“Your cloud partner strategy should be based on business potential, engineering capability, and platform marketing. A balanced strategy will enable a larger partner ecosystem, more comprehensive customer solutions, and increased revenue potential,” Mohit concludes.
The global spread of COVID-19 has been a disaster of unparalleled proportions. Not only has it halted the world economy, but it has also made even the most optimistic leaders reconsider how soon things would return to how they were before the outbreak.
Even as the pandemic disrupted businesses and services around the world, a sudden and dramatic increase in internet consumption was observed. Businesses had to shift to digital communications and tools as the key medium for maintaining productive and interesting relationships with their many stakeholders – internal and external.
While the private sector was quicker to alter procedures in the early phases of the pandemic, the public eventually successfully adapted and innovated to continue citizen service delivery. Of course, early on, most governments rapidly put into place digital communication and emergency response platforms.
By allowing users to access their data and applications from any internet-connected device, cloud computing expands the scope of digital transformation beyond simple technology adoption to encompass a comprehensive redesign of all related procedures, resources and user interactions.
The cloud and digital transformation are now inextricably linked. Organisations across the board need to adopt a cloud-first strategy if they want to ensure the longevity of their operations and realise their transformation objectives.
Most organisations and agencies have benefited from the digital change, but some industries are behind the curve. To keep up with the fierce competition in their industries, they must guarantee the reliable operation of the cloud communication platforms that serve as a direct line of contact between the organisations and their consumers and aid in the promotion of their offerings.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 25 November 2022 at M Hotel Singapore provided Singapore’s public, education, financial and healthcare sectors with the advantages of the most recent cloud technology.
Simplifying Things via Cloud Communication
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia believes that the cloud has transformed the way organisations communicate, cooperate and carry out many other critical business and service functions.
Cloud communications are voice and data communications solutions that organisations employ to manage cloud-hosted applications, storage and switching.
“Cloud communications services are becoming an increasingly intrinsic choice for organisations looking to streamline their operations and enable their remote workforces to stay connected and productive,” observes Mohit.
Cloud communications enable organisations to interact with their employees and customers over many channels, including email, audio calls, chat and video. All of these leverage internet-based connectivity to minimise faulty connections and lag in communication.
This communication model has become the go-to option for addressing the growing need for efficient internal communications in the hybrid workplace. As numerous workers are returning to the office, and for many of those who have remote work capabilities, hybrid work arrangements are swiftly becoming the new standard.
Organisations are figuring out ways to make hybrid work as interesting and effective as they can. Leaning into what is working, changing what is not working and adapting as lessons are gained are the first steps in creating an effective hybrid strategy, work environment, and culture.
Employee access to the system from anywhere on any device is the need of a mixed work environment. Regardless of the apparatus they are using or their location, employees need to be able to connect to the system.
“User-friendly features in cloud communications make it simpler for staff to become used to the technology,” Mohit explains. “Up until now, better work-life balance, more effective time management, control over working hours and location, prevention of burnout and higher productivity have been the main benefits of hybrid work.”
Having the appropriate tools to be productive at work, feeling less a part of the organisation’s culture, poor cooperation and relationships, and disturbing work processes are some of the biggest obstacles to hybrid work.
Apart from the initial expenditure, virtual meetings result in reduced expenses because of the decline in maintenance and transportation costs. Moreover, integrations of cloud telephony enable companies to place and receive calls from any device that is connected to the Internet.
This means that cloud communications can potentially maximise resources for organisations. Procedures, implementation and adaptability can all be accelerated with a cloud communications strategy, which also offers limitless high-volume information transmission.
According to Mohit, cloud communications must have robust security components to ensure compliance with data privacy laws and the security of all stakeholders. “To assist in safeguarding data in the cloud, emerging cybersecurity tools should also be taken into account.”
These include Artificial Intelligence (AI) for IT Operations (AIOps) and Network Detection and Response (NDR). Both programmes gather data on the security and stability of cloud infrastructure. After data analysis, AI notifies administrators of any unusual behaviour that might represent a threat.
Ultimately a well-thought-out cloud communication strategy with strong security features can serve organisations and gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital landscape and VUCA environment.
According to Lucas Lu, Head of Asia, Zoom, if communication fails to give the greatest possible experience, everyone suffers – from employees to consumers to investors. And neglecting to address this essential avenue has ever-worsening implications.
Organisations are going through some significant changes, he explains. The first is in the general business environment. Organisations are under tremendous pressure to boost efficiency, adapt fast as competition rises and keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and technological advancements.
This problem is becoming even more pressing because of economic uncertainties. Furthermore, solving these problems requires effective communication between consumers, prospects and staff.
The workforce is likewise seeing a paradigm shift. People desire the option of remote employment and are asking for the cutting-edge equipment and communication systems they need to do their jobs.
HR managers concur that a high-performing workplace’s future requirements would include collaboration, regular communication and a mentorship culture between managers and teams. “You run the risk of losing the ‘War for Talent’ if you don’t deliver,” Lucas asserts.
With every new tool and software that is made available, communication becomes more difficult and complex. Employees, clients and potential consumers are just a few of the stakeholders who have preferences and expectations about how, when and where they conduct business.
Due to this, many businesses choose their battles carefully when it comes to facilitating communication. They follow a variety of routes, including:
- Maintaining already-established systems that are deemed adequate
- Making use of the fundamental, built-in communication capabilities that are provided with other software packages, even if they don’t entirely satisfy the organisation’s demands
- Using different approaches based on the circumstances. You might, for instance, employ one communication tool for internal cooperation and another for clients, investors, and outside events
“All these strategies are meant to provide organisations with fundamental communication,” says Lucas. “These methods provide some flexibility, but they also change the environment for prospects, employees and consumers. People are compelled to alternate between various options based on their needs as a result.”
This causes unneeded annoyance, rework, expenditures and misunderstanding. Employees may feel alienated and impatient. Customers’ interactions with the brand are disorganised and unprofessional. And various instruments frequently make business slower.
In this uncertain business environment, organisations that can move beyond basic communication into universal communication have extraordinary potential. They can develop intuitive connections to all parties, employees, customers and investors, regardless of location, technology or business activity.
This will be accomplished by integrating the individual and organisational connection demands that will result in a) Delivering a consistent and quality experience for all participants, b) Making human connection effortless, and c) Enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance.
These results may:
- Satisfy both the primary business requirements and the consumers’ expectations
- Redirect internal resources from managing communications to new services and capabilities; and
- Increase the marketability and perceived agility within the organisation and in the market.
An organisation’s reputation is directly related to the quality of its communication services. In addition to the fact that employees, clients and customers can work remotely, those returning to the office do not t want to compromise on the at-home office environment to which they have grown accustomed.
Organisations must adapt to this new hybrid environment to guarantee that everyone receives high-quality service regardless of circumstance or location. Expectations are simply greater and it is unacceptable if a session fails due to dropped participants or subpar audio or video.
“With Zoom, you may use a top-notch infrastructure that is specially made to prevent failures to safeguard your company from communications disruptions. You eliminate a work-limiting unpredictability risk by doing this,” Lucas says confidently.
When communications are down nowadays, it is impossible to conduct business. Hence, organisations may provide a controlled experience by enabling their staff to work without being concerned about the underlying technology. Additionally, they can analyse the underlying cause of any problems in their surroundings and take preventative measures.
With this, employees can concentrate on their work without unneeded interruptions or ambiguity and will have faith that the communication solution their organisation has deployed will work as planned.
“Partnering with Zoom enables quick innovation to keep up with the times. You can take advantage of a constant flow of fresh features that correspond to actual user requirements,” Lucas says. “Moreover, by frequently communicating with their support group, organisations will rapidly realise what is possible.”
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
Geetha Gopal, Head of Infrastructure Projects Delivery and Digital Transformation, Panasonic Asia Pacific believes that every day, new technologies emerge and the culture of change is driving a paradigm shift for which an organisation must be prepared.
“As the COVID-19 outbreak rocked the world and we were unsure of what to do, our investments in technology became our strength,” says Geetha.
As the trend toward digitisation of remote work transforms the traditional office culture, a cloud culture has evolved. Likewise, cloud computing has become a competitive advantage for these organisations.
Every step toward better efficiency in the manufacturing sector increases competitiveness. Because of this, the industry’s embrace of cloud communications has become a crucial turning point. Cloud communications have changed the game for manufacturing by enabling increased efficiency while lowering IT expenditures.
“Cloud computing is the future, and organisations are successfully transitioning from the traditional office culture to the cloud culture,” Geetha says firmly.
Streamlining operations using scalable technological solutions for essential tasks and process optimisation not only helps reduce costs but also frees up time for businesses to devote to value-adding endeavours.
This is crucial now more than ever as operations teams struggle to keep up with the quickening speed of product and investment strategy development being observed among clients.
The new service-focused, client-centric operating model for investment operations will be made possible by technology, data and scalability. Organisations need to realise that the greatest way to prepare for the future is to create it as they deal with this period of constant innovation.
As a result, operations leaders who are taking steps to redesign, reinvent and adapt their operations may ultimately be in a stronger position.
Geetha emphasises that collaboration, communication and connectivity are crucial for success in today’s work environment. The key to maximising these contacts is digital communication. “For efficient communication and productivity, your company primarily depends on specific systems, platforms, and applications.”
More organisations are understanding the enormous advantages of migrating their systems to the cloud as technology continues to progress. In addition to allowing organisations to remain relevant in a competitive market, innovation plays a vital role in economic growth. Innovations are required to solve key problems.
One of the tactics that may be employed to save money while maximising organisational resources and extending communication skills and reach is advance planning.
An advantage of cloud communications for aiding staff members in a hybrid workforce is the reduction in time spent travelling to the workplace. Employees can save time travelling with the hybrid model simultaneously offering the chance to be more productive.
Despite the importance of enabling technology, it is the human workforce that will not only execute the organisation’s digital transformation strategy but also ensure its long-term success.
Guaranteeing that personnel are up to the task, however, needs not only technical training but also a radical transformation in thinking and decision-making.
It is important to focus on organisational culture by changing the management programme and making concerted efforts to close the gap between the internal aspect and employees.
Organisations that are unable to develop and achieve new goals that will assist their employees and business to thrive are those that are unwilling to alter existing practices.
“The pandemic can no longer be an excuse or the reason – remote work is here to stay. If we want skilled employees then we need to concentrate on their needs – we must empower our employees,” Geetha concludes.
Lucas believes that every problem has a solution since most organisations fail to connect their strategy to their innovation objectives. “Change is a constant process, and what we say today might leave a legacy tomorrow. Any plan for digital transformation, in our opinion, must be built around digital innovation.”
The road of digital transformation must involve a competitive advantage that can only be sustained by introducing innovations and contemporary methods if it is to stay modern and please clients with cutting-edge goods and services.
For every change, there is a call for managerial backing to be successful and transformative. Zoom is happy to discuss how digital transformation budgets differ from traditional business or IT budgets to meet the demands of any organisation.
Lucas believes that cloud computing is transforming not only how many organisations access and store data, but also how many of these businesses run. It provides greater protection, flexibility, data recovery, minimal to no maintenance and ease of access.
“Although many people used to hesitate the cloud computing, they have now realised how important it has become to organisations,” Lucas has observed.
Mohit believes that changes in computers and how technologies are distributed are altering the ecosystem, especially for those who work in a hybrid environment. He encourages delegates to start establishing a strategy to utilise the cloud’s benefits for their businesses and services. “Organisations should determine the types of cloud services for which you require solutions, then meet with cloud service providers to determine the best long-term match.”
Both public and private organisations benefit from the adaptability, efficiency, scalability, security, improved collaboration and cost savings that cloud computing offers. “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption, but it is anticipated that cloud computing is here to stay, especially since hybrid work assumes a central role,” Mohit concludes.
Two tech companies operating within Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab announced the roll-out of solutions that are now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution I – Cloud-native Project Management & Collaboration Solution
A tech company under the Smart Government Innovation Lab has developed a cloud-native project management & collaboration solution called Julius. The solution is able with applications across the project lifecycle. Designed from the ground up with feedback from industry leaders, the solution enables digital transformation without server deployment.
The solution was developed to be applied in the area of City Management.
The solution employs the latest in Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The solution allows users to:
- Gain control of and visibility into the customer pipeline as well as the sales and revenue situations of each project. Users can also track and manage cost vs. budget in real time; understand current progress status and stay ahead of potential risks and issues before it’s too late; enforce and evaluate against the quality standards without slowing down teams.
- Access and analyse customer and sales data on the fly; CRM functions tailored to the property sector including sales channel, commission and performance analysis; track inventories, sales velocity and payments; document full sales cycle between customer visit and contract payment to ensure smooth transaction; smart alerts on delays, returns and sales performance issues.
- Control every cost item to avoid cost overruns; manage change in real time – creating budgets that more accurately reflect where the budget stands at any moment; generate detailed financial reports to see how the spending decisions affect projected profits at close out; facilitate faster approvals, more accurate communication and eliminating the need to proceed at risk.
- Stay on schedule; quickly identify potential issues and their impact on schedule and budgets; avoid unwanted surprises with better visibility of every project task; track all steps and speed up the approval process.
- Understand and correct issues before they become a problem; built for the site, making it easy for site teams to contribute to and comply with construction safety regulations and quality specifications; all the necessary documentation, reference materials and records needed to ensure standards are met with verification methods that create accountability along the way.
Solution II – Vehicle Queue Monitoring Solution
Manual queue monitoring is a time and resource-consuming process that is prone to human errors and miscalculations. The Vehicle Queue Monitoring system uses computer vision to derive insights from the video cameras installed in the regions of interest. It analyses the traffic, calculates the number of vehicles in the predefined areas, conducts classification (taxi, public bus, private car), and notifies the user of specific scenarios.
For example, a user will receive an SMS/email alert if the queue exceeds 20 vehicles. The system also displays real-time and accumulated statistics in a web-based dashboard, tailored to the user’s needs. The Video Analytics system can be implemented in various locations that include vehicle traffic, such as car parks, tunnels, gas stations, highways, etc.
The solution was developed to be applied across the areas of City Management, Infrastructure as well as Transport.
The solution employs the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Video Analytics.
An example of the application of the Video Analytics system is in queue-monitoring in gas stations. The system can detect, classify and count the number of vehicles queueing at a gas station. Once the queue exceeds the predefined region, an SMS alert is sent to the chosen number of users informing them on the queue status. Users can view a livestream to verify the queue and take appropriate actions. Additional features include analytics services where various daily/weekly trends are recorded and presented in the form of graphs and diagrams in a user-friendly web-based dashboard.
An organisation’s functions could be severely impacted by even a single incident. Organisations need rapid data recovery from the cloud, the edge and on-premises in the event of any type of disaster, be it a natural disaster, hardware failure, data breach or ransomware attack.
The knowledge that one is as well-prepared as possible provides some solace in the face of unforeseen calamities. With the right disaster recovery tools and procedures, it can quickly and easily restore data and workloads.
Hence, organisations need a plan to immediately get back to business as usual in the event of an interruption. Given the fast-paced nature of today’s IT environments, it is crucial to maintain a state of perpetual readiness.
Many businesses and organisations are left exposed to critical events – either man-made or natural disasters – as most fundamental systems have been shifted toward IT structures and applications.
While we can manage physical defence by using survival kits – which include emergency supplies, security, and insurance – not all firms can genuinely claim to have all bases covered. Especially in an increasingly digital landscape, where threats are virtual!
It may seem obvious to have an established disaster recovery plan, but due to the complexity of the outdated replication and recovery procedures, this is often overlooked. People might assume there is one and may have even talked about it but may overlook the most crucial step – documenting the plan.
Creatively assessing the possibilities for affordably safeguarding the data in a location apart from those dangers is vital. Despite data centres’ high level of security and frequent remote locations, creating a plan is now simpler than ever to implement using a cloud-based method.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 10 November 2022 at InterContinental Singapore with Singapore’s top public sector leaders offered the most recent information on the benefits of disaster-proofing an organisation through speedy and efficient data security and recovery.
The Needs for Data Backup and Recovery
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia believes that plans for catastrophe recovery must be in place for organisations adding that the traditional backup strategies have focused mostly on the first part of the backup and recovery process.
“The backup’s objective is to generate a copy of the data that can be retrieved in the case of a primary data failure,” Mohit explains. “A primary data failure might be the result of a hardware or software malfunction, data corruption, a hostile attack (virus, malware) or accidental deletion on the part of the user.”
Backup copies enable data to be restored from a previous point in time, assisting the organisation in recovering from an unanticipated event.
Data protection demands a secondary copy be stored in case the primary copy is lost or corrupted. This additional media can be as basic as an external drive or USB stick or as complex as a disc storage system, cloud storage container, or tape drive.
To achieve the best outcomes, backup copies should be made on a consistent, regular basis to reduce the amount of data lost between backups. The longer the time between backup copies, the greater the risk of data loss when recovering from a backup. Keeping several copies of data gives the security and flexibility to restore to a point in time that was not impacted by data corruption or malicious attacks.
In addition, a single accident or mishap might completely interrupt company operations, with significant consequences. According to reports, 93% of organisations that do not have disaster recovery coverage and experience a big data loss go out of business within a year.
However, with the correct tools and disaster recovery methods, organisations can restore their data and workloads fast and easily. Through advanced technologies, policies and standards, establishing layers of infrastructure protection and controls increases resiliency and security posture.
Monitoring the environment and intelligently managing data, via a single interface, is one of the disruptive solutions to ensure the best visibility across the data to quickly identify risk exposure and coverage, data availability and business continuity across on-premises and cloud settings.
“When the unexpected happens, you must be able to swiftly restore your organisation’s operations. It is paramount to constantly be prepared, especially given the rate of change in today’s IT landscape,” advises Mohit.
According to Paul Lancaster, Director, Sales Engineering, Commvault, data is the competitive advantage in the modern digital economy. It generates corporate strategy, directs operational effectiveness, and forecasts consumer behaviour. “Data needs to be kept safe while still being always available.”
The problem is that the data is always changing and evolving as it expands, changes, and fragments into digital bits and bytes. Hence, the degree of an organisation’s success is directly correlated with how well they handle its data.
“In this situation, Commvault is useful. We support businesses in doing incredible things with their data. No matter where the data is located or how it is organised, our Intelligent data services can help these organisations become more efficient by changing how they protect, store, and use data,” Paul explains.
He advised organisations to always be prepared when calamity hits or whenever fraudsters attempt their best shot. Organisations should also be ready to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
Further, Commvault offers flexibility in the deep integrations to:
- Connect (to Snaps/Replication via Intellisnap)
- Converge (roll new cyber harden backup infrastructure/stores with HSX)
- Cloudify (optimised stores for the cloud storage resources)
- Re-purpose (reuse existing open assets that still have a service life to the payoff from the prior investments)
Paul elaborated that their Control Plane offers comprehensive workload coverage coupled with key data management services to extend self-service roles so users can quickly and securely search and restore data. Data engineers working on a new analytics application can quickly call up a database clone to accelerate a new project.
Through hybrid cloud adoption, users can leverage cloud-based storage and realise the benefits of agile management, limitless scale, and cost savings of the cloud.
Commvault offers a comprehensive solution with deeply integrated workloads to simplify and future-proof. “We make the past more accessible and adaptable to the future faster and we span the solution across the customer’s full needs.”
Marcus Tan, Head of the Cybersecurity Department, Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), A*STAR believes that business continuity refers to an organisation’s preparedness to keep delivering products and services at predetermined, acceptable levels despite a crisis.
“Business continuity plans detail how a company will operate during and after a disaster,” says Marcus. “It may include contingency plans explaining how the company will continue to operate even if it must relocate. In addition, smaller interruptions, or minor disasters, such as protracted power outages, may also be included in business continuity planning.”
On the other hand, recovering from a catastrophic incident, such as a natural disaster, fire, act of terrorism, active shooter, or cybercrime, is referred to as disaster recovery. Recovery from a disaster entails the steps an organisation takes to respond to an incident and resume normal operations as fast as possible.
“Disaster Recovery is an organisation’s plan for resuming normal operations following a catastrophic event. This is an essential part of the Business Continuity Plan,” Marcus elaborates. “And, importantly, strategies should align with the organisation’s goals.
There are various issues to be considered in terms of protection and recovery strategy. These are compliance requirements, budget, insurance coverage, resources (people, physical facilities), management’s risk appetite, technology, suppliers and data and data storage, among others.
Business Impact Analysis is the systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of disruption to business operations resulting from disaster, accident, or emergency.
Risk Assessment, on the other hand, involves having to identify, examine, measure, and mitigate/transfer risks. Hence, it is important to identify critical business functions to keep the organisation going during a disruption.
The purpose of the Disaster Recovery Plan is Getting Ready (pre-disaster), Continuity (during a disaster), and Recovery (post-disaster).
Some of the key considerations of the Disaster Recovery Plan are identifying critical business processes to continue the minimum desired level of operations during disruption. It would also identify key data, storage, network and apps to support critical business processes.
There must be also a consideration of compliance with regulations, recovery point objective, recovery time objective, establishing management succession, reporting structure, roles in the event of a disaster, and budget.
A Disaster Recovery Plan should be updated when a significant change to system architecture occurs; and if it has changed in system dependencies and recovery personnel as well.
“Tools are great for making your job easier, but they can never take the place of doing the things we need to do,” Marcus concludes.
Chua Chee Pin, Area Vice President – ASEAN, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea & Taiwan, Commvault highlighted that data is getting more and more in demand. “The balance between data democracy and security is so important, hence protecting your organisation’s data is complex.”
Everyone is now aware of the significance of data, both in their professional and personal life. Digitisation, cell phones, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors all contribute to the ever-increasing amount of data. Utilising this knowledge is crucial for both company competitiveness and empowering individuals in their daily lives.
“Commvault’s data management and protection unify and safeguard data at scale across on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments for all workloads,” claims Chee Pin. “Advanced detection, multi-layer protection, and rapid recovery against security threats, such as ransomware and data breaches.”
Mohit highlights the importance of a digital partner. External partners can be a pillar of support while facing digital transformation procedures. They are available to assist every organisation with any project based on their demands.
“They can guide you through a much broader and more sophisticated process, as they possess the necessary expertise and experience,” Mohit opines. “Partnerships can save the organisation from making unneeded errors, thus saving time and money.”