Strategic Cloudification as an Enabler for Business Continuity Planning for Enterprises During/Post Pandemic Disruption

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By January 2020, it was clear that a highly contagious viral infection termed as Covid-19 was not limited to China but was spreading across the globe. With the number of infections rising exponentially and no treatment or vaccine yet to be identified, “social distancing” and “quarantine” became an accepted norm as recommended by WHO to flatten the pandemic curve.

Impact of social distancing was immediately felt by the travel and tourism sector, as weeks passed, governments around the world chose to lock down and seal both international and interstate borders. Under this unprecedented and unforeseen situation, most organizations across the globe are struggling with the simultaneous challenge of keeping their business up and running, along with managing staff well-being.

The need of the hour is to manage the enterprise application ecosystem at a large scale, remotely and in a secured manner, which has triggered organizations to evaluate and recalibrate their strategy towards accelerated cloud adoption to increase resilience and agility within the technology backbone of the companies at large.

Looking ahead, each business will follow its own recovery path depending on various factors. At the same time, it’s crucial that businesses keep the lights on in this low-demand market, in a cost-efficient manner. With enterprise workloads on cloud and increasing adoption of PaaS and serverless approaches, organizations are already looking at reduced infrastructure and related operating expenses during this critical period. Automation, powered by various technologies and converging together in the cloud platform, will help organizations manage their workloads remotely in a more efficient way.

Below are some pointers for organizations to consider, as part of their strategy for cloud adoption in wake of the new scenario, to embrace risks better today and tomorrow.

  1. Time-bound & intelligent decision making to exit enterprise data center by migrating workloads to public cloud. A time-bound decision to migrate applications and infrastructure to the public cloud will be the need of the hour for all organizations to minimize risk with stable IT operations. Organizations need to examine regulatory and compliance guidelines while moving data to cloud. One challenge for the cloud platforms is to provide highly scalable and secure features around applications and to fulfill the increasing demand from customers to migrate their workloads. Partners like TCS and AWS can accelerate the cloud migration journey for organizations through a proven Factory Model. TCS iCMC TM and AWS TSO Logic help organizations to identify the right path for their cloud migration in a time-bound manner.
  2. Adopt serverless to align Infrastructure expenses in line with utilization. Driven by the compulsion of social distancing, serverless technology like AWS Lambda and Fargate for containers enables enterprises to minimize workforce dedicated towards upkeep of underlying infrastructure. AWS serverless technologies enabled using intelligent Modernization factory TCS Modernization PropellerTM coupled with smart monitoring and events are capable of auto-scaling up/down to run in a cost-optimized manner in line with utilization. Cloud platforms today have evolved to run a wide variety of workload (compute, databases, ETL jobs, batch processing, microservices on container platforms) in serverless (fully managed) manner, with the basic aim of reducing the overhead of physically maintaining (patching, updating, securing, scaling) the underlying hardware.
  3. Cloud-enabled desktop workspaces and remote IDE for developers. Development environment are restricted and limited to developer’s local environment (desktop/laptop) and becomes challenging when it comes to remote working. AWS offers Amazon Workspaces (Desktop-as-a-service) as a virtual desktop-based environment and Cloud9 (an integrated IDE) for developers to work remotely and securely with access to development environments through an internet browser. Employees can log into their workspace from anywhere and start working immediately to avoid any critical business failure. TCS Solution for Workspace-as-a-service (WaaS) along with AWS services can bring an optimized, scalable and resilient solution for organizations across the world both from a cost and business continuity perspective.
  4. Container factory as a service for faster application migration. Customers across the globe want to embrace cloud as a part of their business continuity plan. With the cloud movement, they want to adopt security and portability in their enterprise architecture. Container factory will speed up the cloud movement with process standards, skilled people and automation as a core. Containerization is the new business continuity plan to free up the data center and move applications to cloud with speed, keeping portability as the core theme. Container factory operations bring speed, standardization and a new self-funding model for cloud migration. TCS offers a “Container Consumption” pricing model to reduce the upfront investment. AWS provides various options like AWS ECS and EKS along with Fargate to enable containerization on AWS
  5. Enable remote call centers using AWS Connect for 24/7 support functions. Maintaining dedicated Infrastructure and related ecosystem tools for a contact center can be challenging during such times with a limited workforce while following social distancing norms. This calls for a “virtual contact center” that is easily configured and requires no special training to use and without requiring help from tech teams and specialized consultants. With scalable and pay-as-you-go models, you pay based on the number of customer minutes and the amount of phone time that you consume. Designed from the ground up to be omnichannel, TCS Solution Contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) & Amazon Connect provide a seamless experience across voice and chat for customers and agents. It leverages the power of artificial intelligence using the ecosystem of AWS and with the ease of setting up a 24x7 call center. TCS Global presence along with AWS Global ecosystem can be leveraged to accelerate migrations of existing call centers on AWS Cloud.
  6. Accelerate AI & ML adoption for enabling automation and reducing operational dependencies. Today organizations are increasingly using AI and ML to inject smart decisions, powered by data-driven insights, into their daily operations. All areas of operations are touched by AI & ML tools and are helping organizations reduce the cost of operations by automating several operational tasks. AWS services like Amazon Rekognition & Sagemaker along with TCS Machine First Delivery Model (MFDMTM), which can help in image and video analysis, are helping organizations to mitigate security attacks just-in-time. Insights from ML help keep these tools updated and ready for any future security threats. These services can also be deployed smartly to trigger BCP infrastructure in case of extreme threats like Covid-19. Operations powered by ML help automate the entire cycle where the serverless infrastructure can be scaled up/down based on not only alters but also on usage patterns.
  7. VR & AR technologies (on cloud) for better remote collaboration and moving away from crowded places for running online events & meetings. Organizations have been spending huge amounts of money in organizing marketing events, which are done at crowded places like hotels and event halls, with elevated risk of spreading the contagion. The future may be different, with such events and meetings being held remotely, using the best mix of cloud platform, technologies and collaboration tools. Virtual and augmented reality are among the best enablers for running such events remotely. This helps organizations save huge operational costs. Amazon Sumerian is one such solution that makes it easy to create an engaging 3D front-end experience and is integrated with AWS services to provide easy access to machine learning, chatbots, code execution and more. Organizations will be able to build a virtual environment that enables people to tour a building or event hall remotely and collaborate with other people or listen to a keynote speech. TCS has some excellent tools that can accelerate remote collaboration and enable online events for partners and customers. TCS offerings like RAPID LABS along with AWS services enable customers to work innovatively & efficiently in a cost optimized way during & post Covid-19 situation.

The world will not be the same post-pandemic and organizations will learn to adapt better as we move forward. This phase of life will pass and humanity will come out stronger and more resilient from the experience, which has incurred such a huge loss to humankind. Technology will play a much vital role in bringing back things on track. Accelerated cloud adoption must be treated as high priority for organizations to start from where we paused for a while due to this unprecedented event. Highly skilled workforces and innovative technology companies need to collaborate and enable a better future for the world economies, human existence and for upcoming generations.

Man is immortal, therefore he must die endlessly. For life is a creative idea, it can only find itself in changing forms.” - Rabindranath Tagore

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