IT – The remote worker’s toolkit

IT the remote worker's toolkit

Enterprise clients have looked to automate IT support for several years. With millions of employees across the globe now working from home, support needs have increased dramatically, with many unprepared enterprises suffering from long service desk wait times and unhappy employees. Many companies may have already been on a gradual pace to exploit digital solutions and enhance service desk operations, but automating IT support is now a greater priority. Companies can’t afford downtime or the lost productivity caused by inefficient support systems, especially when remote workers need more support now than ever before. Digital technologies offer companies innovative and cost-effective ways to manage increased support loads in the immediate term, and free up valuable time and resources over the long-term. The latter benefit is critical, as enterprises increasingly look to their support systems to resolve more sophisticated and complex issues. Instead of derailing them, new automated support systems can empower workers by freeing them up to focus more on high-value work.

Businesses can start their journey toward digital support by using chatbots to manage common support tasks such as resetting passwords, answering ‘how to’ questions, and processing new laptop requests. Once basic support functions are under digital management, companies can then transition to layering in technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and analytics among others.

An IT support automation ecosystem built on these capabilities can enable even greater positive outcomes – like intelligently (and invisibly) discovering and resolving issues before they have an opportunity to disrupt employees. In one recent example, DXC deployed digital support agents to help manage a spike of questions coming in from remote workers. The digital agents seamlessly handled a 20% spike in volume, eliminated wait times, and drove positive employee experiences.

Innovative IT support

Innovative IT supports

IT support automation helps companies become more proactive in serving their employees better with more innovative support experiences. Here are three examples:

Remote access

In a remote workforce, employees will undoubtedly face issues with new tools they need to use or with connections to the corporate network. An automated system that notifies employees via email or text about detected problems and personalized instructions on how to fix is a new way to care for the remote worker. If an employee still has trouble, an on-demand virtual chat or voice assistant can easily walk them through the fix or, better yet, execute it for them.

Proactive response

The ability to proactively monitor and resolve the employee’s endpoint — to ensure security compliance, set up effective collaboration, and maintain high performance levels for key applications and networking – has emerged as a significant driver of success when managing the remote workplace.

 For example, with more reliance on home internet as the path into private work networks, there’s greater opportunity for bad actors to attack. A proactive support system can continuously monitor for threat events and automatically ensure all employee endpoints are security compliant.

Leveraging proactive analytics capabilities, IT support can set up monitoring parameters to match their enterprise needs, identify when events are triggered, and take action to resolve. This digital support system could then execute automated fixes or send friendly messages to the employee with instructions on how to fix an issue. These things can go a long way toward eliminating support disruptions and leave the employee with a sense of being cared for – the best kind of support.

More value beyond IT

Companies are also having employees leverage automated assistance outside of IT support functions. These capabilities could be leveraged in HR, for example, to help employees correctly and promptly fill out time sheets or remind them to select a beneficiary for corporate benefits after a major life event like getting married or having a baby.

Remote support can also help organizations automate business tasks. This could include checking on sales performance, getting recent market research reports sent to any device or booking meetings through a voice-controlled device at home.

More engaged employees With the power to provide amazing experiences, automated IT support can drive new levels of employee productivity and engagement, which are outcomes any enterprise should embrace.

From hysteria to reality, Risk-Based Transformation (RBT)

Risk based transformation

The digital movement is real. Consumers now possess more content at their fingertips than ever before, and it has impacted how we do business. Companies like Airbnb, Uber and Waze have disrupted typical business models, forcing established players in different industries to find ways to stay relevant in the ever-emerging digital age. This post is not about that. Well, not in the strictest sense.  There are countless articles explaining the value of being digital. On the other hand, there are very few articles about how to get there. Let’s explore how to get there together, through an approach that I have named Risk-Based Transformation. RBT’s strength is that it puts technology, application, information and business into one equation.

An approach that fits your specific needs

I’m relocating very soon, and with that comes the joys of a cross-country journey. Being the planning type, I started plotting my journey. I didn’t really know how to start, so I went to various websites to calculate drive times. I even found one that would give you a suggested route based on a number of inputs. These were great tools but they were not able to account for some of my real struggles, like how far is too far to drive with a 5- and 3-year-old.

Where are the best rest stops where we can “burn” energy — ones that have a playground or a place to run? (After being cooped up in a car for hours, getting exercise is important!) How about family- and pet-friendly places to visit along the way to break up the trip? What about the zig-zag visits we need to make to see family?

The list goes on. So while I was able to use these tools to create a route, it wasn’t one that really addressed any of the questions that were on my mind. Organizations of all sizes and across all industries are on this digital journey but often the map to get there is too broad, too generic, and doesn’t provide a clear path based on your unique needs.

A different approach is needed, one in which you can benefit from the experience of others, whilst taking the uniqueness of your business into account. Like planning a trip, it’s good to use outside views in particular to give that wider industry view; however, that’s only a piece of the puzzle. Each business has its own culture, struggles and goals that bring a unique perspective.

RBT framework

To help with this process, I have created a framework for RBT. At a high level, RBT takes into account your current technology (infrastructure), application footprint, value of the information, and risk to the business. From left to right, the least weight to the highest. This framework gives a sense as to where to where to start and where the smart spend is. See flow below:

Risk-Based Transformation

Following this left to right, you can add or remove evaluation factors to this based on your needs. Each chevron has a particular view, in a vacuum if you will, so the technology is rated based only on itself. It will gain its context as you move through each chevron. This will give you a final score. The higher the score, the higher the risk to the business.

Depending on your circumstances, you can approach it David Letterman style and take your top 10 list of transformation candidates and run it through the next logic flow (watch for a future blog on how to determine treatment methodology). Or, as we did with a client recently, you can start with your top 50 applications. The point is to get to a place that enables you to start making informed next steps that meet your needs and budget to get the most “bang” for your investment.

The idea behind this framework is to use data in the right context to present an informed view. For example, you can build your questionnaires on SharePoint or Slack or another collaboration platform that also allows the creation of dashboard views. You can build dashboards in Excel, Access, MySQL or whatever technology you’re comfortable with in order to build an informed data-driven view, evaluating risk against transformation objectives. The key is that you need to assign values to questions in order to calculate consistent measurements across the board.

Service management example

Let’s take service management as an example. Up front you would need to determine what “good” looks like, and then based on that, have questions like these below answered:

Service Management

These questions could be answered by IT support, application support, business owners, the life cycle management group, or other relevant groups. When we ran through the first iterations of this framework, we had our client fill it out first. Then we filled it out based on our data points. Our data points looked different, as it was an outsourcing client in which we owned their IT. We had the view in a vacuum of what we had both inherited, the equipment from the existing estate that had been transferred to us, and what we had newly built.

We also had access to the systems that the client did not have, as they no longer had root access to these systems. The client’s context included future plans for life cycle, as they owned life cycle management. With those combined views, we had a broader sense of the environment. This methodology could be used with business units, allowing them to give their view of these systems, which gave IT an even more rounded view because it enabled us to see how the client (business) saw their environment versus how we (IT support) saw it.

That data was then normalized to give a joint view for senior leadership. The idea is that this became a jointly owned view, backed up with data, of the way forward that IT leadership could confidently stand behind. The interesting part is although the age of the server estate was 5 – 10 years old, we realized that upgrading the infrastructure was not the smartest place to start. In fact, the actual hardware was determined to be the lowest risk. The highest risk was storage, which was quite a surprise to all.

RiskBased Transformation

A living framework

Many years ago, when you plotted your cross-country drive on your map it was based on information from a fixed time. This was the best route when I drew the line on the map. Now, personal navigation devices hooked into real-time data change that course based on current conditions. In the same way, the RBT model is a living framework; it should have regular iterations in order to have course corrections as you go forward.

The intent with this framework and thinking is to build a context that makes sense for your needs, and then present data in context that allows for better planning. That better planning should lead to a more efficient digital journey as we all continue to stay with, or ahead of, the curve.

If you have enjoyed this, look forward to my next post. There I will detail how the RBT framework is applied and the treatment buckets methodology.

Significance of “design for operations” approach for service-based IT

Service based IT companies

To deliver on digital transformation and improve business performance, enterprises are adopting a “design for operations” approach to software development and delivery. By “design for operations” we mean that software is designed to run continuously, with frequent incremental updates that can be made at scale. The approach takes into consideration the end-to-end costs of delivering and servicing the software, not just the initial development costs. It is based on applying intelligent automation at scale and connecting ever-changing customer needs to automated IT infrastructure. DevOps is the set of practices that do this, enabled by software pipelines that support Continuous Delivery.

 Design Operations

The challenge: Design for operations

Products and services pass through various stages of design evolution:

  • design for purpose (the product performs a specific function)
  • design for manufacture (the product can be mass produced)
  • design for operations (the product encompasses ongoing use and the full product life cycle)

Automobiles are a good example: from Daimler’s horseless carriage, to Ford’s Model T and finally to Toyota’s Prius (or anything else that’s sold with a service plan). Including the service plan means the auto maker incurs the costs of servicing the car after it’s purchased, so the auto maker is now responsible for the end-to-end life cycle of the car. Information technology is no different — from early code-breaking computers like Colossus, to packaged software such as Oracle, and then to software-based services like Netflix.

The key point is that software-based services companies like Netflix have figured out that they own the end-to-end cost of delivering their software, and have optimized accordingly, using practices we now call DevOps.

There are efficiencies that can be achieved only with software designed for operations. This means that companies running bespoke software (designed for purpose) and packaged software (designed for manufacture) have a maturity gap, where the liability is greater than the value. If that gap can be closed, delivery can be better, faster and cheaper (no need to pick just two).

It’s essential to close that gap, because if competitors can deliver better, faster and cheaper, that puts them at an advantage. This even includes the public sector, since government departments, agencies and local authorities are all under pressure to deliver higher quality services to citizens with lower impact on taxation.

The reason we “shift left”

A typical outcome of the design-for-purpose approach is that functional requirements (what the software should do) are pursued over nonfunctional requirements (security, compliance, usability, maintainability). As a result, things like security get bolted on later. In many cases, this lack of functionality starts to accrue as technical debt — that is, decisions that may seem expedient in the short term become costly in the longer term.

The concept of “shifting left” is about ensuring that all requirements are included in the design process from the beginning. Think of a project timeline and “shifting left” the items in the timeline, such as security and testing, so they happen sooner. In practice, that doesn’t have to mean lots of extra development work, as careful choices of platforms and frameworks can ensure that aspects such as security are baked in from the beginning.

A good example of contemporary development practices that support this is manifested when we ask, “How do we know that this application is performing to expectations in the production environment?” This moves way past “Does it work?” and starts asking “How might it not work, and how will we know?”

Enterprises need to adopt a “design for operations” model that includes a comprehensive approach to intelligent automation that combines analytics, lean techniques and automation capabilities. This approach produces greater insights, speed and efficiency and enables service-based solutions that are operational on Day 1.

The Hospitality Industry and Information Technology

Innovation in Hotel Industry -

Though it’s been a difficult year for hospitality, an increasing number of businesses are making use of the latest technologies to help them adapt to the changing landscape. It is being used to cut costs, improve the customer experience, comply with COVID regulations and to provide insights for development and revenue opportunities. Here, we’ll look at the ways IT is transforming the hospitality industry.

Cutting costs

Avoid This Pitfall When Cutting Costs | AlignOrg Solutions

Hospitality venues are making increased use of the internet of Things to save on energy costs. Devices, such as temperature sensors and smart thermostats, are being installed to control intelligent HVAC systems so that the costs of heating and cooling are kept to a minimum. Similarly, smart LED lighting systems that use sensors to adapt to natural daylight levels or gauge occupancy can cut lighting costs by 80%.

Beyond this, today’s energy management systems make use of AI and machine learning to analyse energy consumption, weather patterns, peak demands and even thermodynamics to optimise energy use. Additionally, the IoT can also be used to monitor the health of systems, ensuring that faulty machinery or appliances are detected and mended before the cost spirals or they break down and affect amenities for guests.

As these systems are cloud-based, they can be managed centrally, so that businesses with multiple hospitality venues can have unified control of their operations. The systems can even be managed remotely over the internet

Improving the customer experience

15 Proven Techniques to Improve Customer Experience (CX)

Technology is beginning to have a significant impact on enhancing the customer experience, with guests being able to use websites and smartphone apps for a wide range of purposes. Today, these include remote booking and checkouts, making reservations in restaurants and spas, accessing services such as room service, reserving parking spaces, unlocking hotel rooms, controlling smart room appliances, communicating with staff, paying for products and services and so forth.

Web based apps and smart devices are also being deployed to improve how staff work, speeding up service, automating processes and eradicating human error – all of which improves customer satisfaction.

Providing insights

CEIR report provides insight from leaders in marketing

Website and app interactions, together with monitoring from IoT devices, produce vast quantities of data which can be analysed to provide detailed business insights. They help hospitality businesses predict peak occupancy, understand how demand for different services changes over time and give a clearer picture of which guests are making use of which services. This can help them better deploy staff, improve inventory, implement more effective marketing strategies and develop new and existing services in line with customer expectations: all of which can help improve efficiency, cut costs and increase revenue.

Storing all that data in the cloud provides hospitality businesses with numerous advantages. The data is secure, helping businesses achieve compliance; there is easy scalability, so that as data grows and demand increases, the company won’t get caught out by a lack of IT resources; cloud-native apps make it easy to undertake data analytics and make use of AI and machine learning; and, perhaps most importantly, as websites, apps and IoT devices all need the public cloud for connectivity, its makes sense to store the data they collect there too.

Helping with the pandemic

How to help during the coronavirus pandemic - The Washington Post

Technology is increasingly important for the hospitality industry during the pandemic. By using the internet to offer takeaways and deliveries, for example, restaurants and cafés have been able to stay working during the lockdown and have supplemented reduced capacity once reopened. From a safety perspective, the use of smartphone apps has enabled customers to order prior to arrival, cutting down the amount of time they spend in the restaurant and the number of interactions needed with staff.

For all hospitality venues, there’s an obligation to help the NHS Track and Trace Service by collecting customers’ personal information as they enter. This information needs to be kept for a period of 21 days so that, should there be an outbreak of coronavirus or an infected person being on the premises, all other customers can be contacted. Collecting this information online, either via the website or app means the data is more manageable and secure and can be more easily passed on if required by the Track and Trace Service. It also removes the unhygienic practice of asking guests to fill in paper registers where they often handle the same piece of paper and pen as other guests.


Although hospitality is not a sector most people usually associate with cloud-based technology, many businesses within the industry have begun to see the advantages of its adoption. Advanced websites, smartphone apps, smart lighting and HVAC systems, etc, have reduced costs, improved customer experiences, provided valuable insights, helped businesses survive the pandemic and comply with COVID regulations.

DevOps Engineers: What do they really do?

DevOps is no magic, but it can definitely look like it from the outside. In today’s corporate world, workers in the innovative fields are generating new roles for themselves. The role of the DevOps Engineer is one instance of such. There’s a lot of misconception regarding who is a DevOps Engineer? Are they the person who writes the code or are they responsible for the work of a system engineer? Well! Not exactly. Through this post, I shall guide you through the roles and responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer.

What is DevOps?

DevOps | Akamai

DevOps is the blend of cultural philosophies, tools, and practices that increases an organization’s ability to deliver services and applications at high speed: evolving and upgrading products at a faster rate than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management procedures.

This speed facilitates organizations to serve their customers better and compete more efficiently in the market. DevOps culture is introduced to create better collaboration, improved communication, and agile relations between the Operations team and the Software Development Team. Under a DevOps model, the gap between the development and operations teams is bridged. Sometimes, the two teams are merged into one team where the engineers work through the entire application lifecycle, from development to test and deployment to operations, and develop a set of skills not limited to a single function.

The teams make use of practices to automate procedures that traditionally have been slow and manual. These tools also support engineers to independently achieve tasks that normally would’ve required help from other teams, and this further enhances a team’s velocity. Simply put, DevOps is a set of practices that combine Software Development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) which intend to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality

Unlike popular opinion, DevOps is not:

  • a combination of the Development and Operations team.
  • a tool or a product.
  • a separate team.
  • automation.

However, DevOps is a process that includes continuous:

  • Integration
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Monitoring.

Understanding the role of a DevOps Engineer.

The DevOps Engineer is truly a revival of the cloud infrastructure IT services. It is often strenuous to understand this role because the DevOps Engineer is the product of the dynamic workforce that has not yet finished evolving.

DevOps professionals come from a multitude of IT backgrounds and begin the role in different places in their careers. Generally, the role of a DevOps engineer is not as easy as it appears. It requires looking into seamless integration among the teams, successfully and continuously deploying the code. The DevOps approach to software development requires recurring, incremental changes, and DevOps Engineers seldom code from scratch. However, they must understand the fundamentals of software development languages and be thorough with the development tools utilized to make a new code or update the existing one.

A DevOps Engineer will work along with the development team to tackle the coding and scripting needed to connect the elements of the code, such as software development kits (SDKs) or libraries and integrate other components such as messaging tools or SQL data management that is needed to run the software release with operating systems and production infrastructure.

A DevOps Engineer should be able to manage the IT infrastructure in accordance with the supported software code dedicated to multi-tenant or hybrid cloud environments. There’s a need to have a facility for required resources and for procuring the appropriate deployment model, validating the release and monitoring performance. DevOps Engineers could either be the system administrators who have moved into the coding domain or the developers who have moved into operations. Either way, it is a cross-function role that is seeing a huge upward trajectory in the way software is developed and deployed in object-critical applications.

It isn’t rare for DevOps to be called to mentor software developers and architecture teams within an organization to educate them about how to create software that is easily scalable. They also work with the security teams and IT to ensure quality releases. Some DevOps teams include DevSecOps, which bids DevOps principles to driven security measures.

The DevOps Engineer is a significant IT team member as they work with an internal customer. This includes software and application developers, QC personnel, project managers and stakeholders usually from the same organization.

They rarely work with end-users, but keep a “customer first” mindset to comply with the needs of their internal clients. A DevOps Engineer is a customer-service oriented, team player who can arise from a number of different work and educational backgrounds, but through their vivid experience has developed the right skill set to move into DevOps.

Tasks of a DevOps Engineer.

Anteelo Design

Typically, the role of a DevOps Engineer comprises of the following duties:

  • Work with a variety of open-source tools and technologies for managing source codes.
  • Deploying multiple automation tools of DevOps to perfection.
  • Continuous iteration of software development and testing.
  • Connect to business and technical goals with alacrity.
  • Analyze code and communicate descriptive reviews to development teams to ensure a marked improvement in applications and on-time completion of projects.
  • Design, develop, and implement software integrations based on the user’s review.
  • Apply cloud (AWS, GCP, Azure) computing skills to deploy upgrades and fixes.
  • Troubleshoot production problems and coordinate with the development team to streamline code deployment.
  • Conduct systems tests for performance, availability, and security.
  • Collaborate with team members to improve the company’s engineering tools, data security, systems, and procedures.
  • Optimize the company’s computing architecture.
  • Troubleshooting documentation.
  • Implement automation tools and frameworks (CI/CD pipelines).
  • Develop and maintain design
  • Understand the needs and difficulties of a client across development and operations
  • Formulate solutions that support business, technical strategies and organization’s goals.
  • Develop solutions encompassing technology, process, and people for continuous delivery, build and release management, infrastructure strategy & operations, a basic understanding of networking and security
  • Implement and recommend solutions.
  • Expertise and knowledge in current and emerging processes, techniques and tools
  • Build the DevOps practice within ThoughtWorks and drive our thought-leadership externally
  • Timely identification and resolution of problems.
  • Design, develop and maintain the CI/CD tools and infrastructure to deliver Horizon Cloud Service

Skills required for a DevOps Engineer

10 Must Have Skills for DevOps Professionals - Whizlabs Blog

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Computer Science or relevant field.
  • 3+ years’ experience in the software engineering role.
  • Expertise in code deployment tools (Puppet, Chef, and Ansible).
  • Expertise in software development methodologies.
  • Experience of server, network, and application-status monitoring.
  • Ability to maintain Java web applications
  • Strong command on software-automation production systems (Selenium and Jenkins).
  • Knowledge of Python or Ruby and known DevOps tools like Git and GitHub.
  • Working knowledge of various databases like SQL (Structured Query Language).
  • Problem-solving attitude.

It is essential to understand that a DevOps engineer is built out of the growing needs of the business to get a tighter hold of the cloud infrastructure in a hybrid environment. Organizations implementing DevOps skills yield better advantages such as spend relatively less time on configuration management and faster deployment of applications. Demand for people with DevOps skills is growing exponentially because businesses get great outputs from DevOps. Organizations utilizing DevOps practices are overwhelmingly high-functioning: They deploy code up to 30 times more often than their competitors, and 50 percent fewer of their deployments fail, according to 2013-2017 State of DevOps.

Cloud Computing in a Distributed Environment: The Future of Enterprise IT

Why new apps boost the need for new infrastructure - Ericsson

While enterprises, today, still heavily rely on datacentre and single cloud infrastructures, technological developments in artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are requiring applications and their data to be dispersed across multiple locations, including edge sites, multi-cloud and multi-datacentres. While this accounts for a small fraction of current usage, Gartner predicts that within five years, this will be the standard IT infrastructure for three-quarters of organisations.

The cloudification of edge computing

The Cloudification of Everything -

Edge computing is becoming increasingly important to enterprises that use IoT, ML and AI. Many of their technologies rely on the ability to process data locally so that real-time decision making can take place. The sheer volume of data these technologies use means sending everything to the cloud for processing would require unacceptable levels of latency.

That said, enterprises do want edge IT to operate in a similar fashion to the cloud. They want to be able to centrally manage operations rather than having local outposts undertake siloed management. For this, edge computing needs cloudification, the development of micro-clouds that enable organisations to deploy and connect an application and its infrastructure across a range of edge environments.

The cloudification of edge IT brings numerous benefits to enterprises. It brings edge sites global connectivity that is both secure and high-performance; it provides distributed edge sites with integrated storage, networking and compute resources; and it enables the business-wide management of distributed data and applications across its diverse infrastructure.

At the moment, edge cloudification is still in its infancy. However, new capabilities are constantly being developed and it is only a matter of time before cloud providers offer edge computing with a wide range of functionalities.

A different kind of multi-cloud

Cloud-native application deployment across hybrid multicloud infrastructure: 451 analyst interview

The way enterprises use different cloud services is about to change. At present, the term multi-cloud means that organisations have several cloud providers and, usually, each of these is used to run separate applications. It is a way of not keeping all your eggs in one basket and to defend against vendor lock-in.

In the future, this set-up will change to one which is significantly more modular and where different app components will be run in different cloud environments. This enables enterprises to carry out workloads where the unique qualities of each cloud environment and the expertise of the cloud provider are best matched to the needs of the task being run.

As a result, enterprises which adopt this methodology will be better placed to run and support more effective microservices. If today’s siloed approach is akin to a family buying all its food from a single supermarket and being limited to what was on the shelves there, the new way of approaching multi-cloud would let you buy your wines from a wine merchant, your meat from the farm shop and your pizzas from favourite Italian restaurant. If, for example, you ran an application that used both a database and machine learning, each of these two components could be run in the cloud environment that offered the best infrastructure and support.

At the same time, this multi-cloud approach also offers an added layer of availability protection. Should one of the cloud environments go offline, the application will still be available in the other so you can bring the affected component back online. For companies that need to keep the personal data of EU citizens stored on servers within the EU, this approach also helps with compliance, enabling data to be stored where it needs to be while other components can be run more effectively around the globe.

Distributed cloud and the future

The Future of Distributed Cloud –

At present, the move towards edge cloudification and the changing use of multi-cloud environments are separate advancements. However, they are both indicators of a growing trend towards the development of a distributed cloud. This new way of working is becoming increasingly necessary as it will enable enterprises to manage not only a wide variety of discrete components, e.g. edge applications, legacy datacentre apps and apps spread over multiple cloud providers; but crucially, the infrastructure required to support them. In doing so, it will operate as a unified distributed cloud where organisations can manage and operate their entire IT services. Indeed, it will enable applications to be deployed with common policies and provide global visibility across all locations and infrastructures.


The distributed cloud, essentially, is an approach that lets enterprises use the best tool for each job. It enables real-time processing to happen at the edge where decision making needs to be made quickly and enables app components to be run in the cloud environment where the infrastructure and support best fit. Crucially, however, it takes all these disparate elements and enables them to be centrally managed. If you are looking for bespoke, managed IT solutions, take a look at our Enterprise Hosting page.

Cloud-automated IT eliminates shorcomings of Traditional IT model

Cloud Computing Risks, Challenges & Problems Businesses Are Facing

For small and medium-sized companies, the traditional IT model of an on-premises network built and operated with an in-house IT staff is often fraught with problems.  IT teams are stretched to capacity simply keeping the lights on and there are always going to be issues with systems performance, network reliability, end user productivity, data recovery, security and the help desk.  Staffing is another constant challenge. And if companies decide to outsource some IT functions, they end up with multiple service providers, which creates additional headaches.

The problem is highlighted in the 2018 State of the CIO survey conducted by CIO Magazine, in which CIOs said their role is becoming more digital and innovation focused, but they don’t have time to address those pressing needs because they are bogged down with functional duties.

The common business challenges reported in the survey are often symptoms of needs that are misaligned with technologies and service providers, plus the lack of budget to address the problems.  Those challenges typically revolve around:

  • security and disaster recovery
  • lost productivity due to downtime and end users waiting for support
  • shadow IT and users not following security training
  • escalating or unpredictable costs
  • outdated infrastructure
  • shortage of talent
  • multiple tech providers and systems working at cross-purposes

Smaller businesses that may have turned to traditional managed service providers quickly discover these services lack seamlessness and result in reactive support challenges. According to the Ponemon Institute’s State of Endpoint Security Risk Report, 80% of these reactive issues can be eliminated through standardization and automation.

Moving to a cloud-based IT infrastructure

Why Your Business Should Be Adopting Cloud-Based IT Services - Consolidated Technologies, Inc.

Cloud-automated IT services can address these challenges and free up IT teams so they can align their strategies with the business.  Cloud-automated IT does all this by providing seamless, proactive support, enterprise-level security and compliance, redundant systems, highly available virtual desktops, continuous upgrades, predictable costs and improved end user productivity. The cloud-based IT infrastructure is managed by a team of experienced, knowledgeable, highly trained professionals who apply industry best practices.

Aligning the technologies in the IT infrastructure and having experts managing them delivers several key benefits:

  • Cost predictability: Not only are ongoing costs for an IT infrastructure that supports the business predictable and easy to budget for, surprise costs for disasters like outages, ransomware and security breaches are essentially eliminated.

Cyberlink - Reduce Variable Costs with Predictable Pricing Icon [9.27.17]-01 - CyberlinkASP

  • Reduced Friction and Risk: By standardizing on best-in-class, constantly updated technologies, friction is reduced between equipment, vendors, integration points, and service providers. This results in stronger security, performance, and ease of use.

Reduce Operational Risk with Effective Workflow Management

  • User Satisfaction and Productivity: If you’ve ever muddled through a few days of work on a loaner laptop you understand how important the user experience is to employee satisfaction and productivity. VDI and proactive management deliver a better computing experience and increased productivity. Instances can be refreshed just like you would with a cell phone.

60+ Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions You Can Borrow

With cloud-automated IT, the entire IT infrastructure moves to the cloud in a well-planned, efficient manner. The service provider helps create a personalized upgrade plan based on the specific needs of the organization, does a health check on existing applications, makes sure everything is configured properly and updates applications to the latest releases.

And cloud-automated IT goes far beyond simply lifting and shifting existing systems to the cloud. It is a holistic approach that aligns cutting-edge technologies and fully managed services to provide smaller companies enterprise-grade IT that can make a significant impact on the security and effectiveness of the business.

The “YOU MUST KNOW” of IT Companies

The “YOU MUST KNOW” of IT Companies

IT outsourcing is notoriously known for false promises, sub-standard quality of software and an inability to deliver products that can actually be used.

We discovered that more than half of our clients have burnt their fingers with such IT companies before choosing Anteelo and finally getting software delivered in the way it should have always been.

This post is based on true stories and is a compilation of the most common and shocking stories and experiences we have heard from our clients over the past few years.

1. False promises by sales teams

Sales Mistakes: 10 Mistakes Every Sales Rep Needs to Avoid!

Often, the first meeting with any IT company will be with people from their sales team, who are usually non-technical and may not understand your business problem, vision, and product at all. However, they have been trained and groomed to say the right set of words which sound convincing and make you decide in their favor.

In such meetings, the sales team also tends to commit and agree to many terms which are then rarely delivered in practice. Most of the times, the complexity and understanding of what is being committed to being completely missing.

2. Deep organizational hierarchies

Flat vs. Deep Website Hierarchies

Most companies will never get you in touch with the set of developers and designers who are going to ultimately work on your project. That communication is often forced to go through product managers, project managers, team leads and various such roles where everyone adds their own subjective interpretation leading to a lot of important decisions just getting lost in translation.

The reason for this obfuscation is that most companies would hire very junior or young developers with incompetent design and software development skills and provide them with zero training. Often they are learning on the job as they are building your product, which means that the code quality being delivered is poor and the product is riddled with a large number of bugs and issues, often leading to an unsatisfactory and unusable project.

Another common scam is further outsourcing your work to another company without your permission. That means that the quality of work goes down even further since the communication gap widens. Also, it can be assumed that in most cases, the second company will be even cheaper and that will reflect in their hiring and quality standards as well.

3. Not sharing source code with clients

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Since most clients of IT companies are non-technical, IT companies would often take advantage of the fact that the client’s entire source code is under their control. The unsuspecting client is also unaware of the importance of this ownership until things turn sour in the relationship. Source code transfer often becomes the hostage before the scores are settled.

4. Charging exorbitant hosting fees

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Taking advantage of the nontech awareness of their clients, many IT companies would charge a hefty monthly fee in the name of server hosting, etc. even if the same can be done at a much cheaper cost. Most clients will simply give-in because they will not understand the correct facts and have no option left but to believe what they chose IT company is suggesting.

5. Fake claims about skills and clientele

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Websites of most IT companies claim to have great competencies, skills and clients listed. While most of them may be true, but most people get fooled into believing that the company has built the whole product for the clients they have listed.

As a client, always ask for the details of what the company did for that client. Did they work on their whole product or a part of it? What exactly was their role and how long was their engagement? Demand for answers to be explained to you in a simple non-technical way.

6. Delivering software as per spec, but not as per common sense

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Most companies will ask their clients to create a product spec or requirements document to define exactly what they are trying to build. And the IT company will share a time and cost estimate accordingly. But no company will bother to improve the spec or explain the shortcomings in the document to the client. Often there would be features in the spec which may not be that important to the client but would take significant development time. Nobody in the team (sales or development) would take the initiative of asking the client whether such features are important or can be skipped.

Eventually, a combination of a vague product spec and a team of incompetent developers means that the product will never be completed. Most companies will just get into a never-ending cycle of bug fixing where one bug fix leads to another and months go by and nothing is ever ready to ship.

Even in the rare case that the product is actually completed, it may tally to the spec document on a point by point level, but the overall product will be unstable and practically unusable.

7. Delivering software which will crash as soon as actual workloads start

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Lack of proper testing across a variety of devices and platforms leads to issues which can be hard to detect until it’s too late. Often the developers and sales teams will be smart enough to show you a product demo in a very limited and controlled environment but the moment the product will go live, everything will begin to fall apart. Your users will complain of your app crashing on their phones or not working as expected.

Such issues are even more devastating since by then you would have already announced your product to your connections and damage control would be nearly impossible.

It’s important to evaluate your IT company on multiple factors, not just the final price. Making a good choice could lead to an association that could last for years and helps you with your product and startup vision for a long time. A bad choice could mean that your startup ambition could fail even before it lifts off from the ground.


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