Let’s Fight The Job Search Stress Together
The current situation is uncertain for everyone. The pandemic continues to jolt the entire world, and nobody is exempted from its impact. If we talk about the labor market, it is one of the heavily hit industries. Enterprises resorted to job cuts as one of the measures to survive during the pandemic. This resulted in massive job loss, causing frustration and anxiety among job seekers.
You are not alone in this; we all are together. Together we can bust the job search stress. Let’s start with some best practices for busting the job search stress.
Here are the burning facts of this grave situation:
Depression rates are much higher for people who have been unemployed for more than a year. (Source: http://bit.ly/2YA2g3h)
Unemployed individuals are three times more likely to abuse alcohol. (Source: http://bit.ly/2Kk2er3 )
Not All Companies are Firing; Some Are Still Hiring
Searching for a job is a full-time job itself. During this pandemic, the stress level is high to get your dream job. Some organizations are still hiring. Health and Technology sector is doing good in this pandemic; thus, they need more human power to match with the surge demands.
Your Daily Plan of Action
As you had a schedule of everything when you had a job, similarly, you should have a daily plan of action for the job search. People who do not take Job Search seriously get frustrated first.
You can start with some small and realistic goals for each day: Send 10 Resumes, learning new skills, working on a resume, etc.
Build Your Network (Offline and Online)
Nothing can beat the importance of Networking when it comes to getting the best job. This is the best time to explore and build your network. Make sure there are two ways of building your network p Offline and Online. Here you need to work on both categories. Both options have their benefits. You can connect with similar profile people on LinkedIn, one o the best social media channels for employers and candidates to connect.
Learn New Skills (Online)
How Many Certifications Do You have?
Utilizing time is the art of an intelligent person. Learning new skills online and getting certified is the new trend among professionals. Whether you are jobless or not, earning certification from the reputed online source provider is the trend you should be part of. This is the way to improve your chances of getting placed.
Rejections Are The Part of Job Search
Do not take rejections of job applications personally. Rejections are an integral part of a job search process. If you take them too seriously, you will surrender yourself to anxiety and frustration easily. Be assured there is the best-suited job waiting for you.
Work on Your Resume
You got the time to work on your skills as well as on your resume. As we heard, resumes are the text versions of your professional journey. Would not you love to spruce it up? You can take help from the experts to work on your resume.
What if you need more Storage & Performance than today
Cloud Storage Adoption
In my previous blogs, we have discussed cost optimization (CO) recommendations of EC2 instances, Pricing models, Rightsizing, Savings plan, Compute optimizer, Important CO tools of AWS, burstable instances, etc..
In this blog, let us discuss the increasing demand for cloud storage adoption which has become a new norm. Cloud Storage adoption has been gaining popularity, due to data explosion & infrastructure spend in every sector of the business due to digitalization
As per IDC report, there are interesting facts that enable us to think about smart storage essentials. Few statistics are listed below for your reference
Challenges and Opportunities towards cloud storage adoption
In this data-driven era, it is been challenging for various industry verticals to manage the data in terms of capturing, retaining, analyzing, protecting, and decommissioning in a cost-effective manner as listed below.
Customers can overcome these challenges
- By following step by step approach to move from the Traditional IT model to Recurring Revenue model
- Identify your steps to profitability
- Accelerate time to business value
- Increase awareness towards new solutions around emerging technologies
- Start with a small cloud adoption solution and its value proposition
- Explore, Engage and Enable
- Consult AWS partners to
- Plan & Design
- Build and Migrate
- Run and Operate
AWS Cloud storage portfolio – High level overview
AWS offers various storage solutions which span across block, file and object storage. Other storage types include AWS Backup, Hybrid storage, Cloud storage & Transfer and Edge Storage.
Block storage is ideal for structured datasets such as databases that require consistent I/O performance and low latency. Typically, mission-critical applications, which are transactional and compute-intensive in nature, such as Oracle and SAP,
File storage solutions present unstructured data as a hierarchy of files in folders typically for home directories, file shares, collaborative applications, and so forth.
Object-based storage services are ideal data lake foundations with scale-out flexibility, frequent access options for current applications, and cost-optimized, long-term retention storage (nearline archival or cold storage) of very large repositories of unstructured data such as images and videos.
Evaluate cloud storage – Key considerations
Growing a sustainable and profitable business with cloud storage adoption has become new normal.
Careful analysis of the below factors at high level is recommended.
- Optimize costs based on actual usage patterns
- Long-term cost reduction opportunities, through improved list price/ reusability of data
- Free/low cost services for data management
- Discounts offered based on resource commitments
- Factor access and integration of adjacent services
- Protection against Malware
- Encryption during rest and transit
- Protection of data/Compliance
- Migration, Management of Data
- Reduction in manual tasks and prioritization of higher value activities?
Cloud storage adoption has mainly 2 advantages viz. The cost-effectiveness of using cloud resources and the other is more to do with data, as customers evolve, which increasingly seeks access to adjacent cloud and data services for a wider range of workloads, which allows them to gain more value from their cloud storage over time.
The availability of multiple storage services and options enables organizations to select the right storage for their needs and pay for only the functionality and storage performance required.
Let’s Witness The Rise of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
“As per Gartner's report, 75% of enterprises will have a hybrid or multi-cloud model by 2020.”
One thing we all agree is that cloud has become a necessity for enterprises across the industries. Business agility and flexibility are two necessary weapons to fight against the current situation. Cloud technology is driving the incredible transformation enabling enterprises to adopt the changing business circumstances.
However, enterprises usually face the dilemma of choosing between private or public cloud services while migrating their workloads to the cloud. The solution to this problem is to go with the option that best suits your business workloads – either public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure.
According to the RightScale State of the Cloud Report, 2019:
- 58% of respondents preferred a hybrid cloud strategy
- 17% opted for multiple public clouds
These market reports indicate that HYBRID CLOUD is on the rise. So, let's understand what this hybrid cloud strategy is all about.
A hybrid cloud infrastructure combines private, public cloud, and on-premises environments. This means an organization can perform tasks on the public cloud, pull the resources from the private cloud or on-premises, and upload the data in any of the clouds.
Enterprises do not need to stick with one infrastructure system (Public or Private); instead, they can choose the best as per their requirements. Depending on the requirements, enterprises can deploy some private cloud features and some of the public cloud features to avail the most out of it. Moreover, the Hybrid cloud IT infrastructure enables the enterprises to enjoy the flexibility of workloads distribution across private and public cloud infrastructure.
Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure gives your business the benefits of the lowest latency and highest security of the private cloud and the public cloud's scalability.
The hybrid cloud model enables enterprises to put the highest security to their cloud operations and stored data. The security of the cloud data has always been one of the most critical considerations of the enterprises while deciding the cloud technology. A private cloud gives you way better security than a public cloud; therefore, having the hybrid approach ensures these two models' benefits. Moreover, sometimes on-premises infrastructure also caters to the security need of the enterprises.
Most enterprises are adopting cloud technology just because of the cost savings. However, some studies indicate that cloud wastage is rampant among enterprises because of their negligence towards the significant cloud migration and management strategy.
A hybrid approach can help you to avoid cloud wastage by utilizing all the resources deployed. Moreover, utilizing both the cloud options features will surely put the cap on the cloud cost.
According to reports, 64% of enterprises suggested cost savings as one of the significant objectives of adopting cloud technology in 2019.
The hybrid cloud is on the rise because it gives you the FREEDOM to choose your enterprise's best IT infrastructure. You can avail of the two breeds' best features and combined them into one cloud strategy- Hybrid Cloud Strategy.
What do you think? Does the ‘one size fit all’ approach works best? No, a customized solution is all we need because all businesses are different. Speed up your digital transformation with the hybrid cloud infrastructure.
The Impact of Passing On A Job Offer
The job market is dramatically changed in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has taken out many people's jobs, leaving them to look for opportunities in the market. What made the situation worse is the declining economy, due to which the total unemployment rate has reached 7.9.
Should you pass on a job offer in this crisis? Can passing a job offer hurt your career?
The current circumstances would not recommend to anybody to pass on a job offer. However, some candidates pass on a job offer to hold a good job opportunity better than the previous one. The only essential aspect to analyze the reasons for which people pass on a job offer.
What if the job offer is a downgrade?
There are several situations when job candidates realize that the current job offer is a downgrade to their position and pay. Will they accept the job offer or pass on? Unemployment is undoubtedly one of the critical aspects of our current economy; however, it does not mean you should accept the downgrade job offer.
It is better to pass on a job offer that downgrades your position, knowledge, and pay. If you accept that offer, you may lose your confidence and dignity to some extent.
What if you have multiple job offers?
You can judge a better opportunity for yourself. When having more than one job opportunity in hand, you should not delay in deciding the best job opportunity. In this case, passing on a one job offer is recommended; however, the earliest you can convey the message to the HR is better.
What if you are laid off due to a pandemic?
Undoubtedly, several companies have chosen layoffs as one of the modes of cost-cutting and saving their business in this pandemic. If you have lost your job due to the pandemic, you should not pass on any job offer. You may get the job offer with low pay and below your previous designations. You can still manage the job for a few months while looking for an opportunity matching your requirements. Sometimes your talent will speak for itself in the workplace.
Will the situation be normalized?
Yes, when the pandemic hit the world, the unemployment rate was 14, which has reduced to 7.9. We are continuously recovering collectively. However, the recovery is inevitable but will take time for sure. Therefore, while we are moving back to the growth track, we all need to examine our available options to stay afloat in the economy.
Don’t hope for the best, Work For The Best.
Cloud Monitoring Spend Is Worth Spending
Cloud technology is revolutionizing the technology industry across the globe. Enterprises need to be very cautious while migrating their workloads to the cloud because of its multitude of features. Among several significant aspects of cloud technology, cloud monitoring is one of the less-discussed aspects. Most enterprises spend their time and money on the cloud migration process and its resources. They worry less about management and monitoring.
An ideal enterprise always puts the monitoring and management in the first place because this keeps your workloads running effectively.
Let’s understand what cloud monitoring all is. It is a process of analyzing, monitoring, and managing cloud-based services and infrastructure.
Cloud Monitoring Is the Best Answer To Out of control Cloud Cost Bills.
There is an extensive list of cloud monitoring advantages. One of the top benefits is having proper control of service usage. It is essential to know how the cloud technology environment works and monitor all significant cloud spend. You need to make sure that you are getting the cloud cost bill of the usage, i.e., there is no discrepancy in your usage and bill generated by the vendor. Here comes the cloud monitoring to rescue you in case of usage discrepancy. You make sure that you get what you pay for.
Make Sure That “You Are Paying for What You Have Consumed”
Ensure the Proper Security
One of the critical factors that enterprises consider while deciding cloud migration is the security of their workloads. Cloud monitoring ensures that all networks are safe from cyberattacks. With cloud monitoring, IT teams detect and eliminate cyber threats and data breaches.
Are you getting enough speed?
It is cloud monitoring, ensuring that you are getting proper speed and agility in your cloud services. We all agree that speed is a significant determinant of customer satisfaction. Therefore, we all need to match with this aspect to succeed in this highly competitive market. Speed metrics can further help enterprises to optimize their website and applications.
Cost Optimization Starts With Monitoring
You cannot optimize the cloud cost until you detect the issues in your current infrastructure. Cloud monitoring tools help you detect and identify the causes of higher cloud costs. Once you find out the problems, you can implement the solution part. Then you will be able to start cost optimization strategies – killing the idle resources, picking the right size, adequate allocation of resources, etc. Several cloud monitoring tools are available to help enterprises get a lot of valuable data and insights.
5 Ways To Keep Cloud Cost Under Control
Cloud Technology is all about convenience, security, speed, agility, and, most importantly, Cost Savings. Cloud Cost overspend is the harsh reality of this growing technology. Enterprises have started experiencing the heat of cloud costs.
Cloud technology is supposed to reduce the overall IT infrastructure cost. On the contrary to this, many enterprises complained to have higher cloud clots bill resulting in overspend. Here are some burning facts of this harsh reality:
Adobe software development team in the year of 2018 incurred $80,000 a day in unscheduled cloud operations, which finally exceeded the entire cloud cost bill to half a million dollars.
Adobe is not alone in this category. There are several enterprises surprised because of the unforeseen cloud bills. As per a report, almost 60% of enterprises outspend their dedicated or planned cloud budgets.
1 – Estimate Before You Begin Cloud Journey (Use Cloud Cost Calculators)
We all love surprises, only when it is not in your bills. If you want to avoid the unforeseen cloud cost bills, you should start by adequately estimating your cloud services. Most cloud vendors provide free cloud cost calculators, where you can get the customized estimate of your cloud usage based on your requirements.
2 – Choose The Right Region
The operations costs of the cloud vendors differ from region to region. Depending on the geographical region, most of the enterprises price their services. For instance, it might be cheaper to store your rarely accessed data in the remote storage regions. Moreover, you would wish to have your frequently accessed data in the same region where VM instances are available to mitigate the inter-region costs. Selecting the right region is highly essential, yet only a small number of enterprises pay attention to this aspect.
3 – Avoid Cloud Wastage
Wastage is always detrimental to progress. Cloud wastage refers to a situation wherein enterprises deploy resources more than they require. This action results in idle assets incurring huge costs. Get more information about how to avoid cloud wastage, read our blog, ‘How To Avoid Cloud Wastage’.
4 – Dynamic Cloud Monitoring
Would you like to be charged for idle resources? Due to a proper and dynamic cloud monitoring system's unavailability, enterprises fail to track and close the orphaned resources. Orphaned resources are the biggest contributors in the Cloud wastage. Ignoring cloud monitoring will cost you huge.
Download the Ebook loaded with best Cloud Monitoring Strategies.
5 – Have you heard about Auto-scaling?
Auto-scaling is a feature offered by cloud vendors to allocate the resources based on the demand automatically. Most of the cloud vendors provide this feature. With this feature, your resources will be automatically allocated during the peak hours and reduced when the resource is not required, i.e., no idle resources. To learn more about the best Auto scaling strategies, read our blog. The Best Auto Scaling Strategies.
Above mentioned 5 methods to control your cloud cost are the most effective ways to put the cap on your cloud overspend. Try these proven methods.
There are plenty of ebooks and other assets available over the web related to cloud cost optimization. If you want to optimize your AWS cloud cost, here is an Ebook loaded with the most practical approach to optimizing the cloud cost. Download The AWS Cost Optimization Ebook.
Burstable Performance Instances
As discussed in the previous blog Burstable Performance Instance Part I, AWS burstable instances can be seen as customer-first strategy, especially when it is a “lift-and-shift” of Data center VMs to AWS or internal to the cloud, whose workloads don’t have prolonged high CPU usage. You can explore and leverage burstable instances for variety of general-purpose workloads such as Microservices, Dev/Test, Virtual desktops etc. to reduce your cloud expenditure. In this blog, let us discuss more on CPU credit model in relation with Burstable compute power.
AWS has launched transparent and traceable CPU credit model, with which there is a visibility towards earning CPU credits when there is less or no usage of compute power and the earned CPU credits could be used to burst the compute power. In other words, “Bursting mechanism is based on the CPU credits”.
Earlier, with standard option, it was indistinguishable for the users and their general-purpose applications for running on burstable instances. With the introduction of new mode “Unlimited”, you need not have to keep track of CPU credits & their workloads can use the compute resources whenever it needs and for as long as it needs without the need to worry about the credits.
What type of workloads can benefit from Burstable instances
- Most general-purpose instances that don’t need fixed CPU resources.
- Good for applications that occasionally need quick access to high CPU. Key thing to make sure is that the instance can react to very small spikes at the scale of microsecond granularity
- Instances that are idle or need moderate CPU for majority of the time
- Instances that need to sustain high CPU whenever and for as long as needed.
- Examples of workloads
- Dev & Test environment
- Virtual Desktops
- Small & Medium Databases
- Interactive Applications
- Code Repositories
How to choose the Burstable instance categories
In majority of the cases, it is recommended to go with latest generation instances due to enhanced compute power.
Among the burstable turbo instances viz T2,T3,T3a,T4g, choose the one that is more appropriate for your workloads. Let us consider T3 instances in the below example (As T4g has been released in 3rd week of September 2020, not many specific use cases/ stats are available yet)
How to choose the Burstable instance sizes
Once the burstable instance category has been identified (for eg:T3), then it is essential to choose the instance size viz. nano/micro/small/medium/large/xlarge/2xlarge as per the below recommendations
It is advisable to monitor the CPU utilization of the EC2 instances by using Cloudwatch monitoring tool for a period of at least 2 weeks and arrive at baseline/average CPU utilization, which helps in choosing the right instance size.
Be familiar with CPU credits
Once you are clear with the burstable instance category and the instance size, it is key to have an idea about the CPU credits such as
- The rate at which CPU credits are earned per hour
- The max # of earned CPU credits that an instance can accrue
- Max limit of burstable hrs/day
- Baseline utilization per vCPU
As the instances are idle, or using moderate CPU, it will start accruing CPU credits, then it can use that CPU credit to burst at later period. As it can’t burst more than 100%, the max# of credits that can be earned per day are 4,608 (In this example, of t3.2xlarge, the max CPU credits would be CPU credits per hour * 24 hrs = 192 * 24= 4608).
If the instance is running <40% of CPU usage, 192 CPU credits can be earned per hour. If the same continue, it can earn up to 4608 CPU credits/day which will be around 9 hrs burstable using all vCPUs.
Under what scenarios, Burstable instances (’T’ category) are cheaper than M category instance types
At times, you land up in a situation to decide whether to go with T type instance or M type instances and which one is the most cost-effective solution.
AWS has come up with a concept called “Break even CPU usage Threshold”, which is the main deciding factor to address this scenario
In the below example, Baseline CPU of T3.large is 30%. If the instances are bursting at 100% throughout the time, then the customer would end up paying quite a lot on T3.large, which is roughly of 1.5 times , the cost of running on M5 large. So, for the instances that need fixed CPU usage, it is better to go with M4 or M5 instance categories.
If the instances that don’t need fixed CPU, and if the Average CPU is somewhere around 42.5%, then the price would be exactly what it is on M5.large, on T3.large.So this is the breakeven price for T3.large, compared to M5.Large.
If the average CPU is anywhere between 0 to 42.5%, then it would result in savings by running on T3 instances, still benefiting from the same performance that can get from M4 or M5 instances. So, theT3 instances would be cheaper for the workloads than running them on M5.
How to calculate Break-even threshold and price
- Calculate the price difference between T3.large and M5.large . In this example, under column E, the value is $0.0125.
- The charge per vCPU hour for t3.large is $0.05. Convert that into vCPU minute by dividing $0.05 with 60 mins = 0.05/60= $0.000833 . In this example under column H.
- Divide difference in price with charge per vCPU minute i.e $0.000833/$0.0125= 15 mins. In this example divide column E/H. It gives the # of minutes that the instance can burst at 100% CPU.
- Take 100% CPU and spread it across 60 minute interval, it will give the incremental CPU above the base line for which it can burst at the breakeven price.
- We know that 15 is 25% of 60. This is for 2 vCPUs. If we consider per vCPU, it will come to 12.5%.
- In this case it is 12.5% incremental CPU , on top of base line 30%, giving you the break even as 42.5%.
Note: Same formula applies across any instance types
Pre-requisites for Switching to T3 instances
You need to have the right drivers to run on new Nitro system that T3 runs on
- Must have the NVMe (Nonvolatile Memory express) drivers installed.
- Must have the ENA (Elastic Network Interface) drivers installed.
Once done, you can switch to T3 instances through AWS console or CLI
AWS console Select the EC2 instance Stop the instance Go to Instance settings Change instance Type Select the appropriate instance type Restart the instance
- Instances accumulate credits when idle and consume them when running.
- For running instances, credits never expire.
- For stopped instances, credits are stored for up to 7 days and then they expire.
- If the average CPU utilization of a T3 instance is lower than the baseline over a 24 hour period, the hourly instance price covers all spikes in usage.
- If the instance runs at higher CPU utilization for a prolonged period, there will be an additional charge of $0.05 per vCPU-hour.
Digital Transformation Is Changing Employee Expectations
Digital Transformation is a buzzword among enterprises. It has become an integral part of growing enterprises. Has any organization ever thought about the expectations and experiences of the employees? For employees, digital transformation is more than a buzzword.
Employees welcome the digitalization in their companies and adopt the changes in their workflow. However, in the efforts to implement the digital transformation, enterprises usually miss to include employee expectations and experience.
Employees Embrace The Digital Transformation
According to Workfront’s 2020 “State of the Work” survey, 91% of employees favor the latest innovative technology solutions. Undoubtedly, in the current circumstances, work from home and other technological advantages helping our lives are possible because of the digital transformation. Employees can work, connect, collaborate, and communicate from any place with an internet connection.
Digital Transformation Has Direct Impact On Employees
Not all employees will be able to adopt the digital changes immediately without any help. It is good to assume that Digital Transformation can be a daunting task for some employees if it is not appropriately implemented. Some CIOs and tech leaders focus on bringing in new tools but forget about its proper workplace implementation.
Employers need a proper training system in place whenever new software or tech tool is being implemented, no matter how well versed they are with technology.
Before setting organizational goals, employers need to gauge the employees’ needs and expectations.
Don’t Ignore The Technology Needs
According to a Gartner Report, less than fifty percent of IT and non-IT employees believe their CIOs ignore their technology needs or simply don’t give much importance to their digital technology issues affecting their productivity.
Leaders need to have a standard operation to understand the upcoming digital challenges and problems for the employees. Ignoring the digital needs of the employees will cost huge to the enterprise.
Poorly Implemented Digital Transformation Hamper the Productivity
On the one hand, technology tools are being introduced to improve the technology. On the other hand, it causes the loss if implemented wrongly. Undoubtedly, technology has impacted the way we used to work. However, the workflow is dynamic, which makes the workplace a dynamic environment. Therefore, continuous improvement and monitoring are required. Leaders should avoid following a process to buy a tech tool and expect that employees will take hold of this.
No Tool Is Important Than Employee
Technology is here to improve our process, increase our efficiency but certainly not to replace us. The people will be the company's core, no matter how much automation or new tech we adopt.
Make the employees understand that new technology is there to help them, not replace them. Tech leaders understand the power of digital transformation. It can reshape the entire enterprise function. It has the power to impact the organizational culture as well.
Don’t let the employees feel threatened with the adoption of new technology. This is your job being the tech leader in your company.
Cost-Effective choice for General-Purpose computing
(Burstable Performance Instances)
AWS has been coming up with various EC2 instance offerings that are constantly evolving and staying on top of the cloud market. These EC2 instances form the backbone for the entire AWS cloud ecosystem. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to explore the details and uniqueness of each instance family for better decision making.
In today’s blog, there is an emphasis on General-purpose instance categories, especially the Burstable instances which help in both cost and performance optimization, if chosen wisely.
Most of the General-purpose workloads fall under 3 instance series viz. A1, M4, M5, M6, T2, T3, T4.
While every workload is different in its own way, in terms of the workload size & CPU utilization patterns, T instance family is unique wrt a wide range of instance size starting from nano to 2xlarge (smaller end of the scale) compared to M instance family.
Moreover, T instances have gained more popularity in recent years because of the “Burstable performance” nature, due to which customers have not only got benefited from considerable cost savings but also had experienced the same performance with that of M4 or M5 instances as long as CPU% is within the range of “Breakeven threshold” (will discuss later in the blog series)
As per the analysis done by AWS on the applications and instances that are running on General Purpose workloads, it is been observed that a broad set of General Purpose instances use low CPU utilization and only a fraction of the instances are using high CPU utilization. This was the driver for AWS to come up with Burstable instances.
Most popular Burstable ‘T’ Instances -- T2,T3, T3a,T4g
Comparison of T2,T3,T3a and T4g Instance types
By design, the instance is built to have a moderate CPU usage that is included in the offering. If you want to sustain high CPU usage, you need to pay as you go on-demand price for that incremental CPU usage. It is very much 'pay for what you use'.
Quick facts for consideration
- T3 offers 30% improved price to performance compared to previous generation T2 instances.
- T3 is based on Intel Xeon Platinum 8000 series (Skylake) processors with a core Turbo clock speed of 3.1 GHz/sec.
- T3a is based on AMD EPYC 7000 series processor with a core Turbo clock speed of 2.5 GHz/sec.
- The default mode of CPU burst setting is “Unlimited” for T3 & T3a Instances. It can be changed to Standard and vice versa at any time.
- T3 generation instances come with twice the # of vCPUs on smaller instance sizes (nano, small) when compared to T2.
- Intel Hyperthreading is enabled by default so that customers get the incremental performance that is enabled by the Intel processor chips.
- T3 instances are built on EC2’s AWS Nitro system, which gives more access to the CPU power and higher network and storage performance.
- There is an improved network performance of up to 5 Gbps at burst.
- There is an improved EBS performance offering up to 1.5 Gbps on smaller sizes and 2.05 Gbps on larger sizes.
- T3 instance types support only EBS storage and not Local storage.
- T3 is 13% cheaper than M5
- T3 is 17% cheaper than M4
- T3 is 10% cheaper than T2
- T3 is 30% better price to performance than T2
- T3a is 10% cheaper than T3
- T4g is up to 40% better price to performance over T2 and up to 20% over T3
- CPU Credit Price is 5 cents per vCPU-Hour for Linux, RHEL & SUSE & 9.6 cents per vCPU-Hour for Windows
Lot of customers whose general-purpose workload’s average CPU utilization is idle to low to moderate & at times occasional periods of high CPU activity have got benefited by migrating their existing workloads on M instance types and some old generation C type instances to Burstable T type instances and getting benefited with the performance they need at a lower cost.
Here are 3 Latest Cloud Technology Trends In 2020
Cloud technology is expected to dominate the technology world as it will become the platform for other essential innovative technologies such as IoT, AI, and Blockchain. Cloud technology has traveled a long journey from a cost-saving tool to one of the most significant trends in the last few years. Today you cannot imagine digital transformation without cloud technology. This technology's significance is boosted amidst the pandemic circumstances as it emerged as the savior for several enterprises. Therefore, investment in the cloud technology sector is increased.
The rise of Hybrid Cloud Demand
Hybrid cloud will continue to be one of the most sought-after cloud deployment models for enterprises as it offers more flexibility. As per the Gartner report, 75% of enterprises will have a hybrid cloud model by 2020. Apart from flexibility, there are other factors that drive the massive demand for the Hybrid cloud model, security, cost efficiency, agility, and scalability. Another research firm report, MarketsandMarkets, suggested that the hybrid cloud market will grow from $44.6 billion in 2018 to $97.6 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 17 percent.
Demand for Hyper-Scale Data Center
Speed is the need of the hour. In this digital era, enterprises want to operate at high speed to deliver their customers' services smoothly. Organizations are looking for the IT infrastructure that matches their requirements – Scale-up whenever infrastructure realizes the surge in demand and Scale down in case of reduced demand. These dynamic situations led to the emergence of hyper-scale data centers in the market.
These centers are capable of matching the instant requests of the enterprises. A research report by Markets&Markets suggests that the hyper-scale data centers market will grow from $25.08 to $80.65 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 26.32 percent. Moreover, Cisco estimates that hyper-scale data centers’ traffic will increase by 2021, making the hyper-scale data centers account for 55 percent of all data center traffic by 2021.
Demand for Disaster-Recovery-as-a-service
As we already mentioned in our previous blog (Disasters Cannot Be Prevented But Disaster Recovery Can Be Planned) that downtime is causing massive loss to the enterprises. Enterprises are losing tens of thousands of dollars due to data loss and downtime. As more and more enterprises are taking the digital route, downtime risk is increasing. As per the IBM report, the average cost of a data breach is close to $3.92 million. Additionally, Gartner's report indicates that IT downtime's average cost is close to $5,600 per minute. It majorly depends on the domain in which the enterprises are running their businesses. For example, if it is an e-commerce company, the downtime cost could be high because downtime means missed sales deals.
Moreover, data security is another critical aspect of enterprises. They need to take proper care of their data that they receive and store (customers’ data). Therefore, enterprises are legally bound to ensure that they have proper data security mechanism in place. Therefore, the demand for Disaster Recovery as a service is increasing among enterprises.
Why investing in public cloud certification is significant?
The demand for cloud services is growing at a rapid pace. The current pandemic situation has fast-tracked its adoption among enterprises due to the growth of remote working professionals. However, the reality is alarming; 90% of IT decision-makers report the shortage of cloud professionals.
The cloud requirement is getting more complex; thus, enterprises need to look for the level of services and expertise required for cloud management. Cloud certification is the best way to validate the proficiency and knowledge of cloud technology. The cloud market is expanding; thus, enterprises need to ensure they get the best services.
Certifications Demonstrates Your Industry Knowledge and Proficiency
Certifications ensure that individuals are skilled with the knowledge required to manage the cloud technology. Enterprises working with teams having public cloud certifications can be assured of getting the best cloud offerings. A team having in-depth knowledge will give you better advice, help you save cloud costs, and manage the cloud services efficiently.
Most of the cloud service providers like AWS, GCP, and Azure provides certifications. You can check with your service provider whether the team is certified with the selected technology or not.
Be Future Ready, Because Cloud Is The Future
As we know, cloud technology is proliferating, which means experts need to stay abreast of the latest trends to provide better service. Cloud certification helps you ensure that team has a thorough understanding of the latest cloud industry trends. There have been several reports suggesting that cloud technology adoption is increasing. Enterprises committed to growing their business needs to build a team with cloud technology certified experts.
Helps in maintaining the compliance with Industry standards
There are some cloud regulatory standards to be followed by cloud service providers. It is a challenge for enterprises to maintain changing regulations and standards. With the certified cloud expert, you can identify the compliance issues quickly, further can correct the issues. Moreover, a certified expert helps you prevent any unknown risks ensuring smooth cloud technology management.
To fill this gap, enterprises can connect with the service providers having relevant cloud certifications. If you are connecting with a cloud service provider, make sure they have the cloud certifications.
Trusted Advisor ‘Your Best Buddy’
Ever since AWS has launched ‘Trusted Advisor’ in 2013, customers have started leveraging lot of its recommendations towards Cost optimization, Improve Performance & Security, Fault tolerance and Service limits. As per the market study, in the last 7 years, the average cost savings just by using AWS native tools, primarily the Trusted Advisor is >500 million dollars.
Trusted Advisor is your auto managed cloud expert, which glances at your overall cloud environment and provides easy to read details how well you are with cost savings, performance and security. As the business expands, the cloud assets would keep growing in size, so it becomes all the more important to know where you are spending most of your funds, and which assets have the liability gaps. The user interface is simple and number of features it offers is best in class. The Comprehensive & solution agnostic approach are commendable.
The below example, depicts the potential monthly savings can be $7,516
With Trusted Advisor, customers can automatically manage their cloud health of their systems and cost primarily focusing on
- Reducing component requirement
- Improving the usage of available resources to the fullest
- Detecting Inefficiencies
- Security vulnerabilities
- Possible cost savings
It can perform nearly 72 checks and provide best practices/recommendations to mitigate the risk of performance degradation, overspend on cloud services. In this blog, the checks were listed at high level by AWS service wise
In the era of cloud automation, you can leverage Trusted Advisor to automate best practices by integrating with other AWS services , such as SNS, Lambda, Cloudwatch etc. You can do it in two phases.
- You can enable weekly email notifications from Trusted Advisor (TA) in the Preferences page of the Trusted Advisor console.
- You can use Amazon CloudWatch Events to monitor the status of TA checks.
- You can then use Amazon CloudWatch to create alarms on TA metrics.
- These alarms notify you when the status changes for a Trusted Advisor check, such as an updated resource or a service quota that is reached.
- You can stop EC2 instances with low utilization
- You can create snapshots for EBS volumes with no recent backup
- Enable versioning
- Enable Autoscaling, incase of more high utilized Instances
- Delete Exposed IAM Keys, strengthen password policies and MFA etc.
Trusted Advisor provides wealth of information which helps customers to take cost, performance and Security conscious decisions.
There are multiple AWS customers who got benefited by using Trusted Advisor.
“PatSnap has also turned on all the features offered by AWS Trusted Advisor to make it easier to patch platform vulnerabilities, improve security configurations, and intelligently provision resources to control costs. AWS has brought two main benefits to PatSnap: 50% reduction in costs, and 100% increase in product iteration speed.
“Intellect SEEC also plans to better adopt AWS Trusted Advisor to optimize its costs and manage capacity.The cost effectiveness of AWS means we have been able to reduce IT costs for clients by 60%.Reduced IT management time by 85 percent, Saves customers on average $300,000 by avoiding on-premises installations, Speeds up time to market for its services by tenfold,Achieved 99.99 percent availability”
“Flatiron also relies on services such as AWS Trusted Advisor and Amazon CloudWatch for additional auditing and security capabilities”.
“GE Oil & Gas is migrating 500 applications to the cloud as part of a major digital transformation. This project is helping the General Electric division achieve a 52 percent decrease in IT costs, greater speed to market, and the agility to compete even better in an industry experiencing immense market challenges”.
“Ohpen , the Financial software-as-a-service provider created a platform that banks can use to administer retail mutual funds and savings accounts for their customers. Using AWS, Ohpen can rapidly deliver new features and estimates it can help its institutional customers cut their costs by up to 80 percent.”
The actionable recommendations help customers to drive the potential that can be exercised in real time towards their cloud optimization and lay the roadmap for future implementation.
How to recover cloud wastage spend?
The cloud technology is supposed to be a source of saving money and unlocking new opportunities for enterprises. Contrary to this notion, it costs so much (if it is not managed correctly). How is cloud technology costing so much?
One aspect could be the deployment approach. Instead of moving to the cloud in stages, companies switch to the cloud in one big switch. This sudden change, if not appropriately managed, can cost the IT teams heavily. However, here are four significant aspects to help you to save cloud cost.
1 - Track and Identify the Orphaned Resources
Who would like to be charged for instances that you thought you had closed? These orphaned resources are one of the biggest causes of cloud waste. This is the case when you close compute resources but forget to turn off the storage resources.
It is the same situation as installing any application on your computer. Even after uninstalling the application, the installation file still exists in the system. However, here you are not charged for storage on your system, like in the cloud space.
2 - Don’t Assume, Be Sure About The Required Capacity
It is essential to reduce wastage capacity. Companies purchase a higher volume of capacity, assuming they need to purchase the same server capacity as on-premises data center.
However, companies fail to acknowledge that 80% of companies have more server capacity on-site than they'll ever actually use. Thus, companies are paying more than they should be for the resources they will not use.
Moreover, cloud technology's flexibility feature enables users to increase or decrease resources based on their requirements. Why make false assumptions when you can instantly get the required resources whenever you need it. Thus, timely evaluation and optimization of the resources will help in cutting the cloud cost.
3 - Don’t’ Leave Your VMs running unnecessarily.
There are several companies that waste cloud spend by leaving the VMs running 24x7. Sometimes it seems to keep the instances running important, but unused VMs should be identified and shutdown.
4 - Right Selection of Region
Another reason for cloud wastage is selecting an incorrect cloud region. The servers running virtual machines are located in different locations across the globe, which means costs vary depending on taxes, operating costs, and energy expenses.
Selecting the appropriate region for your workloads will surely help reduce the cloud wastage i.e., saving you cloud cost.
Despite the importance of this aspect, as per the RightScale report, only a small number of enterprises implemented a system for automatically switching regions closing down VMs to save money.
Stay Interviews Can Help You Reduce Exit Interviews
The current labor market seems volatile, but employee retention remains one of the biggest concerns for human resource managers. In the pandemic situation, hiring volume is reduced in many organizations, but they are actively looking for the best talent in their competitors’ organizations.
Are your top performers planning to ditch you? Make sure your top performers are happy with your organization.
Is Exit Interview Dead?
Exit Interviews are not dead but losing their relevancy in the current labor market. Employees indeed speak up loudly and clearly when they already decided to leave the company. Thus, they can share their views and reasons in the exit interview. Employers need to implement a strategic process to get those reasons and views of the dissatisfied employees before their resignation or notice period.
What Is Stay Interview?
Stay Interview is a new fad among HR practitioners. Why? Stay Interview is a more proactive and positive approach to retain an employee. Contrary to Exit Interviews, this interview is conducted before the employee decides to leave the organization. Stay Interviews are a structured approach to determine why employees stay and what might cause them to resign.
Difference Between Stay and Exit Interviews
Stay and Exit terms are opposites, but the purpose of these two interviews is quite the same, gathering information about why employees stay and what causes them to leave. However, the significant difference between these two interviews is that the Exit Interview is conducted when the employee is already left or resigned (serving notice period).
On the other hand, a Stay Interview works with a positive outlook wherein you can get the chance to sit down (Virtually during WFH) with the employee to understand their viewpoints (It is a kind of performance interview). You can ask them what they like most about their work, what is bothering them to be productive, etc.
Can Stay Interviews Reduce Exit Interviews?
Yes, there is no doubt about it. Organizations with a dynamic Stay Interview approach will surely see fewer turnovers, i.e., reduced Exit Interviews. The Stay Interview concept is to reduce exit interviews, i.e., retain the employees much before deciding to leave the company. It is about being proactive.
How to conduct Stay Interviews?
Be ready with structured questions but give them space to employees to speak up from the questions.
Make the Employee Comfortable: Most of the employees become nervous and not speak up quickly to their direct managers. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ease enough to your employees so that they can speak openly.
Listen More, Speak Less: Keep in mind this interview is about gathering as much information as you can about the employees, so let them speak more. Make it an 80/20 approach, let the employee speak 80%, and you speak only 20%. Listening is the art of a good manager.
Make it a Semi-Informal Process: Make the interview process like a chat between you and the employee. It should not make them feel like you are asking questions just for the sake of formality. Let them participate in the process.
Be Ready To Be Surprised (Hearing The Truth): There could be some information that makes you surprise, so be open-minded. During the Stay Interviews, you can unearth some unexpected details, and some employees can express very critical views about the management. Thus, you should be very calm and composed. Your actions or words should not make them defensive; otherwise, they will stop talking honestly.
Talk The Talk, Walk The Walk (Take Action): The Stay Interviews’ core purpose is not only getting the information but following up the action on the information. It would be better to take immediate action based on the information provided (Based on your cognizance). Employees should feel that their voices are heard. However, big decisions can be taken later after having a management meeting.
Conclusion: Both Exit Interviews and Stay Interviews have pros and cons. However, the Stay Interview is indeed a more positive and proactive approach. An organization can put these two approaches in place for developing an inclusive and growing organizational culture.
Cloud Waste Is Not a Myth: It is a horrifying reality
In the cloud technology world, cloud waste is a less discussed topic; many people may have never heard about it. Undoubtedly cloud technology is booming, but so is cloud waste. Cloud waste is killing the core purpose of migrating to the cloud, Saving Costs.
What is cloud waste?
Cloud waste refers to idle and unused resources that a company is paying for but not consuming. Cloud waste usually happens when a company acquires more clouds than require and keeps the resources idle while the cloud bill piles up.
The gravity of this situation is explained in numbers in one of the researches done by Parkmycloud. According to this report, $14.1 Billion in Cloud Spending would have been wasted in 2019. The same study explored that 40% of all cloud development environments are “oversized.” It means they have acquired more computing resources than what they required for the usage, resulting in cloud waste.
What are the reasons for cloud waste?
What triggers the cloud waste in cloud technology? There are some significant causes behind the cloud waste that we need to understand.
Idle resources are the biggest problems for companies. Actual computing vs. maximum computing load option, most companies choose the latter because they want to keep the operations running smoothly when they need resources at its full capacity (100%). However, mostly the consumption requirement is much lower; thus, purchased resources remain idle most of the time.
Development companies are the best examples to explain how resources remain unutilized. Once the DevOps team completes the app development task, they keep the test and development environment running (Cloud Waste). These are the idle resources that resulted in cloud waste.
If you are using too big servers for your organization, you are wasting money. You need to understand that to utilize the cloud fully; you need to grow gradually instead of picking the oversized infrastructure. You can easily predict the average consumption with the help of a cloud expert, thus choose the right sized infrastructure for your company. Oversized infrastructure is one of the reasons for cloud waste.
When it comes to cloud computing, companies tend to put all their eggs in a single basket. It is not a good idea. They usually put all their IT resources in one private or public cloud data center. It leads to concentrating all resources in one place in bulk, which overestimates the instance size that they actually need.
How To Avoid Cloud Waste
Below are some actionable ways to reduce cloud waste and optimize cloud performance:
Estimating Actual Required capacity – Start with estimating cloud computing's required capacity instead of bulk buying the cloud resources. Cloud experts can help you with understanding the actual requirement.
Track Idle and Unused Resources – Most cloud providers provide a dynamic dashboard where you can check which resource is idle and unused. Further, you can end the idle or unissued resources, saving many costs and reducing the cloud waste.
Implement Auto-scaling – Most of the cloud providers offer auto-scaling services. It ensures that resources are automatically allocated during peak hours and reduced when there is no need for resources. Thus, idle resources will be released immediately.
“Reducing Cloud Waste is saving Cloud Cost.”
Company Culture Still Matters In The Wake of WFH
What we earlier thought as a perk to motivate the employees (WFH) has now become the new norm of the workforces. One of the significant transformations that we noticed apart from cloud technology growth is the smooth execution of WFH policy. The pandemic has made enterprises to allow their workforces to work from home to continue the business operation.
WFH is the savior of the enterprises. One of the most critical aspects of successful organizations is company culture. Company culture defines your company. Is the company culture gone because people started working from home?
Is company culture still crucial for enterprises?
Yes, it is a company culture that develops discipline, integrity, hard work, and results-oriented behavior in the employees. Company culture is not something confined within the office premises.
It is not the rules and regulations only to follow when you are in the office. Employees are still representing your business.
An organization is nothing but a group of people. It is the people who create value for enterprises. Therefore, organizations having their core values and company culture intact will be the winner.
Indeed, we are transformed during the COVID19, but company culture sill matters.
Keep reminding your team members about culture and core values.
Work from home comes with a load of advantages for the employees. An ideal employee should avail of the advantage for the benefit of the organization as well.
- You are disciplined and punctual in WFH: These two are the core aspects of company culture. Now you are working from home, that does not mean you should log in late, spending more time in household chores, wearing casuals all day long, etc. You need to be punctual and disciplined related to your daily routine.
- Never Forget Your Targets and Goals: Hitting the targets or achieving your goals could be easy now because you save the time of traveling, no headache of traffic jams and comforts of your home. Yes, make sure you are not only hitting the targets but going above and beyond. Why don’t we utilize these advantages to outperform our competitors?
- Need To Stay Connected More: We might be missing the office gossips, but believe me, now is the time to stay connected more with your peers. If you think working from home separated you from your team members, you are wrong; it allowed you to stay connected more.
- Professionalism Cannot be Compromised: No matter where you are working, professionalism cannot be compromised. You are the representative of your enterprises. You will be connected with your clients and customers; professionalism is something that cannot be negotiated.
Remember, More Freedom More Responsibility
You are the bearer of your company culture. The flexibility you are enjoying in current circumstances comes with the responsibility. You need to make the most out of this situation. Bring more creativity and agility to your work. Connect with your team members more frequently. Again, company culture is the shared values and practices that define an organization. Wherever you are, company culture matters.
Spot Instances – The hidden gem of AWS Ecosystem
Amazon has introduced a low-cost EC2 pricing option called 'Spot Instances' way back in 2009, where you could take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud, at up to 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices.
In 2015 AWS introduced Spot Block & Spot Fleet, where you could launch Spot Blocks that will run continuously for a finite duration (1 to 6 hours), which is 30% to 45% less than On-Demand and you could launch Spot Fleet to meet the target capacity. It is a collection of Spot Instances, and optionally On-Demand Instances.
Despite the alluring discounts up to 90%, today's AWS users/customers still fear using Spot Instances due to its interruption behavior.
The customers need to be aware of some of the newly introduced and enhanced features about spot Instances, such as
- Integration of Spot Instances with Autoscaling groups and several other AWS services such as AWS Batch, ECS, EMR, SageMaker, CloudFormation, Thinkbox, etc.
- Combine purchase options to optimize costs.
- Diversification & Spot flexibility.
- Select the best instance types with Spot Instance Advisor.
- Addressing Spot interruptions with STOP & RESUME workloads on EC2 Spot Instances.
- Workaround automation to address interruption notices of Spot Instances.
Two essential things customers should think primarily are
It is always prudent to review the Spot price history (90 day period) before deciding the 'Maximum price' when you request for Spot Instances.
You don't have to bid for Spot Instances in the new pricing model, and you pay the Spot price that's in effect for the current hour for the instances that you launch. It's that simple. You can request Spot capacity just like you would request On-Demand capacity, without having to spend time analyzing market prices or setting a maximum bid price.
In the new model, the Spot prices are more predictable and is determined by supply and demand for Amazon EC2 spare capacity, not bid prices. You can find the price that's in effect for the current hour in the EC2 console.
Login to https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/ Spot instances Pricing history
In the new model, you still have the option to further control costs by submitting a “Maximum price” that you are willing to pay in the console when you request for Spot Instances:
As “Selecting the best instance type “ is the core for all the above, we will explore this further:
As the overall availability improves by deploying your applications across different instance types, it is essential to focus on choosing the right Spot instance pool, which is the set of unused EC2 instances with the same instance type, operating system, Availability Zone, and network platform.
So far, we have been working with different types of instances for a variety of workloads. When it comes to the Spot instance pool, it makes sense to know about their ‘Frequency of Interruption’.
AWS has introduced ‘Spot Instance advisor,’ which provides the list of instance types and the Frequency of interruption’ in % along with the % of ‘Savings over On-Demand’.
As a customer, you should be able to determine your workload tolerance for interruption and the cost savings aspect.
Usually, we see the Frequency of interruption (the rate at which Spot has reclaimed capacity) in the below range.
- 5 to 10%
- 10 to 15%
- 15 to 20%
Based on the ‘Frequency of Interruption’, you can categorize them as
- Most Interrupted Instance Types
- Least Interrupted Instance Types
For better understanding, you can view the sample data (at the time of writing) as below which may vary with each region and for underlying OS (Linux/Windows)
It is recommend starting with instance types having lower frequency of being interrupted and adding more instance types as you improve your application’s flexibility and fault tolerance.
The Best AWS Auto Scaling Strategies
No one would love to hold back for a second to get an application load or launch. Speed is the essence of the current circumstances. If you want your mission-critical software running in the market, make sure that your customers do not get a bad user experience. If your application shows an ‘insufficient capacity’ error message while launching, it means your app lacks the instances purchased in the cloud.
Auto Scaling Ensures You Never Run Out of Instances
AWS Auto Scaling is a feature that automatically scales the recourses to match the demand of the server load. It will ensure that your app will always have enough instances, no matter how huge spike you receive in traffic volumes.
Is it cost-effective too? Yes, it does not only maintain the performance but also helps you save costs. There are AWS auto-scaling tools that make you powerful enough to balance the costs and performance. However, you need to put the right strategy in place. It automatically scales the instances and reduces the conserve resources when the demand is low.
One Size Never Fits All
There are multiple AWS Auto Scaling options, but not all of them are equal. It means you need to customize your scaling option matching your needs. Let’s start with identifying your requirements first. Have you completely identified the resources you need?
Strategy 1: Configure Auto Scaling For A Set Number of Instances Indefinitely
With this strategy, AWS EC2 automatically scans the instances to check their health. If there are any issues with any instances, it will end and replace that one. This way, you will always be assured about the predefined numbers of instances running all the time.
Strategy 2: Go Back To Manual Scaling For A Defined Group
As the name goes, you can easily manage the scaling resources manually. You can create the desired capacity group of instances which will be managed automatically by the AWS EC2 auto-scaling feature. You can manually define the value of the instances in the group.
Strategy 3: Schedule The Instances
You can schedule the occurrence of the instances at a specific date and time. It is helpful in a situation where you can accurately forecast the demand. The advantage of this strategy is that instead of determining the appropriate volume of the instances from time to time, you can predict the exact number of instances needed at a specified time and date.
Strategy 4: Match With The Demand
As mentioned above, strategies are part of the Auto Scaling tool. However, the real feature of this tool is to match the demand. The ability of this tool to seamlessly shift between the demand spikes is remarkable. The resources will be reduced whenever you do not need them; thus, you just need to pay for what you use really.
It also controls the traffic that you cannot predict. It covers all the valuable features of the strategies mentioned above. Demand-based Scaling is very responsive to fluctuating demands of the instances.
Image Source: AWS
When do you need to apply any of these strategies?
It all starts with the analysis of the usage patterns and traffic. You need to understand whether you do not want your customers to experience a slow time or can afford it. You need to consider these and many more factors while planning to adopt any of the AWS auto-scaling strategies. Usually, there are two broadly classified types of usage:
Dynamic Scaling, which is the most adopted strategy among the enterprises in cases where traffic fluctuates aggressively. You cannot easily predict the consumption.
Predictive Scaling is when you can predict the high level of traffic or usage, i.e., requirements of more instances at that time and date.
It is highly recommended to connect with the certified cloud architects to get the best out of the cloud technology.
Why Should You Move Your Website To The Cloud?
The cloud technology is transforming the economy one way or another. If we talk about the websites, more and more websites are being hosted in the cloud. Why is it so? Let’s the number speaks; 83% of the world’s enterprise will be in the cloud (Forbes).
The current disruption in the market supports the need for cloud migration. Having a rock-solid website is critical for giving the ultimate user experience to the website visitors. Though several enterprises have accepted cloud technology, some enterprises are still reluctant. Learn more about the migration assessment myth and reality.
Let’s take a look at the reasons to move your website to the cloud.
Cloud web hosting enables you to get access to resources whenever you need it. One of the critical parameters for a website is to keep it running with zero-time downtime.
Whenever your website needs more resources to consume to keep the website running, cloud web hosting automatically allocates the required resources for that period.
Once the requirement is ended, allotted resources will be released.
Suppose your website traffic increased during the Christmas period, you can expect to get more resources for the website during that period to meet the high level of traffic.
Cloud web hosting enables you to pay for what you use. Compared to the traditional method of website hosting, cloud hosting is economical because where you pay for what you use.
Indeed, moving to the cloud costs you some money, but it pays off. According to a study by Gartner, after the two years of migration, costs associated with on-premises disappear, and by the middle of the third year, costs associated cloud reduces compared to the on-premises costs. Here are some proven methods to reduce the cloud cost.
With cloud hosting, you can be assured of better services to handle disasters and spikes. All files are stored across multiple clouds; thus, whenever downtime occurs, the load can be divided, resulting in no downtime.
A fast loading website is all we need to give a better user experience. Cloud hosting ensures faster website loading. Because the data does not travel when stored in the cloud, the load time is reduced, resulting in faster load. Moreover, some top cloud service providers offer caching, which also recuses the website loading time.
Security is another vital aspect that cloud service provider takes care of. When your website is hosted in the cloud, you are secured. Cloud service providers install several security protocols to ensure that stored data is secured. Data does not travel through physical infrastructure, thus uploaded to the cloud immediately. Therefore, fewer chances of hackers to attack the data.
Last but not least, if you have moved your website to the cloud, do not forget to have an effective disaster recovery plan in place. Most of the enterprises never consider or consider this option late when they lose their data. Moving your website to the cloud undoubtedly is the best option, but you should also ensure that you get the immediate backup of the data in the time of disaster or downtime. Learn more about the best practices of the data recovery.
Be Prepared For Disaster Recovery In The Cloud
Losing the data in the current technology-driven market means losing business and money. It is not about the data loss, but the downtime also incurs a massive loss to the enterprises. Enterprises lose tens of thousands of dollars due to downtime and data loss. Here comes the disaster recovery strategy to ensure that your business keeps on running without any data loss. How you respond to the disaster determines how successful your enterprises will be.
The objective of Cloud disaster recovery
Disaster recovery is placed by the cloud providers to protect the business assets in the time of disaster. It is an essential element for business continuity. The cloud providers ensure the adequate backup facilities are placed to combat the disaster situations.
There are two critical things to consider while developing a cloud disaster recovery strategy:
RTO (Recovery Time Objective): This one is about how quickly your business can recover from the disaster. It is the amount of time taken to make your business fully operational again.
RPO (Recovery Point Objective): How much of business assets and data you can afford to lose during the recovery process. RPO helps in determines how often you take backups of the data.
How can disaster happen in the cloud?
You might have moved all your data to the cloud or in the middle of migrating it. It is vital to understand how disasters happen in the cloud so that you can recover fast.
Malware and Ransomware attacks – Hackers around the globe are making efforts to hack online infrastructure.
Equipment failure – In the case of technical infrastructure failure, you should have a contingency plan to recover business assets
Natural disasters – Natural disasters cannot be controlled, but we can be prepared to limit their impact.
Best practices for disaster recovery
Best practices for disaster recovery include company objectives and technical capabilities. Moreover, RTO and RPO will be other factors to be considered
- You need to perform due diligence
- Select the appropriate disaster recovery method:
- Backup and Restore: It is a straightforward and cost-effective e method that allows enterprises to use managed solutions to back up the assets and restore as and when required. Because your data is not on standby, recovery could be time-consuming.
- Pilot Light: Pilot light emphasizes keeping the critical applications and data secure and quickly retrieved.
- Warm Standby: This method stores a duplicate version of all your business assets, particularly essential elements on standby, which means you can retrieve it immediately with little downtime and almost seamless transition. It replicates the core elements of the infrastructure.
- Multi-Site Solution: It is also known as a Hot Standby method. This method replicates all your business data/applications between two or more locations and divide the usage between all the locations. Thus, whenever the disaster happens, everything will be rerouted to the unaffected location, resultantly zero downtime. However, it will be an expensive option because you are simultaneously running your assets in two separate locations.
- Keep in mind that storing your business assets in different availability zones or regions will be useless if that region goes down.
- Keep your strategy updated with the latest trends
- Cloud disaster recovery strategy with automation enables you to schedule the auto backups.
- Test and update your disaster recovery plan regularly.
- Make sure you are connected with the right cloud service provider.
You can reduce cloud costs
Migrating to the cloud has become a widespread notion among enterprises. They understand how important and competitive it is to move to the cloud. However, the biggest challenge is to manage the cloud costs. The public cloud providers are offering services at very competitive prices to attract more enterprises. But saving money does not end with selecting the competitive cloud provider, but there are other factors. Some of the factors are usually missed or overlooked by the IT team initially that can increase the cloud cost in a later stage. Fortunately, enterprises can easily control the unwanted cloud bill.
Estimate The Cost Before The Migration
The first step to manage your cloud cost is to evaluate the cloud cost before migrating your infrastructure to the cloud. Every cloud service provider offers different billing models, and you can check and compare estimates before selecting the cost-effective option.
Wastage Is Always Harmful
Cloud wastage is when enterprises deploy more resources than they need and/or keep the resources idle while paying the bill for these resources. Selecting the right cloud provider can be your best move towards saving money on the cloud bill.
Tools That You Need To Understand Cloud Cost Composition
Before we start saving, we need to understand the cost composition of cloud service providers, and every provider has different categories of costs associated with the total cloud cost. Here are the tools to help you to analyze the costs and recommend you some cost-saving suggestions
· GCP: Cost management
Save Costs on Servers | Save Costs on Storage | Get Business Discounts
Start with saving costs on servers
1 - Turn off Servers:
- Turn off idle servers (Not being used).
- Rightsizing (You can adjust the server size depending on the usage).
The tools mentioned above can help you to understand which server is idle and need to be optimized.
2 - Reserved Instances
RI can save you costs on servers if you commit to a long-term contract between 1-3 years. This approach is appropriate for enterprises having long term commitment, a minimum one year. One year commitment usually gives you a 30-40% discount while three years of commitment give you a 60% discount. However, if you want to cancel the commitment, there are multiple ways to get out of the RI commitment:
- You can replace the current commitment with different server offers
- Directly cancel the commitment and pay the fine
3 – Spot Instances
Spot servers are considered low priority servers, and cheaper than regular servers with the same power. What is the catch in this? Why don’t most of the enterprises opt for the spot instances then? Here is the catch; these servers are the low priority, so you have the risk that they can be closed suddenly without notice. However, there are some ways to avoid this incident of losing your server with this approach:
- Having not critical workloads in these servers, if the server gets closed, you can turn them on again.
- Having a queue approach work, in case the server is closed, your task will be remained in a queue.
4 - Serverless/Autoscaling Architectures
Serverless does not mean there is no sever!
Autoscaling architecture ensures that no server is idle; whenever you need more server for workloads, it will automatically scale up the servers. Serverless functions occur only whenever it is needed without the need for the servers. Having a well-defined cloud architecture will help you save costs on the cloud bill.
Save Cost On Storage
There are top 5 categories of cloud storage. Enterprises with a solid strategy of using storage services according to their needs can save costs on their cloud bill
- Archive storage
- Object storage
- File storage
- Block storage
- Database storage
Depending on the redundancy speed, each cost category is charged.
Usually, enterprises can store the raw data in the cheap storage category, while metadata used in queries should be stored in the expensive storage category.
Archive storage the cheapest one; however, it gives slow retrieval of the data. Next to this is object storage, which is the most common choice of enterprises when it comes to storage.
Enterprises should have a storage lifecycle to keep the old files stored in the cheaper storage option. Some of the major cloud service providers offer this feature.
Get Business Discounts
Cloud service provider and their listed partners run various lucrative offers and programs to attract the enterprises. One can compare the offers and use resources from different cloud providers to save costs based on their offers and discounts.
Putting ‘AWS Savings Plans’ to work
In continuation of my previous blog (The Art of Choosing), where I discussed the evolution of various AWS pricing models, this week, the focus is on comparing the various AWS Savings Plans available and putting them to work.
The baseline for exploring the pricing models is to understand the relationship between the nature of workloads and the choice of AWS instances. Studies reveal that:
- For Predictable Mission-critical workloads, customers choose the cost-effective and flexible pricing solution with 'Reserved Instance.'
- For Unpredictable Mission-critical workloads, the common choice is 'On-demand Instances' because of the freedom to turn them on and off as per the workload and pay as per the utilization.
- For Cyclical workloads, customers would prefer 'Spot instances'. Of course, for urgent computing needs of additional capacity, spot instances are used in conjunction with On-demand/Reserved instances.
But, few workloads do not qualify under any of these buckets, and for lack of a better term, let us identify them as "Semi-predictable workloads." The Semi-predictable workloads have a consistent compute usage to a threshold point beyond which they vary. We must recognize these workloads and map the appropriate Savings Plans.
Amazon has announced the new flexible pricing model “Savings Plans” on 6th Nov 2019 which allows customers to save up to 72% on Amazon EC2 and AWS Fargate in exchange for making a commitment to a consistent amount of compute usage (e.g. $10/hour) for a 1- or 3-year term.
Every type of compute usage has a Savings Plans rate and On Demand rate. You will be charged the Savings Plans rates on the committed usage and any usage beyond the commitment will be charged at regular On Demand rates.
There are two types of Savings Plans:
- EC2 Instance Savings Plans (ISP)- This plan is similar to Standard RIs which offers higher savings, up to 72% discount, but requires the users to commit to the usage of individual instance families in a region. For example, m5 in US East (Ohio). The discount will apply to any instance usage within the m5 family within that region regardless of size, OS, and tenancy. Conceptually, it is similar to an instance size-flexible Reserved instance regardless of OS licensing concerns.
- Compute Savings Plans (CSP) - This plan is conceptually similar to Convertible RIs which offers discounts up to 66% with higher flexibility (no need to commit to an individual instance family within a region), and discounts will apply against any EC2 and Fargate compute usage regardless of instance size, family, OS, tenancy, or region.
Each of the AWS Pricing models has relative strengths and capabilities towards cost optimization. The below table helps you choose the best option, which further enables you to get maximum savings with reduced risk.
Below you can see the Savings Plans rates and On Demand rates for every type of offering. Few sample screenshots:
Compute Savings Plans for Amazon EC2
Compute Savings Plans for AWS Fargate
Compute Savings Plans for AWS Lambda
EC2 Instance Savings Plans
Here are few guidelines while choosing the pricing model , especially related to Savings Plans
Over the last decade or so, the cost optimization world is advancing in multiple ways to provide flexibility and discounts to save costs. The new AWS ‘Savings Plans’ is a massive enhancement over Reserved Instances. While organizations still purchase Reserved Instances on case to case basis, the relative simplicity and flexibility of Savings Plans will make a difference to attract many organizations.
While there are many pricing options available under the AWS umbrella, customers still need to evaluate how they consume it. Other aspects of optimization, such as Monitoring, Rightsizing, Auto-scaling, Spot instances, Lightsail, S3 and Containers play a huge role in optimizing costs.
Achieving cost efficiency is an art, so customers should be wise enough to use advanced knowledge of AWS cloud-native tools in coordination with experts who can take advantage of all the relevant services provided by AWS.
The 6 Rs Strategy of Cloud Migration
There are plenty of reasons to move to the cloud, expanding into new markets, boosting the performance, revamping applications, or only saving the cost by ending on-premises infrastructure.
Cloud migration becomes easy when you are connected with the right partner and chose the right strategy. There are six fundamental strategies for cloud migration. In other words, without 6Rs, no cloud migration can happen.
The migration process should start with migrations readiness assessment where your cloud technology partner will help in understanding the technical, financial, and operational challenges related to the migration process. Once you are ready with your list of challenges, a cloud technology partner will help you decide which Rs are appropriate for your cloud migration journey.
Let’s understand each of the 6Rs:
1 - Rehost:
When enterprises want to migrate quickly with little to no modifications, they follow this approach. Once you start understanding what you are doing and how the cloud is working for your enterprise, you can scale up. It is also referred to as ‘lift and shift’ strategy because it needs little or no modifications in current workloads.
2 – Replatform:
This strategy requires a few modifications in the current workloads to get some benefits from the cloud. However, the modifications will not change the core architecture.
3 – Repurchase:
As its name suggests, this approach includes buying new services or products to include some changes in the current cloud infrastructure. This strategy is implemented when you are already in the cloud and wish to transit some workloads
4 – Refactor (Rearchitect):
When enterprises need to include cloud-native features such as scalability and business agility, they adopt the rearchitecting approach. This is the most aggressive and complicated approach; it needs an overhaul of the workloads.
5 – Retire:
While moving to the cloud, there could be some applications that you do not need anymore. Thus, you need to determine those applications and assets so that you can turn them off without impacting the migration process. Your cloud technology partner will assess and identify those redundant applications to shut them down, resulting in cost savings.
6 – Retain:
If you think migration means getting rid of everything old and move into the new, you're mistaken. Some IT elements in your environment can easily be retained in the new infrastructure. Thus, you need to prepare a plan to identify IT assets that you can retain in your IT infrastructure. Moreover, the retention of some IT assets will help you save costs.
Myth Vs. Reality of Cloud Migration Assessment
As the current market forces and the pandemic have accelerated the digital transformation, cloud migration assessment is pivotal for success. The traditional framework is proving to be expensive in both time and resources. We need a smart, cost-effective way, coupled with speed and accuracy to deliver an actionable assessment report. Before we learn about the innovative assessment framework, we must bust the myths surrounding migration assessment.
In the absence of an experienced cloud service partner who can bring smart tools and innovative techniques to assessment, the above myths:
- Deprive the true incentives of Cloud Migration
- Create inefficiencies in the Cloud transformation roadmap
- Impact the decision making of the stakeholders
Organizations with a Cloud-First approach have moved away from the traditional application-centric or infrastructure-centric migrations to service-centric migrations. Working with right Cloud Migration Partners at the time of assessment they:
- Experience Agentless Pre-migration Transformational approach
- Validate On-Premises TCO based on live assets and custom assumptions
- Discover AWS Right-Sized Pricing Options
- Access detailed and accurate Application Discovery report
- Visualize the complexity score based on Machine Dependency
- Develop Migration Planner (SOW Calculator) based on 6Rs.
- Obtain recommendations with Deep Dive Storage Analysis
Now it is time to unlock your freedom to cloud migration by taking the first step of Cloud Assessment.
Why is this the Best Time to Find the Best Talent?
The COVID-19 has reshaped enterprises, societies, and national economies in unthinkable ways. The business leaders need to strategize to move beyond the survival, towards the opportunities. Among the opportunities, finding the best talent is the opportunity for enterprises having the vision to turn problems into opportunities.
We heard news many enterprises are reducing their workforce and downsizing. From new graduates to veterans are looking for employment. The current labor market is shifted from the candidate oriented to employer oriented.
Is the situation all bad? Or we have some silver lining? Visionary leaders are planning for the post-crisis recovery by having the right people in the team.
When many leaders become short-sighted during the crisis, only the visionary leaders stay calm and turn the situation into an advantage.
During the crisis, most of the companies freeze hiring process. However, during the 2008 global financial crisis, BCG and the European Association for People Management surveyed 3,400 executives, including 90 senior HR leaders in more than 30 countries, to understand how they were reacting to the crisis. Most of them were focused on downsizing.
However, in the same survey, participants stated that hiring performing employees from the competitors was one of the most effective strategies to combat the crisis.
Moving Beyond The Survival, Towards The Opportunities
How is this situation considered a once in a lifetime hiring opportunity for the visionary leaders? Unfortunately, some companies followed one rule to save cost - downsizing.
A visionary leader can put their hands on those employees. Some of the best talents are laid off during this pandemic. What about those talents (Being Laid off Due To COVID-19)? It is the right time to consider having the best talent in your team because talent is looking for you. Enterprises can set up a task force to connect with the potential candidates from the target sections who may be either open to change or jobless.
1 – Focus on the people getting laid off or open to change from your competitors
2 – Check their professional profiles on various available platforms (Social and Job Portals)
3 – Connect with staffing agency having the pool of talent you are looking for
4 – Keep a tab on your competitor’s hiring strategy
5 – Don’t freeze the hiring, filter the hiring process.
Staffing Agencies Have The Pool of Right Talent
Staffing agencies store the massive pool of talent to help the enterprises to find the right talent. Many candidates connect with the right agencies to find their dream job. You should not wonder in the labor market instead connect with the staffing agency, a bridge between You and the Talent.
The Art of choosing – Making wise choices in AWS Ecosystem
AWS Pricing models & Cost analysis approach
The first step towards cost optimization is developing the awareness of the various AWS compute options.
AWS has made a continuous stream of product releases for over a decade now, and customers must have a fair understanding of the list of features to make the right choice for the building blocks of the AWS infrastructure that drive cost savings.
Customers often feel overwhelmed with these newfound clouds' freedom & a plethora of options to architect potential solutions. To make wise cost-optimized decisions, customers need the know-how about on-demand instances, Spot instances (spot blocks, spot fleet), Reserved instances (standard, convertible and scheduled) along with the pricing options, savings plans (Compute and EC2), capacity reservations(Regional/Zonal), AWS Marketplace, etc.
Every use case is unique and thereby dictates the choices we make.
Further, your current AWS setup, cost management methodology, and cloud maturity level will influence the choice.
More compute options, which have become available since 2006, have provided much needed for greater flexibility for the customers; at the same time, choosing the most suitable option has gained significance. Now, let us travel the timeline to uncover the options.
Some of the above options are too restrictive and complex to manage, absorbing too much time and effort to get the value back from them, while other choices are relatively flexible with few limitations. One has to go through the right-sizing process to ensure the correct resources were being acquired.
Few questions to consider before you make the final choice:
- Are you looking for guaranteed capacity reservations?
- Is it mandatory or optional to have any disposal strategy in AWS market place?
- Have you come up with the pricing strategies of a single instance category vs. a combination of the instance categories?
- If your compute consumption more volatile?
- Are you looking to tag these services to a specific cost center or resource group?
- Have you made a comparison between the least expensive option vs. your preferred option?
- If risk analysis of overcommitment was made?
- Have you done a detailed analysis of actual usage needs?
- Are there any badly managed processes with little cost control?
- Are you aiming for huge flexibility when you have the bulk of relatively predictable workloads?
- Do you have the information about your tech stack, if they have to shift under your fleet?
- Do you have well-run RI brokerage processes in place, or is there any need to change the regions/instance families?
- Do you foresee any need to switch from dedicated to a shared tenancy?
It is important that you plan appropriately to make the correct commitment. Invest a good amount of time in understanding your existing environment and the best way to leverage the variety of services provided by AWS. When it comes to the cost optimization aspect, a recommended path is to focus on a scenario-based approach by comparing all the above options, their pros, and cons, the volatility/rigidness/consumption/nature of your workloads prior to implementing in small/medium/large enterprises.
Cloud Technology Is Not An Option; It Is The Necessity
“Cloud technology has become a basic need for growing enterprises.”
We all would have read about ‘Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.’ It is a pyramid shape hierarchy that explains the motivation levels of human beings. At the bottom of the hierarchy, there is a basic need (food, water, shelter) that motivates people until they fulfill it. Once they are done with the basic need, the next level need motivates them.
Similarly, in the technology world, cloud technology has become a basic need for enterprises not only to grow but also to survive the fierce competition.
Until you adopt cloud technology, you cannot move up the growth ladder.
Believe it or not, you are still thinking of implementing cloud technology, whereas your competitors would have already started the cloud migration process.
94% of enterprises already use a cloud service.(Flexera)
Now, you can imagine where does your organization stands in this competition.
Let’s face the fact; competition is fierce in the market. To win this battle, you should be ready with the latest technology.
Here are a few core benefits of cloud technology.
The majority of enterprises have shifted their legacy IT infrastructure to cloud technology to save costs. Saving Money is also a way of Making Money. Connect to a cloud architect to understand how you can save money.
Cost Optimization is the primary reason for 47% of enterprises’ cloud migration.(Source: Opsramp, Skyhighnetworks, Directive)
Data security is the biggest threat to enterprises in this digital era. Having your data stored in the best cloud service provider will ensure the security of your data.
60% of U.S. IT decision-makers trust the security of the Cloud.(Source: Forbes)
Increased Productivity and ROI:
Moving to the Cloud means fueling the productivity of your staff and getting a higher ROI. One of the organization's most significant concerns in current times is to achieve better productivity and ROI. Cloud technology has a solution to this problem.
80% of companies that adopt the Cloud see improvements within their IT departments within six months.Source: Alliedtelecom
The faster you deploy your applications, the better response you can expect to get from the marketer. Cloud technology makes your process faster and smoother. To achieve business agility, you need to connect with the cloud architects to understand how it will help you.
Cloud technologies have just come out of the teenage and stepping into adulthood. The year 2020 for Cloud will be similar to 2007 for the Mobile telephone market when the iPhone emerged on the scene and changed everything for good.Haricharan
Cloud migration starts with the business readiness assessment, where experts determine how ready your business is to adopt cloud technology. Plus, what are the various factors supporting the migration and challenges to be tackled? A cloud architect will give you the complete idea of how much you will save moving to cloud technology.
DR solution with AWS Pilot Light
In today’s technology-driven business environment, your organization’s data is extremely vital and crucial. Your access patterns, data availability & security, is utmost important to your business success. Any disruption to secure, recover, and retrieve your data can prove expensive &/or inferior. As per the Gartner study, only a small percentage of companies have fully recovered from a huge data loss. Though you’ll hopefully never encounter one, wide-spread disasters happen quite frequently. You might not be able to forecast every aspect of a possible disaster, but you, as a business owner/organization can check and outline the principles on
“Are we ready for any kind of outage with the right cost-effective DR solution”
If we build the systems with AWS high resilient architecture designs, we don’t need to worry much about the backup and recovery solutions/downtime/data loss/revenue loss etc in case of natural or human induced disaster.
Though we have business continuity by implementing AWS DR solutions, it is imperative to pay utmost attention to the business requirement and the cost associated with it (Some DR solutions can help you save time and money up to 90%). The intensity of disaster varies from time to time & region to region, and no two disasters are the same. A well-planned DR design is an integral part to come up with the most acceptable DR solution by introspecting your environment viz..
- Have you defined your Recovery objectives such as RPO & RTO?
- Have you identified critical systems and the order in which they should be recovered?
- Have you established a DR strategy?
- Have you understood the need for partial vs. full system recovery?
- Have you tested your DR plan?
- Have you come up with the problem identification and its impact if not addressed?
- Is a review mechanism in place?
- Are you keeping track of ongoing issues & the solution roadmap?
- Are you prepared to improve your plan for future DR scenarios?
This blog mainly addresses the DR solution for SMBs, which is the most powerful, cost-effective, and quick recovery solution of critical databases/elements of your application where the acceptable RPO is 12 hours and RTO is 4 hours.
AWS introduced Pilot Light DR concept around 2013-14.
‘Pilot light’ is a minimal version of your IT environment, running in the cloud, that can be immediately spun up in case of an emergency. You can quickly build around that core to fully restore your application.
With Pilot Light, only critical systems are backed up like RDS and other non-critical systems configurations viz. CloudFormation, Snapshots, AMIs, etc. are made to ensure they can be brought up in need of recovery. This solution allows the rapid provision of a working, fully-scaled production environment. The AWS resources built around the dataset will be in the stopped state when not in use, which becomes the prime factor for cost savings.
For less critical systems, you can ensure that you have any installation packages and configuration information available in AWS, e.g., in the form of an EBS snapshot. This will speed up the application server setup, because you can quickly create multiple volumes in multiple Availability Zones, to attach to EC2 instances. You can then install and configure accordingly.
It is not always ‘All or None’ law.
When you do a deep dive analysis on cloud expenses, you will notice that most of the amount spent was on “what you think you need” rather than “what you need.”
The Pilot Light option allows you to recover your systems much more quickly than the Backup and Restore approach since you’ll already have a core piece of your environment ready to roll at all times.
From a DR perspective, when you use Pilot Light.
- Choose what needs to failover, as somethings still be working
- Choose the essential things to recover than others
List of AWS services used in the implementation of Pilot Light
You can implement this cost-effective Pilot Light DR solution with just 5 AWS services viz. CloudFormation, EC2, EBS, VPC & Direct Connect.
Pilot Light Architecture
Elements typically include
- Replication of data in the cloud
- Pre-configured servers ready to be launched at a moment’s notice
- Storage of installation packages or configuration information
- Setting up additional database instances for data resiliency.
When the time comes for recovery
- Fire up your pre-configured cloud servers quickly
- Route your traffic to those servers
- Scale them up as necessary
You have your own data center, and Amazon Route53 points to your on-premise system.
You have a database instance in the AWS cloud, where you replicate data from your on-premise system. You have 2 servers that represent your web tier and your application tier but they are not on or running yet. If the primary system fails, you grow your database server to the size that it needs to be taken on production data traffic, then turn on the webserver & application server and point Amazon Route53 to your new servers. This entire process can happen in minutes.
- Pilot Light infrastructure depends on your RTO.
- Uses fewer 24/7 resources, hence it is a cost-effective solution
- By identifying your business-critical systems/applications, you can fully duplicate them on AWS and have them always on.
- You can scale higher or lower, based on your current needs
- In the preparatory phase, it enables the replication of all critical data to AWS and prepares all required resources viz. AMI, Network settings, Load Balancing for automatic restart.
- In case of disaster, Pilot Light automatically brings up resources around the replicated core data set & scale the system as needed to handle current production traffic and of course switches over to the new system by adjusting DNS records to point to AWS.
- RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is the maximum acceptable length of time that your application can be offline before seriously impacting your business operations.
- RPO (Recovery Point objective) is the maximum acceptable length of time during which data might be lost from your application due to a major incident.
Looking for cost effective solutions for small scale applications and hosting simple websites? Here is our recommendation….
Lightsail can be substantially cheaper than firing up EC2 instances for small scale applications where developers can develop simple programs, run their code, to store the data, for small businesses, to build simple web-based applications or websites, for learning purpose, doing PoCs, and other users who need a simple virtual private server (VPS) solution.
Lightsail is pre-configured server with features to allow an application with basic requirements to run with a just a few clicks. It provides developers compute(vCPUs), Memory (RAM), Storage (SSD based disks), and networking capabilities to deploy and manage websites and web applications in the cloud.
It includes everything you need to launch your project quickly (as below) for a low, predictable monthly price.
- A virtual machine
- SSD-based storage
- Free Data transfer
- DNS management (3 domain zones per account)
- Static IP (5 per account)
- Memory ranging from 512 MB to 32GB
- Processors ranging from 1 or 8 cores
- Data transfer ranging from 1 to 7 TB.
Please pay close attention to the
- Price variation between Linux and Windows servers
- Difference in data transfer plan allowance for Asia Pacific region mentioned in this section
- Additional costs for few services (if used)
Data transfer allowances: Asia Pacific (Mumbai & Sydney)
Plans in the Mumbai and Sydney Regions include lower data transfer allowances than other regions.
|Pricing per month||$3.50 USD||$5 USD||$10 USD||$20 USD||$40 USD||$80 USD||$160 USD|
|Data transfer||0.5 TB||1 TB||1.5 TB||2 TB||2.5 TB||3 TB||3.5 TB|
Certain services incur additional costs when used
- Load balancer ($18 USD per month),
- Snapshots ($ 0.05 USD GB/month)
- The subscription is free for the first month where you get 750 hours of free usage of the 512 MB Lightsail plan. You can use your 750 hours of usage across as many instances as you like. For example, you can run a single Lightsail instance for a whole month, or 10 Lightsail instances for 75 hours.
- Your Lightsail instances are charged when they’re in the running state. Please be aware they are charged even in the stopped state. So, if your instances are only needed during certain times of the day, you can delete them once the task gets completed, before which create a final snapshot, then create the instances from those snapshots again as and when needed. The data and state will persist.
- Lightsail integrates with other AWS resources viz.AWS database, messaging, and content distribution services via a secure connection.
- Both data transfer in and data transfer out of your instance count toward your data transfer allowance. Each Lightsail instance includes up to 5 TB of internet data transfer allowance. Which is not the case with regular EC2 instances.
- Lightsail supports Application templates which include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Ghost, Magento, Redmine, LAMP, Nginx (LEMP), MEAN, Node.js, Django, and more.
- It offers a range of operating system viz. Amazon Linux, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu – and 2 Windows Server versions – 2012 R2 and 2016.
- You can avail AWS high availability plan, which includes extra instances for redundancy or failovers. Encryption etc.
Lightsail is a great choice to build your staging servers and experiment/explore with all the new features of your products before deploying it live and to develop simple web applications, hosting WordPress blogs, API servers. To build large scale enterprise applications you may have to consider other compute services.
How Much AWS Cloud Migration Will Cost You?
If you are beginning to migrate your legacy infrastructure to AWS cloud infrastructure, the first thing that comes to mind is how much it will cost you.
Determining cloud migration cost can be a daunting task because there are several sections to evaluate, such as over-provisioning, what-if scenarios, outdated servers, and others. Plus, there are plenty of indirect and complicated to measure costs to assess, such as downtime cost. To avoid such difficulties, many organizations skip the analysis section and start migration with lift and shift strategy.
This lift and shift strategy is not recommended because it will increase the TCO, which will defeat the core purpose of migration – saving money. Cost-saving is one of the essential goals of moving your legacy infrastructure to cloud infrastructure.
Have You Considered Rightsizing Before Migrating the workloads?
Most organizations fail to consider the importance of rightsizing before starting the migration process. If you have your workloads in the cloud infrastructure and set it rightsized among all your assets, you will get all resources whenever you need without paying the extra cost. The TCO (Total Cost Ownership) analysis helps determines the organizations to understand the cost included in AWS cloud migration.
A TCO analysis helps you determine what you are spending on your current IT infrastructure and how you can save cost migrating to cloud infrastructure.
What Options You Have For TCO Analysis?
TSO Logic, an Amazon company, helps organizations conduct data-driven TCO analysis and cost modeling for the future. It analyses the millions of data points stored from your current IT environment such as generation, age, software, and hardware. Its predictive analysis gives you insights about which application you are running in the best place with the best software and lowest TCO. You will also get recommendations if required for cloud migration and price change in your current environment and cloud. It will help you develop a proper business case to understanding your migration process and plan about it.
However, TSO Logic is an ideal tool for large migration tasks. For mid-sized and smaller migration process, CloudChomp’s tools are the best.
CloudChomp, a cloud migration tools company and a member of APN, helps smaller organizations get accurate data related to the costs. It analyzed 400 billion data points to help the customers save 41% over the traditional lift and shift strategies, to the customers.
Here are some of CloudChomp’s tools that help customers to do more data-driven migration planning:
- CC Analyzer
- CC Analyzer’s 1ClickTCO™
The power of TCO Analysis “41% savings over traditional lift and shift” (AWS)
On average, CC Analyzer helped customers achieve a 41% cost savings over traditional lift-and-shift strategies.
Sometimes TCO analysis seems to be more complicated, but it should not be if you have the right tools. AWS and CloudChomp are the ideal tools to support you in your cloud journey. It empowers you to maximize your return on investment and save costs.
Doing Digital Right: Transformation without chaos
Are you already on the Cloud journey? Have you spent the best of your COVID time for planning Digital transformation? But, the invisible forces of the system may slow your progress and break you.
Let us examine these invisible forces.
- Talent - the key to any digital transformation is the availability of expertise in the organization. Talent acquisition in this space is like chasing a moving target, which changes form and shapes quickly.
- Parallel Communication lines - Successful Digitization needs a common language and unified line of communication between the business and tech teams. More often than not, the tech teams' lexicon leaves business teams alienated, which only creates a rift that is hard to be bridged.
- Organizational culture - Organizations with rigid command-and-control leadership, can put breaks on the digital journey. The bureaucracy could further derail the timelines, choices of technology, and talent to succeed.
- Abusing the term Digital transformation - Employees get stressed out by constant usage of the term digital transformation, which takes away the enthusiasm and rigor required for real digital projects.
The key here is to avoid romanticizing the digital transformation and chant the mantra of Simplification and Standardization
Who Wins the Battle of Cloud: AWS or Azure?
Before we move to the battleground, we need to have a clear understanding that Microsoft Azure and AWS both are giants in cloud space. With their unique products and offers, they are touching the lives of millions.
They both are superheroes in their world; however, in the cloud battle, let us find out who wins this battle.
If we look at the current market expansion, we will start believing that AWS has a modern edge over Microsoft Azure. However, a deeper look will give us a different picture. To find out which cloud service provider is the best in the market, one should consider various factors – cloud storage offerings, pricing, data transfer loss rate, and others.
Who says superheroes are fictional characters? Cloud computing is acting like a superhero helping millions of people across the globe.
AWS was first introduced in the year 2002. The first competitor arrived in 2009, Google Cloud. However, Microsoft did not enter the cloud market till 2010.
When Azure first introduced, it faced many challenges before start getting accepted by the customers. AWS had been continuously serving the market for more than seven years when Azure launched, resultantly it built robust infrastructure, a wide range of services, and capital compared to Azure. It was a complete setback for Microsoft Azure, which was scrambling to capture the cloud market.
Learning and Innovation
It is well said that learning from mistakes and innovation can build a successful brand. Microsoft quickly learned from its failure and revamped its cloud products and services, adding a wide variety of operating system and programming language. That made their offerings more scalable and compatible with Linux.
Today, Azure is giving a tough competition to AWS in the cloud service market.
AWS is the leading cloud solutions provider that keeps on adding innovative features to make its offerings more customer-centric. Here are some prominent organizations using AWS: Netflix, Expedia, Hulu, Spotify, and Ubisoft.
Both leading solutions providers are contributing to the welfare of society in their way.
For example, NASA used the AWS platform to store vast files of videos and pictures to make it available to all personnel from one centralized location
For Example, the Microsoft Azure IoT suite is used to develop Weka Smart Fridge to store the vaccinations properly. It helps most of the nonprofit medical organizations to make these vaccinations available to the people.
Who Holds What?
Undoubtedly, they both are leading players of cloud service provider fraternity. While Azure holds 29.4% installed applications workloads, AWS holds 41.5 % market share.
In 2017, AWS’ revenue was $3.66 billion with a 47.1 % growth, while Azure clocked a revenue of $6.9 billion (Azure and Office365) with only a 10% rise. Microsoft’s Azure cloud division includes both Azure and Office365. In recent years, Microsoft Azure scored good growth in revenue vis-à-vis AWS.
As of now, AWS holds a strong position compared to Azure. However, Azure is adding more scalable features to its services, making it more applicable for the customers. They both are reliable and adaptable, helping society in various forms. No one ever thought that Azure could catch up, but Azure proved the naysayers wrong. The debate about who is stronger in the competition continues, but one thing is sure that Cloud is here to stay.
The winner of the battle is for sure the customer as two leading technology innovators continuously up their antennas.
Do you need a stronger case for Cloud?
Undertaking digital transformation means transforming how your IT responds to the business and identifying the success metrics that govern the digital journey.
In most organizations, the IT budget is spent on keeping the lights on, but only a fraction spent on innovation, which shapes the future of the organization. Digitization of services is a journey as opposed to prior IT investments that measured success solely based on the 'destinations' of time, budget, and deliverables.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated the transition to remote working, a trend that was gaining slowly gaining momentum but wasn't expected to be widespread anytime soon. According to the Barracuda survey, 55 percent of respondents said they would not have implemented remote working within the next five years had it not been for the current crisis. For many organizations, the change is likely to be a lasting one now that they've made the transition, though. More than half (56%) of respondents said they plan to continue widespread remote working after the crisis is over.
Another transition that has sped up in response to the current situation is the shift to the cloud. A full 53 percent report that the COVID-19 crisis had made them accelerate plans for moving all their data to 100-percent cloud-based model, a change that will have a long-term impact on how organizations operate.
These days it's difficult to have a conversation about digitization without mentioning cloud computing.
Whether by accelerating innovation, enabling new business solutions, speeding time to market, or just promoting cost savings, enterprises believe it's no longer a question of if, but when, most companies will adopt cloud technologies. There is no fixed set of directions for making any cloud journey; every cloud transformation means a different experience. The economics of enterprises that are cloud-born, which have moved to cloud for revenue generation has changed to a service model gaining more revenue despite an initial dip in profit margins.
The additional advantages that cloud delivers to your business are:
a. It allows you to develop multiple products on the same ecosystem allowing you to sell to the same customer base by driving R&D efficiency.
b. Customers who use integrated products are less likely to switch who they buy from, thereby increasing the stickiness and allowing you to generate more MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue).
But, there will always be some part of your business that will have to remain on-prem for privacy, legal, and regulatory reasons, the cloud won't be the answer for everything. The way to approach this is to develop technologies in a manner that will work the exact same way in both on-prem and cloud environments with flexibility to move in either direction.
Why Ansible is the power you need to drive transformation?
If anything is constant in the technology landscape, it is the change that is brought by the continuous influx of new tools that create an environment with enterprise applications that are complex, scalable, distributed, component-based, and often are mission-critical. They are deployed on a variety of platforms across private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid cloud. Because of which you may be experiencing:
- The talent and technical debt that is keeping you from modernizing your IT processes and infrastructure.
- Your employees are prevented from working on higher-value projects or increasing productivity because of routine, manual tasks?
- You have security gaps when there is large scale deployment of applications.
Now, if you are considering an IT transformation, Cloud Migration, or DevOps, you need a solution that can help you automate the management of the entire infrastructure that empowers cross-functional teams.
With the Red hat Ansible Automation you now have:
- Programmatic, repeatable automation
- Automation that can be tracked, controlled, documented, scheduled & operated at scale.
- Business that has flexibility to deploy, repair & move the underlying infrastructure while maintaining standards & governing security policies.
- Ability to manage multivendor deployments that prevent multivendor locking
- Reduction in the remediation time for Cyberattacks
Start small and automate something that will give you a win that you can show off as a success story. You want to solve a pain point that people have, but don't try to jump right in on the biggest problem right away without experience under your belt or any buy-in around automation.
So don't be afraid anymore! Go automate your enterprise applications - start today!
What is an Ally and Are You An Ally At Workplace?
Being an ally means you are always ready to support the other members of your organization. It does not mean you have to be an active team member of different groups in your organization. It is a kind of pledge to help and support people around you at the workplace.
An inclusive workplace is challenging to find and hard to build. However, if you are concerned about making your workplace inclusive, you can begin the real change being an ally. An active ally utilizes their credibility and power to develop diverse and inclusive workplace for others where everybody can thrive. Making an inclusive and diverse workplace where everybody thrives is our responsibility.
We all want to help others in a way we can. When it comes to the workplace, being an ally is the best way to help those around you. How can you determine whether you are an ally?
1 – Have you ever sponsored someone in the workplace?
An ally always takes the opportunity to sponsor others by supporting them. Here are the activities to help you understand what is sponsor all about at the workplace:
- You should talk about others' expertise (particularly underrepresented groups), in the meetings and performance discussion.
- Provide recommendations for the learning opportunities
- Share and discuss colleagues’ goals with the influences in the organization
- Be vocal and shoutout the achievements of the colleagues
2 – Have you ever advocated for anyone with the hidden potential?
When an ally takes the role of advocate for someone, that ally utilizes their credibility and influence to bring people from the underrepresented group into higher business circles.
- Introduce your colleagues from the underrepresented group to influence people network
- Ask the people from the group to be co-presenter in any conference with you
- Recommend the other individuals from the group you think has potential as a keynote speaker in any of the meetings or conference of your organization
3 – Have you ever confronted lousy behavior at work?
Are you a bystander or an upstander? An upstander is the one who sees wrongdoing and acts to combat that wrongdoing.
- Speak up whenever you witness any wrongdoing at the workplace
- Shut down the off-topic questions in a meeting that generally asked to test the presenter
- Combat the situations where anybody in your organization is being bullied or harassed
Being an ally means being supportive of those around you. There would be plenty of occasions in the workplace when you can become a good person, not for yourselves, but for other people.
Hiring V/S Hiring Consciously
Hiring team members will help you get your task completed but hiring consciously will help you strengthen your company. Yes, recruiting and hiring consciously are two different things. It is up to you whether you want your task to get done or build a performing team to strengthen your organization.
When you hire consciously, you ensure that your hiring efforts are aligned with your organizations’ long-term goals. While hiring somebody, make sure you consider the bigger picture of your purpose.
Recruiting is not about filling the vacant positions, but it is about finding the right people aligning with your organization’s long-term goals. If you still believe hiring is filling vacant positions, you are misjudging the core purpose of recruitment. Hiring was never meant to fill the jobs; it is to build a winning team. It is all about finding the people who fit into your culture, who share companies’ objectives, and work passionately to achieve those objectives.
Hiring Strategy Should Be Aligned with Your Business Goals
It is not wise to disorganized hiring efforts to fill vacant positions. It would be best if you had a talent acquisition plan ready aligning with your company goals.
If your company is planning to enter a new market segment, you should focus on hiring people having experience in that market. You need to stay abreast of the market trends so that you can find the candidates from that market segment.
Set Clear KPIs
Have you ever thought what would be the outcome of a mismatch between expectations and reality? Employees would be disappointed and perform poorly if you set unrealistic expectations. Recruiters need to paint a realistic picture of the role and work requirements. This way, you can find the candidates who are seriously interested in the requirements, and those who are less interested will be opt-out. Set the clear KPIs for a role in starting hunting the best candidates.
Qualifications or Experience
What do you want from a candidate you are hiring? An ideal candidate is the one who gets the job done correctly. Would you hire a person having a degree from a prominent college or the one having working experience on the project you want to get done? I would say experience matters most. However, the recruiting process sometimes focuses more on qualifications rather than knowledge to get the job done.
For that, you can set clear job descriptions that determine the candidates' actual work accomplishments. Ask the candidates to describe the achievements related to the objectives you set for the vacant role.
Several researchers found that employees aligned with companies’ missions are the best performers. You need to ensure that candidate is the right fit for your organization’s culture. Your organizational core values must be informed to all candidates before joining so that they can get a picture of your organization’s culture.
Two Way Road
Not everything you want should be on the table while hiring the candidates. You need to bring what candidates want from your company as well on the table. As a recruiter, you should understand the requirements of the candidates.
How prepared is your business for the second wave?
As we are just coming out of the first wave of COVID-19 that shook the business and economies of the world for several weeks, we are forced to prepare for the second wave.
Businesses and their leaders must continuously demonstrate a well-oiled business continuity machine and agility to adapt and respond to new business challenges. It ranges from applying new data and analytics to customer preferences and product/service experience to prolonged supply chain disruptions and more health and family issues affecting workforces. Businesses that were not proactive who failed to act swiftly previously now have another chance to build organizational strength to combat a second wave successfully.
Some businesses have done well to build resources to accelerate transformation, using digital technologies to defend against business interruption. Business leaders in these enterprises have faith in the long-term benefit and business agility that the modernization investments may deliver.
Enterprises which were cash surplus and had resources are good to go with transformation, but organizations that are cash-starved, revenue models impacted have to deal with technology budget cuts. But, it is a paradox that it is the only technology that can come to their rescue to put them back to business. The most effective solution is the adoption of cloud and cloud-based tools, which shifts the tech spending from CapEx to OpEx. Cloud adoption though, appears attractive, and shiny can become a leaky bucket if the strategy and deployment are not right as several companies have reported overshooting of the budget. Coupled with this are the concerns related to security and compatibility issues that have to be addressed.
Moving to cloud systems is more than a click of a button and spawning a few instances of hardware. Enterprises need strong technology leadership and partners who can walk the talk of the cloud best practices to deliver value. Now, is the time for you to take action and stay ahead of the wave.
20 Point Formula to build a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)
Most companies, be it start-ups, mid-sized or large enterprises, are continually adapting new technology trends to integrate with business solutions for creating better user experience & RoI. One of the significant technology trends we all have witnessed in the recent past is "Cloud computing." It has hugely transformed the way organizations consume infrastructure exceeding the boundaries of their portfolio.
It has primarily started by accessing and leveraging cloud storage, thereby optimizing the cost in terms of purchasing additional hardware. Later, the focus has shifted to migrating the development and test servers to develop an understanding of the cloud offerings and observe the benefits before migrating their critical workloads. It took a while for the customers to get real confidence in cloud security and compliance before deploying their applications into the public cloud.
Cloud computing is continually evolving with a wide range of offerings, new features, and different pricing structures. Organizations should have a clear understanding of 360-degree cloud capabilities to extract their fullest potential.
Companies invariably try to harness technological advances as a competitive advantage to improve their business as it is imperative to stay ahead in the market place. Enterprises need a specialized team that understands technology and market dynamics for successful transformation. The smart way to achieve the rapid pace is to build a reliable & robust team "Cloud Center of Excellence" (CCoE)" of highly skilled individuals and experts.
They play a crucial role in providing multiple cloud solution offerings viz.
- Cloud Assessment & Consulting
- Cloud Migration
- Cloud Development & Deployment
- Cloud Infrastructure services
- Cloud Orchestration & Integration
- Cloud Adoption & Automation
- Cloud Optimization & Modernization
With such diverse Cloud offerings that exist today, it demands cross-functional teams with excellent skills & expertise for CCoE that can provide leadership and engineering support in Architecture, Security, Databases, DevOps, Bigdata, Machine learning. Besides the technical experts, it is highly recommended to have finance and operations teams who can work towards cost optimization and seamless execution, leading towards operational excellence.
As the cloud has the potential to impact every aspect of the business, application, data set, stakeholders, and associates across the entire organization CCoE should have diversified roles fully functional all the time. They must be customer-focused, Innovative, experimentation-driven, result-oriented, able to influence by providing strong direction from technology and business perspective.
Once the CCoE team is established, define the strategy for further expansion and execution.
- Define Cloud CoE vision & strategy
- Define Cloud roadmap & deployment plan
- Build credibility by defining the KPIs
- Run the pilot projects & often communicate with internal stakeholders and associates
- Increased level of partnership with cloud providers
- Establish operating principals
It is always important to set the scope, which has the agility to evolve over a period. Below is the list of few activities which may vary depending on the cloud operating model.
- Creating a practical roadmap for your cloud journey
- Planning proof of concept
- Deep dive on best practices and disseminate
- Accelerate experimentation with personalization models
- Accelerating performance at all layers
- Building event-driven & architectures
- Architecting for the cloud (lean architectures/ resilient systems/hybrid )
- Focus on cost management tools for cost & usage optimization
- Ways to achieve unparalleled elasticity at the lowest cost
- Extending the cloud experience to on-premises environments
- Powering next-gen cloud compute
- Run huge workloads at scale with cloud management tools.
- Dedicated focus on purpose-driven cloud databases
- Assessing, categorizing, optimizing & accelerating server, database and app migrations
- Accelerate digital transformation through cloud experience-based accelerators
- Quantifying the business value & managing cloud financials as you scale
- Suggesting the best re-platforming strategies for legacy workloads
- Enabling cloud management & governance, licenses on-premises & in the cloud
- Operational automation & Building a DevSecOps culture
- Automating security management, maturing and scaling security remediation
Another differentiating factor of CCoE is "Effective integration with Business." CCoE needs to align itself with business initiatives and business metrics. Business integration isn't just about financials and revenue. It's also about stakeholders across different functions to achieve a common set of goals through effective collaboration. The more ingrained the CCoE into the business, the more efficient it will be.
CCoE should be Empowered to build and expand the team of certified professionals by continuous coaching and proliferation of up to date information & best practices which enable various teams and organizations to succeed in their cloud journey.
Never Underestimate The Power of Human Touch
“Staffing Is All About People Business”
We have seen employers laying off during the COVID19, but as the economy opens, we can expect a wave of demand for the workforce to match the clients' requirements. Businesses are starting to put everything to regain what they lost during the shutdown. The workforce is the biggest asset that a company has and lean on for growth. No matter how advanced technology we use, we cannot replace the human touch.
Here is how staffing agencies can make the difference and maximize the impact in the economy
Stay connected with your consultants:
Let your consultants know that you are putting all efforts to place them back as soon as possible. Let them know that you care for them; reach out to them with compassion and ingenuity. This is the time when our consultants need us more. Invest more time in connecting with your consultants
and making them understand that they are top of mind.
- Conduct a small survey asking consultants how you can support them
- Call them to ask how things are going and how they are managing
- Make them feel like a part of your family
Let The Clients Know The Value Proposition You Offer:
Before the pandemic, America’s staffing companies provide 3 million temporary and contract employees with work during an average week. Staffing companies are a valuable part of the entire ecosystem. However, sometimes businesses forget to realize our value. We need to communicate our values to the businesses. We must be ready proactively for the coming demand surge for the talents in the market.
- Advantages you offer to your clients (Compliance, Onboarding, high-quality talent)
- The value proposition to the clients
- Success Stories of other clients
- Solutions Approach to their staffing problems
- More Than Expected (Let them know we are here to offer you more than they expect)
Connect with Old Clients:
This is the best time to start a conversation with our old clients and ask them how they are managing their businesses. Business comes later; first, you need to understand how your past clients are coping with this crisis. Let them know that you have a value proposition to help them regain their business growth.
- During this crisis, you cannot forget to check in old clients asking how they are managing
- We need to be empathetic towards all our stakeholders (Previous and Current)
- Maybe they need us more now than earlier
- Try to be their helping hand in this crisis (Apart from your business service)
Human touch is the core of any conversation or relationship. No matter how advanced technology we are using to connect with our prospect, it will not stay long without human touch. The staffing industry is evolving with new tech for the recruiting process, but the core value should not be missing.
Riding Digital Transformation using Open Source Technologies
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into all business areas, fundamentally changing the way customers are acquired, serviced, and retained. But, it is more than just a technology transformation as it includes:
Cultural changes - new ways of working together and building organizations.
Agile Process - new ways of doing things across both IT and the business.
Next-Generation Architecture - new ways of developing, building, and integrating systems & applications.
The digital transformation is unique to every business and therefore needs a bespoke approach. Consequently, it requires a strategy that encompasses people and processes that align with the technology. The case for such a digital transformation has only hastened in the last couple of months, which means businesses must adapt to the new digital mindset. In other words, companies need to shift and make continuous, iterative changes to remain competitive by staying relevant. The first step is to bust some of the myths that exist around Digital transformation, which are:
- Digital transformation will take place despite IT.
- Digital transformation matters to mainly technology and B2C companies
- The time has not arrived in our industry and my business for digital transformation.
Many organizations are unprepared for the digital transformation, and hence the next step is to know where we are and learn whether we have to maintain, optimize, or innovate. It could broadly take place through:
- Gain efficiency by IT optimization
- Improve productivity by agile integration
- Move faster by using Cloud and Mobile Apps.
- Achieve scale by IT Automation and Management
As we are recovering from the current situation, we have to determine how the technology choices we make will help us to:
- Emerge out successfully - by adopting new technology that can transform
- Accelerate transformation to become a leader
- Help us innovate to stay as a leader continuously.
Why Open Source technologies?
Demands for efficiency, agility, and innovation require technologies that can bring all of them together. Open Source provides better solutions by making both demand and generation possible :
- Collaboration fosters innovation
- Shared Problems are solved faster.
- Working together creates necessary standardization.
- Transparency provides both access and the ability to act.
Open-source technologies have a community-powered approach for building interoperable, flexible, and scalable platforms which are :
- Cloud Hosted
- Microservices Driven
Here are a few questions us to consider before we set on the digital transformation journey.
- What disruptive competitive threats are we experiencing?
- What new entrants are in the market place?
- In what ways are you looking to establish competitive differentiation through digital services?
- How ready are you to take advantage of digital opportunities?
Is There Fear of Returning To Work Among Employees?
You Are Ready To Return Work, But May Be Team Is Not
Maybe you are ready to return or reopen, but your team may not be. Do not you think that some of your employees may be dealing with anxiety and fear of returning to work.
Work from home is emerging as a new normal for employees, but still, we need to reopen our offices and need workforce there. Business owners are grappling with how and when to reopen their businesses. It is people who open the economies, not only the government’s orders. If employees are dealing with anxiety and fear, the organization cannot resume its services.
Undoubtedly, the government has starting loosen their social distancing restriction. However, according to the latest survey conducted by global human resources consulting firm Mercer of 735 U.S. employers, more than 45 percent said they are already struggling with workers who are reluctant to return to their workplaces because of fear of getting sick.
There is an unprecedented dilemma that business leaders are facing across the globe. One of the significant risks is asking your team to join the workplace and may expose them to the virus. Does that mean offices will be closed forever and cannot be opened? No.
“We have to evolve as we all have done many times earlier.”
Fear Is Common, and You Need To Support Your Team
If you think you can eliminate those fears, it is not possible. Instead, you need to be the leader who comes forward and supports the team.
Please encourage them to be honest to tell you what they are feeling. Listen carefully and give them crystal clear information about safety parameters that you, as a business leader implementing. Make sure there should be complete transparency. As a business leader, you should let them know what you are doing to lower your team's risk. People surrounded by a group of people they trust feel more motivated.
Let’s plan what reopening/returning to work will look like
You have to plan about reopening; you cannot merely reopen your office without having a solid plan. Work should be done but not at the risk of getting sick at the workplace. For instance, if your team members use public conveyance to commute, no matter how solid the plan you have placed at your workplace, it would be useless. What about having third party face-to-face meetings? Your team members may help you with these questions and their alternatives.
Listen, Listen and Listen
It’s your team; you must listen to them. You need to understand their feelings, fears, and anxiety they are going through. Let them help you with some ideas to reopen. Please help them to distress. By listening to their fear and anxiety, business leaders like you will surely draft a solution.
Reopening/Returning your workplace is not that much easy, as it seems like opening a lock of your office. There is a lot that needs to be done. It is not a risk that you can manage in your balance sheet; it is a risk of getting someone sick at your workplace. Therefore, when you reopen, the first thing you need to do is consult with your team.
Technology-Adoption Triangle for Business Revival
Towards the end of 2019, Gartner published 10 Strategic technology trends for 2020. While almost all of the trends will be relevant, the post-COVID-19 impact has reprioritized the order in which it will take place. I have tried to visualize how the business may approach these technologies for adoption. We all know that political and business leaders worldwide are keen to open up their economies, and the first step towards it is regaining business confidence. In this long march to restoring the business confidence, technology will be the most important and influential factor which can sustain momentum at an ever-increasing velocity. Organizations have to choose tech streams that work across two continuous and complementary cycles:
Business operations need technologies that can help them run the business today. It includes cloud-based technologies for communication and running business-critical applications without disruption, development of digital twin of their current brick and mortar business, adoption of technologies that power contactless delivery of products and services. Modernize the existing technology infrastructure to improve operational efficiency, and incrementally grow the business. These immediate measures will bring back customers to the companies, rejuvenate the dried-up revenue streams for several organizations, and then set the stage upon which innovation opportunities are explored and will ultimately influence the cost, risk, and success of implementing and scaling innovation efforts.
If there is one lesson that has been driven home in the last couple of months, it is that every business has to build a culture of innovation. Organizations that value and promote innovation succeed and thrive. Today disruptive technologies are synonymous with innovation to transform the business and either create or respond to disruptions affecting the business. This innovation cycle looks at more radical changes to business models and supporting technologies as well as new business models and technologies that extend the current environment. AI, Automation, and Autonomous represent the innovation pack.
With this background, I propose the Multi-scale Technology Adoption triangle, which can fuel the growth of the organization. The x-axis represents the timeline of 18 months, which is Moore's law for the digital era and y-axis, the geometric growth of organizations with respect to the timeline. Business cycles and technologies do not exist in isolation. They build on and reinforce one another to create the digital world. This approach provides the opportunity to create immediate returns that are easier to design, develop, and deploy. In turn, this enables further democratization of the use of technology as business users and customers self-serve to meet their individual needs. This further builds resilience for business against the macro-economic changes.
Let’s Talk About Growth In This New Normal: Post COVID19 Growth Road Map
The new normal demands agility and understanding of your customer values.
COVID19 has far-reaching impacts on our lives, work, and economy. Companies are struggling to understand its full impact on their business to prepare the best response. Many of them have started to invest in the emerging opportunities in the current scenario.
Agility is the need of the hour for the companies in this once-in-a-generation challenge. In the current context, it is not only about capturing revenue, but it has to be done quickly. First movers will get significant rewards in this race.
This is the time when leaders need to take an approach to drive revenue for the organizations. Here are five steps to bring growth back to your organizations post COVID19.
No matter how established and large organizations you are, this scenario is demanding a startup approach. A startup approach is about having a mindset where action is at core of the activities. A startup mindset will help you to develop and implement an agile rhythm in your daily schedules. Let’s conduct the regular team meetings of 15 minutes, weekly 30 minutes review of the team with CEO, and monthly hourlong review. Keep everything at faced pace; let the accountability flows in your organization with agility.
Keep People At The Core of Your Activities
Internal and external customers should be at the core of your strategy. Companies need to rethink their operating model to drive rapid action resulting in growth. There has been a significant shift happened in the workforce culture. People working remotely should be loaded with all the required training and assets. Internal customers may require a completely different set of skills and capabilities to perform better in this situation.
Digital Transformation is a new weapon
The sooner, the better is the case with accelerating your technology and digital segment. In the growth recovery battle, digital transformation is your ultimate weapon. You need to have several other things in your armory, but digitalization will determine your success in this battle. Many companies have started integrating innovative technologies in their operations to reduce the cost and improve the operations.
Customers’ Buying Journey Is Changed
A customer-centric approach is not a new principle of business success, but companies need a recalibration of how customers will make a decision now. The customer buying journey is completely changed. Companies need to rethink what customers now value. A more granular approach to segment the customers is required.
One More Feather In Our Hat: Red Hat Partnership
Saxonlabs, a software development, cloud & Automation technology solutions provider, has achieved Red Hat Partnership Certification. Having Red Hat certification enables the Saxonlabs team to expand the software development ecosystem. With this certification, we will be helping ISVs and our customers in their next-generation software projects.
As a Red Hat partner, our DevOps platform, Zscale becomes more robust to providing a more secure tested Kubernetes applications and software. Our customers will get modernize offerings with cloud-ready technology built for scalability with more security.
Our DevOps will build apps and software on a hybrid cloud platform that offers portability, choice, and support. With our Red Hat certification, we make our customers stay competitive and meet market demand, no matter where they are in their journey.
Saxonlabs CEO Gopi Kandukuri said, “We have been helping our customers across the industries to achieve their business growth by adopting the latest technology. Red Hat Partnership is one more achievement in our journey to provide superior customer experience to our customers.”
Saxonlabs is a Dallas based boutique software company focused on solving customer business challenges using technology. Its core services include Software Development, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security, Cloud Applications, and Digital Transformation. Saxonlabs is transforming the ideas into reality, solving the most complicated business problems, and helping the industries to boost productivity.
The “iPhone” moment in Cloud
Cloud technologies have just come out of the teenage and stepping into adulthood. The last 20 years have witnessed the birth and growth of several cloud companies but still had not hit the moment we are experiencing now. COVID-19 situation, coupled with the economic downturn, has now created an "iPhone" moment in Cloud, and here are few reasons for us to recognize it as the "smartphone" moment.
- Cloud has put technology in everyone's pocket.
With Cloud, every business can subscribe to products/services which were only accessible to large enterprises as on-prem tools/technologies.
- Cloud has transformed the eCommerce channel from the option to a necessity to survive.
eCommerce was most prevalent in the B2C market, but the current situation has provided a significant impetus for B2B to go online, which is a much larger market segment. Now, as businesses taste the convenience, ease, and transparency of doing business online it will become the mainstay.
- Cloud is changing the way Products/Services will be created and distributed.
From individual yoga teachers to entertainers to businesses, Cloud has offered the lifeline to maintain business continuity and thereby ensuring revenue streams are intact. In several other situations, it has inspired them to quickly develop new product/service offerings, which will accelerate their path to recovery.
- The future of work is remote, and Cloud is what makes it happen.
Most of the knowledge economy companies have embraced remote work like never before. In the most recent announcement, Twitter has shared that it will allow its employees to work remotely forever. This trend will only continue, and new products/services, which will make remote work safe, productive, more collaborative will be on the rise, which will fuel further cloud adoption.
- Cloud will democratize and proliferate the entire world.
The speed at which technology is available across the world is high, and it has a twofold effect: a. it reduces the technology gap across geography b. it breeds innovation across the globe, creating new silicon valleys.
- API economy will emerge stronger and drive innovation across industries.
Cloud has nurtured a shared economy model and collaboration among technology companies. Successful companies are the ones that have built the ecosystem by opening up their APIs for other ISV(Independent Software Vendors) & Product entrepreneurs. For example, companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, and Hubspot have large ecosystems that has helped them generate 3X-6X times the revenue from their own product lines.
- Cloud enables Automation and AI to work at scale.
Automation and AI have experienced a surge in demand in the current situation. Both of them rely on Cloud to be transformative and compelling.
Thus, year 2020 for Cloud will be similar to 2007 for the Mobile telephone market when iPhone emerged on the scene and changed everything for good.
Staffing Industry is Embedding Tech-Driven Recruiting
Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. Industries across the globe are utilizing the advantage of technology to boost their operations and outreach to their prospective customers. When we talk about the staffing industry, tech-driven recruiting is something disrupting the entire market. Apart from having an applicant tracking system, many agencies have started using technology to build a candidate profile from the available public information of the candidates on the digital platform.
Now job seekers would not be asked about how to react to different scenarios instead show how to respond through virtual reality. As we know, finding a job is itself a job. When it comes to land a dream job, you must keep the technology as your best friend.
In the last five years, technology has embedded itself in the job search process. Job seekers missing technology in their process will lose to hold their dream job. We have heard many times that AI is helping recruiters and employers to make hiring decisions, but how it happens.
1 – Organizations and staffing industries are creating profiles on you (Secretly)
What is new in this? You may have heard about software that your resume for a keyword and fetch the data. However, recruiters are not only scrutinizing your resume but building a complete profile on you based on your data available on a public domain such as social profiles, awards, academic histories data uploaded on social profiles, old blogs, LinkedIn, etc.
With the help of these tools, recruiters are building a profile on you without meeting you in person. Sometimes profiles they create seem different than your resume. Employers and recruiters believe that these sources are better to tell about who you are before having an in-person meeting with you.
2 – Skill Assessments are getting more sophisticated
There is nothing new except the more intelligent algorithms used to conduct skill and personality assessments. The AI platforms will check whether a candidate is a perfect fit for the job. It is not only about skill assessment, but it also includes cultural fit.
3 – Time to show, not to tell
You have heard this question during your interviews, ‘How would you react in specific circumstances. Now the question will remain the same, but rather than answering that question, you must show how you will handle the situation. Companies are working on implementing VR to create a virtual workplace scenario. Technology is helping employers to get a clearer picture of how you will react to a given situation.
How Would You Manage To Get Your Dream Job In Tech-Driven Recruiting Era?
1 – Focus on your online presence.
What sort of content you are posting, sharing, or commenting will determine your candidature in this tech-driven recruiting era.
2 – Company Making Profile On you, You Make Profile On Company
Learn as much as you can about the prospect organization. There is a lot of data available in the public domain about the employers that you can use to learn about them. You can browse their digital assets to check their cultural environment, work ethics, employee reviews, and more.
3 – Embed the technology in your jobs search process
Believe it or not, tech-driven technology is going to stay. If you adopt this new culture, you will get your dream job. Companies have a large number of resources at their disposal, but you also have options. There are several online skill assessment tools and career mapping resources to help you boost the job search process.
A 5-step action guide for Post COVID CIO
We all have landed in the Post COVID era. I am not saying from the point of finding the vaccines, which is perhaps still a long way but in the economic sense. All businesses across the industries have rebooted in more than ways - from business models to service offerings to new modes of serving the customers. Technology leaders became the most sought after warriors inside the organization as they had to overnight build the digital infrastructure to ensure business continuity. Now, as we begin to settle into the new normal, CIO's have a more significant responsibility of working strategically with the business leaders to build Organization 2.0.
Organization 2.0 will invariably be a Digital-first business and will demand the CIO create value differentiation in the market place. Here is a 5-step action guide for the Post COVID CIO:
- Reduce the burn rate of the team - This is the perfect time to cut the slack that exists in the team, prepare to tackle the long road to economic recovery by cutting costs on expensive resources. This means CIO has to be smarter to evaluate and use off-shore teams or on-demand talent pool without sacrificing the quality of delivery.
- Retire high maintenance applications - Applications that are a cost burden on the infrastructure and are requiring huge on-site or off-shore teams to manage should be looked at retiring. The two-fold approach is to rearchitect applications that are resource-efficient and migrate from on-prem to cloud.
- Automate, Automate, and Automate - Using Robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence, almost every aspect of business can achieve higher productivity, repeatability, and accuracy.
- Evaluate your technology vendors - This is the perfect time to evaluate your technology vendors across software, hardware, and services. Breakaway from vendors who have you locked in annual contracts by replacing them with subscription-based vendors; replace expensive staffing partners; retire technologies that have lower adoption inside the business.
- Build and strengthen the new business model - Digital commerce is here to stay and has achieved a momentum that has forced organizations to embrace this business model wholeheartedly. This means all products or services will have to be produced and delivered in on-demand mode.
Many CIOs are already on this path by making their organizations resilient to wither this storm and also be leaders on the path to recovery in their industry. Every crisis is an opportunity for the leader to unlock their potential and scale new heights. While some of the changes suggested here take time, others can be swift so that it creates the oxygen mask your business needs now.
4 Things To Stay Relevant and Save Your Job During This Crisis
The COVID 19 pandemic has turned our world upside down, especially our work. With 26 million Americans filing for unemployment within five weeks, the job security aspect is likely to come in our mind.
Here are some facts:
Weekly jobless claims totaled 4.4 million last week, slightly more than expected. (Source: CNBC)
The five-week total is now 26.4 million, more than all of the jobs added since the Great Recession. (Source: CNBC)
There is a lot of uncertainty in the environment. Amid this uncertainty, there is a silver lining. There are some ways you can adopt to prove your worth and thrive even during this challenging situation. Undoubtedly, difficult times demand resilience to make yourself more appealing during this period. Here are some steps that you can take to make sure that you are worthy, and you are the fittest one for the job. In this race, you need to compete with yourself and transform it into your new version.
1 - Be Adaptable and Resilient
Being resilient is an essential trait at this time. You need to be able to handle challenges in this current situation. You need to evolve. Stay updated with the current industry trends. Adjust to the new circumstances in your company and industry. Move forward and take projects/responsibilities that need to be handled in this new circumstance. Whether it is conducting virtual meetings or taking additional responsibilities, don’t let anything go.
If somebody asks you to do something out of your work scope, be ready to help. You need to be open to filling in wherever you think you can help. These are the things that will set you apart. During this period, be thoughtful and kind to your teammates.
2 - Out-of-the-box thinking
This is the best time to explore your creativity. Bring creativity in your work that benefits the entire organization. Be the master of your skills, brainstorm new ways to get the things done in this tough time faster. When the whole industry is looking at the ways to sail through this situation, you cannot sit idle. Play Your Role Aggressively. People with creative thinking and problem-solving ability are the most sought after in this current situation. Who does not want to have someone who can solve their pain points? The only bad idea is not to have any idea at all.
3 - Learning Never Ends
We have heard and recited many times that ‘Learning never ends.’ This is the best time to bring this learning into action. Learn new things related to your industry and be adaptable to change. Develop additional skills. If you are a social media marketing executive, you can decide to improve your data analytical skills to make a better analysis of the performance and enhance the engagement. You do not have to make the 180-degree shift, start with small steps but be consistent, and learn every day. As you start picking up new skills and knowledge, you will be more productive.
Sharpen your skills related to your industry
4 - Have Get-The-Things-Done Attitude
Employers will love to have a teammate with get-the-things-done attitude. While companies are focusing on developing business models and revenue streams to keep their business afloat, they would like to have team members who can get things done quickly. Be the person who can roll up his/her sleeves and take the task at hand, no matter how small or big a job is.
This is the time when people with determination, dedication, and grit will survive and stand out from others.
There is no assurance that these steps will not let your employer lay off but surely help you to strengthen your position in the current organization and boost your skills, in case you decide to explore new opportunities or projects.
Digital Sprint your recovery from COVID-19
In just a matter of a few weeks, the world we live in is disrupted in more than one way. COVID-19 was the most undesirable factor for any of us to make digital transformation a priority. Business leaders across many industries were coasting along with Digital strategy as a nice to have feature but not with the vision and rigor of making it a priority. So, digital for most businesses has arrived from the future to the present.
With the current economic situation and the uncertain trajectory we are threading, business leaders have to make some tough choices. Organizations that are already on their path of digital transformation will be better positioned to handle the current situation and will emerge more robust post this crisis. For many, it will be building the parachute as they are jumping off the cliff. Thankfully, there are solutions built using technologies like Automation, Cloud, and AI, which are business-ready and can accelerate digital transformation.
Here is a sprint approach to digital transformation and critical questions you as a business leader needs to address:
Day 1: Create a Digital RoadMap and choose a target. The key questions are:
- What are the emerging customer behaviors?
- How has my supply chain changed?
- What new channels have formed to reach my target market?
Day 2: Sketch Compelling Solutions. Revisit your products and services to understand which of them will hold relevance in the new world and what new offerings will find value in your customer's hearts. The questions you have to tackle are:
- What products will accelerate my recovery path?
- Which products/services will have the least resistance to adoption?
- What price-value considerations do my customers hold in the digital world?
- How quickly can I build a new product/service?
Day 3: Decide on the best. While there could be many choices for your recovery, we will have to pick the winner. Some key questions to help you make that wise choice are:
- What is the agility of my new business model?
- Which Digital channel will have higher customer lifetime value, low customer churn, and earn higher ARPU (Average return per user?)
Day 4: Build a realistic Prototype. Here time is the essence, so building something quick and functional is essential. We are trying to create something that will last forever but also have to develop it for change. A few questions to consider:
- Which tool/technology can help me launch faster?
- Which features/functionality will win me, customers, fast?
- How quickly can prototype emerge as a complete offering?
Day 5: Test with Target Customers. If you have a business that has earned the trust of your customers, you will always have some ready to take chances on your experiments. A few things to watch out for:
- Watch and perform analytics on your customer interactions with your products/services.
- Create an ecosystem for your customers to consume your products, which makes their lives complete.
- Emphasize collaboration to increase adoption.
The underlying considerations for you to get this Sprint right are to have the right talent mix which owns an agile mindset.
Few Key Challenges for the 2020 CIOs
As technology evolves, so does the role of a CIO within a company. It's a tight-rope to walk in, bringing in value and innovation while also dealing with the many rising challenges and technological solutions within a company. Amidst all that, the CIO also needs to keep a clear mind and be focused on profitable business outcomes and client satisfaction. Staying ahead of technological advances and steering clear of obsolete frameworks, not only does the modern CIO look after the IT infrastructure, but also must add real value to a company.
Many companies have come to heavily rely on the data and other significant intelligence a CIO delivers to improve upon their products and services to clients. While looking after their traditional job roles, the modern CIO needs enough agility to be able to deliver new concepts – improving upon company procedures. Keeping up with new trends and mitigating risks, here's a few practices you as a CIO can look into:
Using Data for Business Expansion
We have all come to know how important data is, and how companies use it to generate better revenue streams. As a CIO, it is your job to make sure that you mine the right data and not get lost into all that user information. Do away with the clutter and turn the data analytics into actionable information. Working well with the chief of marketing and revenue, move towards the company's economic growth and seize greater market share. Be well informed on data personalization to drive in new customers and clientele.
Getting the Right Talent
A rising number of businesses are complaining about a considerable shortfall between the number of qualified IT professionals and the IT skills required in these modern times. The IT skills gap is very real, with the rising unavailability of skilled talent. Finding the right recruits with specific skillsets has proven to be quite cumbersome for CIOs in recent years, which now is statistically proven in Gartner’s report on skills gap for 2020. Challenges faced by CIOs are to only increase with the impending disruptions caused by the I&O skills gap.
"Skills Gaps occur around emerging technology, as well as management. The key to delivering digital value at scale has the right people.” – The DevOp thought Leader, Hank Marquis, and Research Director at Gartner.
Many organizations have started urging their CIOs to adopt the latest digital technologies to devise effective business models. Integrating automation tools like Cloud Computing, AI, and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) are surely good ideas, though, in most circumstances, executives are expecting quick returns on their investment.
As a CIO, you have to study the impact of all digital transformation initiatives within your company. Adopting a new technology just because it is trending or impressive, doesn’t necessarily guarantee real benefits. To get the most out of an innovative environment and emerging industry trends, set up metrics that measure the impact of these transformations within the company.
Dealing with Rising Security Threats
IT and Security professionals must be more cautious with digital threats endangering the company's overall existence and functioning. Many are adopting AI-based protection systems to counter these rising security threats, amidst so many security breaches reported every other week. The average cost of a data breach is estimated at around $3.92 million in 2019, and cybersecurity statistics also place healthcare organizations amongst one of the top few to be affected by these security threats.
Staying extra vigilant with such looming threats and giving proper training helps a lot with the risk mitigation factor involved when dealing with cybersecurity attacks.
Incorporate Agile Solutions
CIOs need to encourage their companies to value regular innovation and adopt better agile methodologies. The objectives of an agile team are to develop quick quality software to streamline business functionality in addition to keeping equipment and infrastructure up to date.
As agile solutions grow in popularity, it’s your responsibility to implore new and innovative ideas while establishing a company culture that encourages growth. Experts recommend limiting the core agile team be comprised of only three to six individuals to maintain focus and growth. Effective agile methodologies provide multiple prospects for assessing the trajectory of a project throughout its development phase.
Improving communication between IT and other departments and striving for regular improvement can go a long way. Poorly implemented projects and solutions that aren't compatible with your current framework, coupled with poor communication, hinder the day to day functioning of your company. The main mission of IT specialists is to build upon and improve company/client experience, innovate and simplify processes while making sure the company’s internal communication is streamlined. It’s pivotal that your team works well together and keep daily activities aligned with your strategic goals.
Get involved and take responsibility
To reiterate on your credibility as CIO in a company, get involved with the core aspects of the business. The contributions of a CIO go far beyond the scope of the IT to things like product development, Innovation, business process management, procurement, and digital services. Such versatile CIOs can expect better functionality while also improving upon the product security, maintenance, and reliability of the business.
The CIO of the future must be well acquainted with growing market practices, and the digital impacts transformations have on their company. These are just a few challenges and thinks to look out for moving forward. The job of the CIO is slowly blurring into the role of an IT leader. Knowing when to upgrade your legacy systems - without losing out on function or security, and managing data security and consumer piracy, there are many things you need to watch out for.
Building an Agile Workforce For 2020
An agile workforce is essential for nurturing strategic partnerships across your organization. In this changing business world, to make sure that your company is prepared to tackle every challenge, you have to ensure that your employees are agile.
How can you define an agile workforce?
A correct word for an agile workforce could be “continuous upskilling.” In the contemporary world, defining the term “agile workforce” is quite easy. It’s the organization’s ability to alter and adapt change, to become successful. An organization that can adapt to the evolving market conditions, customer demands, and employee needs is deemed agile.
A small start-up comes to our mind while defining the term where you can choose your role, adapt to the change, and get things done when you need it. But as soon as the company grows, the agility is lost. However, to keep a strong grip on the market today, even a large firm needs to show agility.
Why building an agile workforce is important?
We use this term daily with our clients and employees. Talking about workforce agility is one thing, but implementing it is another. Implementation is the phase where it becomes a challenge for the companies.
To succeed, win and retain your edge in the highly competitive business environment is a daunting task. Every day a brand-new company is launched with extraordinary and innovative services. Each of them is ready to give a face-off to your business. In order to keep up with a fast-paced market, you need an agile workforce that is able to adapt swiftly to changing trends to ensure your business retains its competitive edge and position in the market.
If you go by the recession report, so you would know that the business environment is more compressed. You must have noticed economic interruptions in the last decade that has taken the market by storm. There are a lot of uncertainties when you follow a single trend. Being agile can be a game-changer for your business if you adapt to change.
How to create an agile workforce?
You need to work on two things in order to create an agile workforce. The first thing is working on your organizational structure; structure matters. It is simply how work gets done. The second thing is the behavior or attitude of your employees.
The most important factor is a far-sighted, futuristic vision, rather than holding on to anarchic notions of the past. Now here, the employee’s mindset is really important. It will help us determine the pace of change in your company, where they currently stand, and where do they see themselves in the future.
A C-level executive is usually unaware of the mindsets of their employee. This makes it difficult for them to develop agility in their workforce. That’s where the HR department should step in. HR could play a significant role in correcting and nurturing the mindset of the leaders by understanding employee’s thought process.
Understanding employees’ mindset
Employees’ mindset works in a spectrum from negative to positive. You need to look out for the employees who deviate from a fixed mindset. They can change their mindset according to the conditions affecting them during the change process. It is important to understand what influences them during this period. This is called a growth mindset:
- Such employees would prioritize improving their talents and abilities, challenging their intelligence. They would never waste time in seeking validation and avoiding failure. They are ready to face every challenge.
- Next are employees with an open mindset. These minds welcome new ideas and are ready to implement them if they are reliable. Their minds are never out of ideas. They don’t appreciate close-mindedness. They are more focused on being in the right place.
- Finally comes the third category that includes employees with a promotional mindset. Their actions are directly associated with rewards. They tend to avoid problems and focus on not losing. These mindsets process change differently. They are ready to take the risk to seek rewards.
The Secret Behind Sustainable Growth – Nurturing an Agile Workforce
Advancement in technology and the advent of the internet has revolutionized the world. Rapid advancements in communications, products, and services have changed markets for good. In today’s era, the pioneers in every domain benefit the most. Corporate cultures have shifted to ‘survival of the fittest’ due to active competition in every industry. That is why, in the contemporary business environment, it is imperative for businesses to adopt an agile mindsight and build an agile workforce to transcend into a new decade of success and growth.
“Mindsets are the catalyst that propels the organization forward.”-Lundi-Mallet
Saxonlabs Achieves Bronze Partner Accreditation
Saxonlabs, a software development, cloud & Automation technology solutions provider, has joined the Automation Anywhere Alliance program to help customers augment their business processes and accelerate digital transformation. This alliance is focused on fostering the automation solutions across the country with Saxonlabs Technology Services. Enterprises are adopting automation at a rapid pace, with this alliance program, Saxonlabs strengthened its RPA services. Saxonlabs aims to strengthen organizations’ productivity and save time and cost by transforming their manual processes into robotic processes.
Saxonlabs CEO, Gopi Kandukuri said, "We have been helping our customers across the industries to achieve their business growth by adopting the latest technology. Automation is the new wave of technology, and we look forward to delivering superior customer experience to our customers working with Automation Anywhere."
Saxonlabs is a Dallas based boutique software company focused on solving customer business challenges using technology. Its core services include Software Development, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security, Cloud Applications, and Digital Transformation. Saxonlabs is transforming the ideas into reality, solving the most complicated business problems, and helping the industries to boost productivity.
Automation Anywhere is a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Its products are developed to enable organizations to operate with greater efficiency by automating any part of the business. With its innovative technology products, Automation Anywhere is helping organizations to overcome challenges and improve efficiency resulting in business profits.
Organizations today are now embracing the new wave of technologies like IoT, cognitive computing, and task-level Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to overcome challenges like reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), increasing workforce efficiency, reducing human error and so on.
How do we know we have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset at work?
Is criticism bad or an opportunity for you to improve? Does failure stop you from trying further or encourage you to do better? Does competition make you feel intimated and threatened or inspired?
Your answers to these questions will determine your mindset at work. Before we start elaborating this chapter further, we should understand the meaning of these two terms: Growth Mindset and a Fixed mindset.
Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset:
These terms are coined by Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. These two terms will define the belief of the people in their talents and abilities.
As the name suggests, a fixed mindset is a belief that our knowledge, character, and creativity are innate and unchangeable. A person with a fixed mindset lives with this belief that our skills and intelligence cannot be improved. On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset considers gaps in skills and look for the chances of growth.
It is a belief that with determination, training, and dedication, we can increase our abilities, we can improve our skills, we can learn new skills.
Do You Have A Growth Mindset? While you guys figure out which mindset you believe you have, let’s understand how a growth mindset will help you. Why does it matter to have a growth mindset at work?
How A Growth Mindset will help you succeed at work
A growth mindset keeps you open for new learnings, new skills, new improvements to become smarter in the workplace. A person with a growth mindset will always challenge himself/herself to do better.
A manager with a growth mindset always challenges them to do better, having complete trust in them. On the other hand, a manager with a fixed mindset, find it hard to manage a team. With a fixed mindset, the manager will doubt on the performance of the team that they will never do a better job.
How to determine which mindset we have?
Undoubtedly, we all fall into one mindset or another. The best way to find which mindset we have is to understand how we react and respond to situations.
Do you feel intimated whenever you get competition from your colleagues? Do you want to stick in your comfort zone or want to come out to grow?
Now, you need to figure out how you respond to these types of situations in your life. Here are more some other points to understand the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset:
A person with a Growth Mindset believes Feedback/Criticism as an opportunity to improve
A person with a Fixed Mindset considers Feedback/Criticism as a threat or failure
A person with a Growth Mindset, Failure means learnings from mistakes
A person with a Fixed Mindset, Failure means he/she is incapable
A person with a growth mindset embraces the new challenges and come out from the comfort zones
A person with a Fixed Mindset tries to avoid new challenges
A person with a growth mindset considers competition a way to get inspired, learn and grow
A person with a fixed mindset considers competition as an intimidation
A person with Growth Mindset learning new skills is essential.
A person with a fixed mindset, skills are unchangeable
How Saxon on-demand software services is the right prescription for the current business environment?
We all have come to learn that 2020 - will be a landmark year in the history of work culture. Indeed, post this, how we work, and get things done remotely will shape future organizational structure. It has undoubtedly pushed many conventional industries and businesses to think lean, adopt tools that can help them work remotely without a drop in productivity level, and many of them to change their business models.
Remote by Design
Our core business is technology staffing and solutions with our consultants serving several industries. Our process and frameworks enable remote teams to work effectively in helping our clients for their development or testing or data engineering needs.
We stand the distinction of being in the group of a handful of companies who can provide software services in an on-demand model. For our clients, this can solve multiple problems. One, the need to find a highly qualified and curated team that can ramp up on the fly, two investment in the infrastructure of licenses, tools is zero, and third, unlike Upwork or similar talent market places, we have 100% ownership on the delivery.
All this is possible because, over the last ten years, we have tested the operating model to build mature processes and frameworks. We believe we can never go wrong with complete transparency, staying on top of communication, using agile frameworks, and proven project management tools.
Quality First Approach
How do you ingrain the importance of quality in remote teams?
Our developers, testers, and data engineers undergo a rigorous process of onboarding where acceptable quality levels are firmly established. Our ira based work allocation and management make it a painless process for our clients for managing the allocated talent pool. With our tools, they can easily see the performance metrics of the various engineers and report on any issue concerning the quality of delivery.
Sprint from Idea to Product
Saxon provides a massive global technology talent infrastructure that allows you to innovate, experiment, and iterate quickly. Instead of waiting weeks or months for your ideas to take wings, you can instantly prototype your ideas, instantly scale up as your product or software application grows, and instantly scale down based on demand. Whether you need one virtual technical resource or a team of engineers, whether you need them for a few hours or 24/7, you still only pay for what you use.
Open and Flexible
At Saxon, we are a technology agnostic delivery platform. You choose the development platform or programming model that makes the most sense for your business. You can choose which services you use, one or several, and decide how you use them. This flexibility allows you to focus on business innovation, not on the tech talent that is needed for you to make it happen.
Do More with Less
In response to the current business environment, every organization has to preserve cash and reduce the burn rate. Saxon offers low, pay-as-you-go pricing with no up-front expenses or long-term commitments. We can build and manage a tech talent pool at scale, and pass the cost-saving benefits onto you in the form of lower software development or testing costs. With the efficiencies of our scale and expertise, we have been able to drive 3X RoI for our customers.
A Letter To Valued Partners
This COVID-19 Pandemic is impacting not only our lives but our businesses and way of life. It is a truly unprecedented global situation, and we are continuously monitoring it. We are following the guidelines of The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We won’t stop serving our clients; however, we have changed the way we do our jobs (i.e., working from home). We are working meticulously to make sure that our clients’ businesses are functioning efficiently. We are taking complete care of our consultants and clients to make sure that they get all the resources and support needed.
Saxon Global is founded on six core values: Our Customers Come First (Clients and Consultants), Accountability, We Play Bold To Win, Keep It Simple, Teamwork, and Have a ton of Fun.
Our core values help us in this tough time to support internal employees, consultants, and clients. We are making all efforts to ensure these groups are connected, supported, and productive.
Here we are focusing on these points:
- Helping our clients to make the transition to connect with remote teams ready to support everything – support, helpdesk, access management, queries to maintain the business continuity.
- We have started implementing technology toolkits for virtual interviews, hiring process, onboarding process, and other resources to maintain the social distancing and continue productivity
- Our workforce is fully equipped with secure technology toolkits to provide secure and maximum productivity to our clients
- We are more connected than ever. Our all forums are active where clients can engage with our account managers anytime
We would like to thank you for being a valued member of the Saxon Global Family
CIOs focus areas in the wake of the Corona Virus outbreak (COVID -19)
COVID-19 is continuously spreading across the globe, resulting in shutting down several offices across the world to stop the spread. CIOs need to take some proactive measures to combat this situation without hampering the operations. This pandemic is also causing economic danger to the entire world.
In the latest event, the trillions of dollars wiped from financial markets this week.
WHO has already classified COVID as a pandemic, which means organizations should be cautious more than ever to combat this virus and continue their operations simultaneously? Is it possible? Yes.
“The value of digital channels, products, and operations is immediately obvious to companies everywhere right now,” says Sandy Shen, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. “This is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience. Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”
Businesses need to be proactive in maintaining as much operational continue as possible without spreading this virus. Digital transformation is one of the areas where organizations should have invested more. However, late is better than never. CIOs now need to expand access and capabilities in the digital workspaces resource category. It will help them to maintain the continuity of the operation to some extent.
CIOs Need To Expand digital workplace resources and access
Company leaders and government representatives in several countries asked the people to avoid unnecessary travel and social gatherings to prevent COVID viral spread. Many organizations have asked their employees to work from home to ensure that they keep active the operations as well as avoid the spread of this virus, keeping their employees safe. CIOs need to take these proactive steps:
Understand the typical workflow:
CIOs need to understand the workflow of the people who can work their jobs remotely and provide them access to the system they need. It can include a laptop, communication platforms like messaging, chat, emails, ERP systems, etc.
54% of HR leaders in our snap poll indicated that poor technology and/or infrastructure for remote working is the biggest barrier to effective remote working.Gartner
Determine security needs:
It is very critical to overview the security needs and assess what their team members need to work safely. It will be better if employees are provided with the authorized systems to keep the data and work securely. Employees will be working on a public or private network of their locations. CIOs need to consider the endpoint security aspects for employee identity and service devices.
Update HR policies and Resource Access:
As organizations are asking their employees to work from home, they also need to update their policies regarding this plan (Who can work from home, who often and for how long). Moreover, the IT department will make sure that they maintain the proper surveillance of giving access and limiting it when required.
Team members need to undergo a training program to understand data protection and how they can exchange the document and information safely.
Get Ready With New Capabilities:
It is the time when organizations need to scale up their technology capabilities. Instant messaging, Videoconferencing, and other collaborations tools are some of the examples that will facilitate the remote work.
CIOs need to assess the needs and acquire the required access to these capabilities. Ideally, they should connect with flexible and short-term contractors with their existing vendors or new ones to accommodate the current surge.
Is Your Company Paying Attention To Candidate Experience?
There is no wonder that in this hypercompetitive labor market, 60% of recruitment leaders are planning to invest more in Candidate Experience.
What is the candidate experience?
A candidate wants to be treated affectionally throughout the interview and joining process. Candidate experience is all about how a job seeker perceives and reacts to the hiring process (Sourcing, Interviewing, and Onboarding).
Why Is it so important now?
The current labor market power has shifted towards the candidates, giving them the power to decide to choose a job.
In today's market, 92% of candidates have more than one job offer on the table to decide.Gartner
They don't feel afraid to back out from the hiring process if they find it not matching their expectations.
36% of candidates stated that they had accepted a job offer in the past but after that decided not to join. This situation leaves the recruiters to start the hiring process from the beginning again, which is undoubtedly a disappointing situation.
Why Does It Happen?
There are plenty of reasons for backing out of the hiring process; however, there is one thing common: Negative Emotions. The hiring journey of a candidate includes several stages, which can be filled with excitement and hope, and sometimes filled with frustration, fraught, and confusion.
How To Improve Candidate Experience?
According to Garner's research report, there are four critical moments in the candidate experience: Attraction, Application, post-application, and decision making. To succeed in the hiring process, organizations need to work to understand these four key factors and mitigate the negative emotions to give world-class candidate experience to the candidates.
Attraction: When Candidates check information related to the job
Application: When Candidates submit their job applications
Post-Application: The time when candidates are waiting to hear back from the recruiters
Decision making: When candidates decide whether to accept a job offer
Candidates may withdraw their application or back out of the hiring process or post negative reviews about the company if the company fails in these four key points to provide a better candidate experience.
Attraction: Candidates are Swamped with Information
Undoubtedly, candidates have access to plenty of information now than ever. Candidates' mail inboxes are bombarded with Glassdoor follow-ups, LinkedIn recommendations, and mails from recruiters of different companies. With all this noise, it isn't very easy to make your message stand out.
Instead of increasing the quantity of outreach, focus on improving the quality of candidate outreach. It will break the clutter and stand out your message. Create personas of your target segments and then craft the message around those personas to appeal. This strategy will help you to target the right talent with the correct information.
Application: Candidates Are Puzzled Regarding The Job (Poor Job Description)
The first thing that candidates ponder on while applying for a job is Job Description. Despite given this much importance to the job description, recruiters usually skip it. Job descriptions are the gateways for the recruiters to introduce their jobs to prospective candidates. However, most of the recruiters leave the candidates confused regarding what the job exactly demands. Thus, either the candidates apply for the wrong job or never apply for the first place.
Job descriptions with a laundry list of bullet points had a 7% apply rate vs a 46% apply rate for descriptions with few bullet points.
They need to have a clear picture of their role and responsibilities. Here are three vital ingredients of a well-written job description – Culture Description, Interesting work, and fewer bullet points.
Post-Application: Feeling Disappointed Due to “Little to No Communication”
After submitting the job applications, candidates reach the stage where they keep on waiting to receive little to no communication from the recruiters or organization. Candidates spend several hours preparing application materials.
In fact, 69% of new hires report dissatisfaction with the status updates they receive from organizations throughout the process.Gartner
17% of candidates withdraw due to the lack of contact/proper communication.Gartner
Recruiters need to fix this negative experience. For this, they need to enable a transparent process where they first need to set realistic expectations. They should provide clear timelines and do proactive communication with the candidates.
Decision Making: Multiple Job Offers, which one to choose
The hypercompetitive job market is giving the power to the candidates to select the organization. Therefore, candidates often in more than one job offer in their hands to choose from. Having more than one job offer leaves them stuck in the decision-making stage.
In the past three years, the number of candidates considering at least one other offer rose by 31%Gartner
Candidates are struggling in this phase to make the right decision. Recruiters make all attempts to persuade the candidates to accept their job offer, but this only does not help. Instead, recruiters should act like career coaches for the candidates and guide them to assess the best fit based on their interests and preferences.
They can show them organizations' comparisons, highlight benefits, consider their employment value proposition EVP. Help them to cut all irrelevant information and make them focus on what matters. It helps the candidates to make the right decisions and reduces the chances of new-hire turnover.
The recruiting process is a rollercoaster of emotions wherein candidates go through various stages. It is a journey full of emotions. Recruiters can mitigate negative emotions and build the right team for their organizations. It is more like helping the candidates to find their dream job. Think from their perspective.
How To Tackle The Talent Acquisition Challenge in 2020?
Isn’t finding the right talent is the biggest constraint for your business growth? The current labor market is grappling with the talent shortage problem.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. dropped to its lowest point in the last 50 years. Employers are pouring more and more jobs in the market but finding trouble in hiring the right talent.
“Lacking talent and skills is the top internal constraint to digital business growth,”Lily Mok, VP Analyst, Gartner
Skill Shortage: The technology trends are changing at a rapid pace; job seekers missing to match this pace will not be able to fit the right talent pool. One of the biggest challenges is to find the right talent for the job.
Employee/Employers Ghosting: The unemployment rate has shifted the market in favor of job seekers. They are controlling the job market. Employee ghosting has always been one of the biggest challenges for employers. However, the current market is total employee-oriented, which means they have multiple options to choose from.
Flexibility: Gig economy is growing by leaps and bounces. Job seekers are attracted to freelancing and contract jobs because they get more flexibility. Employers are still pondering upon this issue to understand to what extent they need to give feasibility to their employees.
“In 2027, more than half of the workforce will be or will have been, an independent. ”MBO partners
Proactiveness/ Building Talent Pool: Most of the Human resource managers act in a hurry when it comes to hiring talent. They never proactively build a talent pool, which turns into higher TAT for hiring the right talent.
Candidate Experience: It matters a lot. A candidate wants to be treated affectionally throughout the interview and joining process. Candidate experience is all about how a job seeker perceives and reacts to the hiring process (Sourcing, Interviewing and Onboarding)
“According to a 2019 survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, nearly half of U.S. job seekers in high-demand industries such as technology, energy, and banking have turned down job offers because of the wrong candidate experience.”
Proven Methods to Tackle Talent Acquisition Challenges
Speed Up The Hiring Process:
- Remove unnecessary steps involved in the process
- Write an unambiguous job description
- Screen Skills Not Resumes
Improve Candidate Experience:
- Treat them professionally from the beginning of the recruitment process.
- Enable easy application process
- Respect candidates’ time
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Give and ask for feedback
- Build and Maintain candidate relationship
Build the talent pool:
- Review your organizational strategies
- Assess the company's current talent to identify any skills gaps
- Prepare a repository of Sourcing Tools (Social Media Campaigns, Referrals, Website, Inbound Recruiting, talent networking events, etc.)
Upskilling/Reskilling of the existing workforce:
- Connect employees with a mentor.
- Encourage self-training (Rewards, pain training time, flexibility to attend training seminars
- Use real-life simulations and case studies.
- Build a Learning Culture
- Online Training Courses
Pitfalls in hiring the Tech Talent
Hiring is a time-consuming process. Hiring managers undergo a rigorous process to identify the ideal candidate. However, what if despite all the efforts, they get it all wrong? According to a survey, a technology company could lose an average of $15,000 for a single bad hire. When it comes to workplace mistakes, hiring the wrong resource can be worse than poor performance.
Recruiting the perfect tech talent is unarguably the most critical aspect of a business. Finding the right talent is not easy, especially when it comes to tech talent. To make sure that you make the right decisions, you have to consider a plethora of factors to improve recruitment efficacy.
In the contemporary tech-driven world, finding optimal staffing solutions can be extremely vexing, especially, for companies in the IT industry. Hiring top IT talent is imperative for organizational growth and success, which is why exceptional IT professionals are high in demand and rare to find.
If you are looking to recruit the top tech talent, to start a new team, or add another member to your existing organization, here are some of the common mistakes most recruiters make and the ways to avoid them:
Pitfall # 1: Formulating incorrect job descriptions
The most common and greatest mistakes recruiters make is, failing to define job descriptions correctly. Especially in the IT industry, hiring the finest tech talent in the market requires you to be very specific about what you need. In contrast with management or any other field, IT experts are specialized professionals with a very particular set of skills.
If you want your company to be on top, you need to ensure that the hiring process is tuned at every end. It is crucial for your hiring process to attract the correct fit for your business right from the beginning. It’s a common practice to rush into interviews without formulating correct job roles and requirements picking up candidates through their resumes on LinkedIn or other portals.
Imagine making a product without understanding client requirements? There is no logic to this equation. The same goes for hiring. Hiring a professional who doesn’t have the skills necessary for the job can only lead to undesirable outcomes. Hiring managers need to explicitly understand the job roles and requirements before assessing potential recruits.
What you need to do here is to review the job role and requirements for the position carefully, before choosing a candidate. Then look at the candidate’s previous experiences and evaluate if they are aligned with current job requirements. Ensure that every relevant authority agrees with the information provided for reviewing candidates, so there are no uncertainties left – get every stakeholder on onboard.
You can also discuss the job role with someone who is working in a similar capacity. You might not be aware of what is actually required for the role. You can sort it out by talking to peers to get insights about the role. Also, develop a list of expectations that should be achieved within a timeframe. Now you have evaluation metrics to measure the candidate’s performance and skill.
Don’t completely rely on information that is present on the resume. It could portray that a candidate is right for the position, but that might not be true.
Pitfall # 2: Overcomplicating the process
Overcomplicating the recruitment process is a common mistake, recruiters make – driving the top tech talent away from their company. Hiring is a two-way process; while a hiring manager looks for the best fit, candidates also look for the right company. Hiring managers are usually focused on meeting the ends, i.e., hiring the right candidate. They don’t pay attention to the other side of the picture.
Everyone wants a top performer. Obviously, you would like to see your company grow towards success. Your company’s recruiting process is the first impression on potential candidates. An efficient process would attract candidates to join the organization.
Another factor that can hinder the recruitment process is a comprehensive evaluation. While it may be useful for certain positions, making it a ground-rule for all positions may lower recruitment efficiency. Each role needs a correlated evaluation method to improve the onboarding process.
To avoid this particular pitfall, you need to understand the whole process. If you are interested in a highly talented candidate, then they are interested in you for sure. While you are going through their resume, they are doing the same for your company. This is the time when you will discover each other to find out if you can work together or not.
By following the correct process, you value their talent and time. Simplifying the process could make it easier. Revise the process. Drop unnecessary recruitment stages and improvise the process. Only keep the part that could help your team to select a candidate with minimal effort. You can use a questionnaire or use their work samples for the test rather than evaluating an individual on customary, standardized tests.
Pitfall # 3: Structure is the key
Once you shortlist a candidate, and they are ready to join your company. What’s next? Do you have a systemic process to execute the transition? Most of the hiring managers think that when the contract is signed, their job is done and dusted; however, this is wrong. That is the starting point.
What is the solution?
You must be thinking that an orientation program can be a correct move. In reality, it’s a lot more than just orientation.
The onboarding process should cover the candidate’s experience as a whole. You should revamp the process by keeping data and carrying out surveys. The orientation program should not be just a guide to café or emergency rules. It should include training courses, future planning, assessment programs, and introduction to leaders. These factors are equally important and fall under the banner of HR, whose responsibility is to take fresh talent onboard with utmost agility and professionalism.
Artificial Intelligence Is REAL: CIO Breakfast Series First Episode
We have started a series of CIOs Breakfast Tech Event, where we bring in technology leaders from DFW. The first episode of this series was focused on “ Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Mining, and Machine Learning. The discussion was led by Sriram Ganapathy, Director AI, Microsoft. We had tech leaders from different industries in our event.
Have you ever thought about the situation when knowledgeable and highly experienced people surround you? It is nothing but feels like swimming in the ocean of Knowledge. Our guests made the event so engaging that we all got a lot of practical questions about Knowledge mining and artificial intelligence. Technology Is Evolving At Much Faster Speed, so are we.
Machine Learning and AI is here to improve the process and productivity not to cut the jobs
There is a growing demand for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Experts
Organizations Need to Reskill Their Staff with the latest technology
We have been in the IT staffing business for more than 15 years. For us, bridging this skill gap in the market is very important. We are bridging the gap between Tech Companies and Tech Consultants.
Saxon Labs Achieves Bronze Partner Accreditation
Dallas, Irving Nov, 8, 2019,
Saxon Labs, a software development, cloud & Automation technology solutions provider, has joined the Automation Anywhere Alliance program to help customers augment their business processes and accelerate digital transformation. This alliance is focused on fostering the automation solutions across the country with Saxon Labs Technology Services. Enterprises are adopting automation at a rapid pace, with this alliance program, Saxon Labs strengthened its RPA services. Saxon Labs aims to strengthen organizations’ productivity and save time and cost by transforming their manual processes into robotic processes.
Organizations today are now embracing the new wave of technologies like IoT, cognitive computing, and task-level Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to overcome challenges like reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), increasing workforce efficiency, reducing human error and so on.
Saxon Labs CEO, Gopi Kandukuri said, "We have been helping our customers across the industries to achieve their business growth by adopting the latest technology. Automation is the new wave of technology, and we look forward to delivering superior customer experience to our customers working with Automation Anywhere."
About Saxon Labs:
Saxon Labs is a Dallas based boutique software company focused on solving customer business challenges using technology. Its core services include Software Development, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security, Cloud Applications, and Digital Transformation. Saxon Labs is transforming the ideas into reality, solving the most complicated business problems, and helping the industries to boost productivity.
About Automation Anywhere
Automation Anywhere is a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Its products are developed to enable organizations to operate with greater efficiency by automating any part of the business. With its innovative technology products, Automation Anywhere is helping organizations to overcome challenges and improve efficiency resulting in business profits.
Name: Hari Mylariah
Organization: Saxon Labs
Address: 1320 Greenway Drive Suite # 660, Irving, TX 75038
Phone: +1 972-550-9346
Saxon Global Is Honored With prestigious Dallas 100 fastest-growing companies Award Second Time In a Row.
Saxon Global is awarded with the prestigious Dallas 100 fastest-growing companies award. We are honored to be recognized among the top innovative businesses operating in Irving, Dallas. Being ranked among the fastest-growing companies is a responsibility that we have been carrying out continuously. The biggest challenge was to maintain the consistency of delivering superior customer experience. Now, this award testifies that we are consistent in our endeavor to “Create Better Lives For The People We Serve.”
This year’s winning companies collectively generated 3.5 billion in sales in 2018, according to Simon Mak, the Linda A. and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU Cox. Collectively, the companies grew at an average annual growth rate of 82 percent from 2016 to 2018. Together, they created almost 7,000 jobs in that same period.
“These companies are the unsung heroes of the Dallas-area economy,” said Mak. “They are entrepreneurial dynamos, creating products and/or services that in turn create jobs and generate income for their owners, not to mention the millions of dollars they collectively contribute to our economy. For almost three decades now, it has been our honor at the Caruth Institute of Entrepreneurship to shine the spotlight on the critical role of entrepreneurship in the DFW economy. Congratulations to this year’s Dallas 100™ honorees.”
“This award is the testament of our dedication and commitment to serve our customers. It reflects more than 400 team members' efforts and hard work. This is the second time in a row (2018, 2019), we are honored with this award, more to go.” Gopi Kandukuri, CEO Saxon Global
About Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship
The Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship ranks the top 100 Dallas privately-held entrepreneurial companies annually based on percentage growth and absolute dollar growth over the previous three years. The Institute, working with the accounting firm BKD LLP CPAs and Advisors, examined sales from hundreds of companies for 2016 to 2018, the last year for which complete data is available. The winners represent a broad spectrum of Dallas-area businesses. The ranking of the top 100 fastest-growing companies will be revealed at the awards ceremony.
Dallas 100™, co-founded by the SMU Cox Caruth Institute, honors the ingenuity, commitment, and perseverance of the fastest-growing privately held entrepreneurial businesses in the Dallas area.
About Saxon Global
Saxon Global is one of the fastest-growing Inc 5000 Companies, providing enhanced IT Staffing & Consulting Services. Saxon global specializes in delivering high tech talent in areas of DWBI, Digital Transformation, and Cloud Computing. We at Saxon work across the industry verticals of Financial Services, Retail, Telecom, Healthcare, Banking, Media, and Entertainment for their continued growth.
Saxon Global, in its pursuit of excellence, has strengthened its skills and expertise in emerging technologies. What makes Saxon Global unique is our ability to help clients meet their business challenges through these technologies. Customer delight, which forms the core of Saxon Global vision, is built on strong pillars of Transparent Process and Trusted Delivery.
Saxon Global Expands in US Market with CLICK IT Merger
Irving, Texas, Release: September 18, 2019.
Saxon Global, LLC is pleased to announce the completion of the merger of CLICK IT, Saxon acquired a Kentucky headquartered premier staffing agency in March 2018. As we welcome the CLICK IT into the Saxon Global, we believe that their expertise in the staffing industry will significantly contribute toward expanding our service offerings.
This merger fortifies Saxon Global’s continuing expansion of footprint by delivering high quality of delivery and contribute to the growth of our existing customers.
At the core of this merger is the success of our stakeholders. With this synergy, we are one step closer to our mission: To Create Better Lives for The People (Consultants & Hiring Managers) we Serve.
United by our vision, this new alliance makes now Saxon Global the forerunner in the Staffing Industry, boosting the organization’s future growth and performance.
Saxon Global, founded in 2000, is one of the fastest-growing Inc 5000 Companies, providing enhanced IT Staffing & Consulting Services. Saxon global specializes in delivering high tech talent in areas of DWBI, Digital Transformation, and Cloud Computing. Saxon work across the industry verticals of Financial Services, Retail, Telecom, Healthcare, Banking, Media and Entertainment for their continued growth.
Launched in 2013 by veterans of the IT staffing industry, CLICK IT delivers successful technology staffing solutions with healthcare industry focus.
“We were looking to expand our US footprint and strengthen our Customer Relationships. The completion of CLICK IT into Saxon family helps us to serve our customers better in the Greater Cincinnati Tri-State Area and broaden our healthcare customer portfolio”.
- Saxon Global CEO, Gopi Kandukuri
“CLICK IT Staffing is pleased to join the Saxon Global family of companies. We have a firm hold in the Midwest and appreciate both the depth of our alliances and the market expansion resulting from our focus on relationships. People matter most, and they matter first. Solving technology staffing challenges throughout the region is not only a great business, but it's a great honor. Saxon Global will enable us to expand our reach, deepen our roots and provide even better service to both talent and employer.
Effective October 1, our merger with Saxon Global will be official. Going forward, all communication will arrive under the Saxon name."
- CLICK IT President, Sam Smith
Media Contact info:
Name: Hari Mylariah
Organization: Saxon Global
Address: 1320 Greenway Drive Suite # 660, Irving, TX 75038
Phone: +1 972-550-9346
Be what you are is the best interview strategy
What employers want to listen is not you need to say in an interview. It is not a process where you need to please your interviewer or employer to get a job.
It is a process where you discuss your skills, professional experience, achievements and learn about the organization. It is always vital to be comfortable during the interview so that you find a perfect match for your career.
Being yourself means being authentic from resume to your explanations. Do you want to work where your personality and work style do not match? Here are some tips to be authentic and during the interview and find the perfect match.
When it comes to the interview, many candidates conceal or tamper a few facts. They feel compelled to do this so that the hiring manager sees them as a perfect match.
Does any relationship succeed in long-term built on misrepresentation? Nope.
Authenticity builds trust and strengthens the relationship.
Self-awareness is Key
Most interview preparation blog posts underline the need for confidence during the process. No one can deny it. But, the unfortunate part is they miss out on emphasizing the need for self-awareness. One needs to have the right measure of confidence in wearing the right attitude while being aware of one's strengths and weakness.
Confidence with Self-awareness brings out humility.
Don't overdo it
Preparation of the interview is an excellent way to stay ahead. However, if you are trying to anticipate all the interview questions by reading thousands of online posts, you will end up unsuccessful.
Would you like to be sounded a rehearsed person in the interview? No way, therefore read only a few authentic blog posts and learn a few valuable points.
Be a storyteller
You can create an engaging experience for your interviewer with a strong storyline of your professional experience. Any good story is a hero's journey through the challenges and tribulations. So using this technique to share your professional contributions, success and the difference you have made in the lives of your previous employers can make you a hero in the eyes of the interviewer.
Note: Any good hero gives due credit to his team and never fail to do that.
Small talks can be helpful
You are in interview mode as soon as you reach the venue of the interview. You are always on a watch in the interview process. Your interaction with the front desk and any other individuals you meet as part of the interview counts. Small talks with front desk can help you learn about the culture and values.
Build a Genuine Resume
One of the rookie mistakes that most of the job seekers make is forging their resumes with false details.
According to HireRight's employment screening benchmark report, 85 percent of employers caught applicants faking on their resumes or applications.
If you don’t have the specific skills required by an employer but still think you could be a right fit, make the case for it in your cover letter.
Here Are 6 Job-Search Stress Busters
Looking For A Job Is Itself A Full-Time Job
Undeniably, finding a job is a stressful process. Especially when you are unemployed for a long period and looking for a new position to stay afloat. However, if your job search continues for a longer period, you may start feeling depressed. It will derail your job search. You should not let the anxiety dictate your job search. Be Persistent in your search and don't let anything stops you.
The gravity of this situation has also attracted the researchers to figure out how much job search stress impacts on our lives. Here are some facts:
• Depression rates are much higher for people who have been unemployed for more than a year. (Source: http://bit.ly/2YA2g3h)
• Unemployed individuals are three times more likely to abuse alcohol. (Source: http://bit.ly/2Kk2er3 )
Don't Let The Stress Ruin Your Next Career Move:
DEVELOP A DAILY PLAN OF ACTION:
As we mentioned, the job search is itself a full-time job, you need to take it very seriously. Like your full-time job, you need to develop a daily plan of action and goals. You can set realistic and small goals such as sending 10 resumes in a day, sprucing up your resume, etc. It will keep you focused and active during your job search.
CONNECT WITH YOUR PEERS/NETWORKING Offline & Online
Your friends and family would be your good support network and can help you find a good job as well. You can spend some quality time with your friends to ease the job search stress. Networking helps you in many ways during your job search period.
HONE YOUR SKILLS OR DEVELOP NEW SKILLS:
Why can't you utilize this job search period to learn a new skill or hone your skills? Yes, it will not only help you to fight with job search stress but also bring you a good job opportunity.
TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR DAILY LIFE:
Give yourself quality time and take a break from your daily mundane activities: Go for a vacation with your friends to freshen up and rejuvenate.
DON'T TAKE REJECTION PERSONALLY:
During your job search, rejections could be one thing to bother you the most. Focus on your strengths. You may not fit for this job, but another job is waiting for you, you just need to keep moving.
BE PERSISTENT IN YOUR SEARCH:
Don't let the negativity stop you to carry on your hunt for your dream job. There is a job waiting for you. Sometimes single follow up with the hiring manager can open a new door of opportunity.
Embrace the Girl within You
A cell can be basically defined as a functional unit of all the living organisms. And there is this particular cell or grouping of cells in every individual. "Eve Ensler" the author of Vagina Monologues calls it "The Girl Cell". It is in men as well as in women. This particular group of a cell is central to the evolution of our species and is in the continuation of the human race. At some point in the history, the group of powerful people invested in owning and controlling the world, understood the suppression, oppression, undermining, destroying of this particular cell thus began the process of killing of the girl cell.
And that's been called patriarchy.
Now guess how the world ends up raising boys. To be a boy is to not to be a girl, to be a man is to not to be a girl, to be a woman is to not to be a girl, to be powerful is to not to be a girl, to be strong is to not to be a girl, to be a leader is to not be a girl. The irony, of course, is that denying girl, suppressing girl, refusing girl has led us here where we have come to live in a world with the most extreme form of violence, terrific poverty, mass rapes which is completely out of control only because we have suppressed our girl cells.
I invite you to value the girl cell within you and embrace your inner girl, Value the part that cries, value the part that's emotional, value the part that is vulnerable. That's where our future lies.
The world is free-
Traps the women in the idea that they are free;
It's a mental captivity.
The lands of free;
Knows how to program us into same circles
The smiles of love adorn
Yet Regret, Remorse and Shame.
Alone in the washroom with bright tiles around,
Experiencing the cruelty of blood for the first time
The stain it left both on clothes and heart
The base of women’s biology
Feeling the deception of the body against the soul
And the intense pain, humiliation, and disgrace within
Yet welcoming the sense of womanhood
In the miserable state of losing the cherished girlishness
Wishing the blend of happiness and prosperity deep within.
The mental agony at times
When people limit your beliefs,
Only because you are a girl..!!
Pleasant dreams turned to the shattered hopes,
And the dear dreams in the state of approval from the loved ones
Yet withholding all the power and strength,
Fighting for the battle of life and future
You are who you are unique and awesome.
Within the world like a warzone,
Women are made the warrior to win
With the right wisdom to choose the Warfield and
With the whip of peace and love, you are
Warrior to wrestle well
Who washes away the violence,
Wounds of the past, And
Worries of other women.
Withholding the will within
What a wonder-working warrior You are...!!
Worthy of millions of wows.
At Saxon Global Every Day Is Women’s Day
1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life? 1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life? 1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life? A woman’s worth. She gave life. She is a wife. She is a mother and she is a friend. She is a sister a survivor to the end. APPRECIATE HER.
BE STRONG LADIES, it's OUR DAY……..
1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life? 1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life? I love waking up with a determination to do something not just to exist but also to inspire
1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life? 1. What inspires you? 2. What defines you? 3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
My mom because she never gives up. She is heart’s patient and she has been fighting against this disease since 20-25 years. She never shows us she is weak. She always has a beautiful smile on her pretty face and keeps saying never let yourself down, you are enough capable to do anything in this world. Nothing is impossible it is just you have to believe in yourself what exactly you are. That’s what I believe and I never give up in my life.
Confident, bold, honest, smart, strong, emotional, responsible, lovable, funny, helpful, quick learner a mix of all emotions which make a good human being. I always want to learn new things and always try to do new and different things.
I really feel good and enjoy whenever I am the reason behind someone's smile.
I have also learned that my best work comes when I don’t really care about the outcome when I am just messing around with the art supplies. True creativity requires a willingness to play with the raw materials, whether those materials are words, paint, pixels, fabric, whatever!
Aspiring to be valuable not successful.
Helping others and be creative in all chores.
The role model of my life is my MOTHER. She is a role model of my career, whenever I see her and listen to her words I get a strong feeling that I can do anything in my life. She raised me to be good and do good to others even though what they do return is venom.
MY ACTIONS Yes my action defines me not only me everyone is well defined by their actions As we know Who is Mary Kom because what she has done by her actions. Every single decision I am going to make or every decision I Made defines me.
My Success: The moment when my parents feel proud because of me. Becoming the best version of myself (continuous improvement) Everyone I know who goes to work complains about having to cook dinner in the evening. To me making dinner every evening is such a wonderful stress buster as I love cooking and it is one of the things which I enjoy doing in my life.
There are lots of things which inspires me but when I spend time with my parents and they encourage me and the bonding which I have with my parents define the virtue of mine and give me the strength to fulfill what they really expect from me. My parents trust me inspires me a lot.
Being a girl my simplicity, positivity, and words define me because it can win anything in this world.
I enjoy every moment when I am with my family and friends and I also enjoy with my Note Book, Pen and one cup of Tea.
My dream to be a better human being inspires me to walk towards it
Struggler for whom Sky is not the Limit as Great things never come from comfort zones
I would mention my English Professor Mr. Parvez Ahmad, He really changed my life and views towards society. He is one of my most inspirational Personality and also my Mom Mrs. Priya Mehrotra who makes me an Independent and very confident person.
My simplicity and caring nature define me really well and that helps me to adopt any kind of environment.
Travelling is very enjoyable things what I love to do. Get an interaction with new people, learn a new culture and try different varieties of food.
I get inspiration by investigating my life. Pulling it apart at the seams and seeing what’s inside. A bit like an archaeologist (A person who studies human history) who is digging for clues. I look down the surface of what is seen, to find the places that are not seen but felt. The spaces and places that have no words. The spiritual aspects of life.
My smile defines me, Smiling makes people feel good and positive, conveying a sense of good-will, rapport, and trust.
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
A woman’s worth. She gave life. She is a wife. She is a mother and she is a friend. She is a sister a survivor to the end. APPRECIATE HER. BE STRONG LADIES, it's OUR DAY……..
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life? I love waking up with a determination to do something not just to exist but also to inspire
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
1. What inspires you?
2. What defines you?
3. What do you enjoy the most in life?
What Factors Do You Need to Consider While Connecting an MSP?
As per BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), in May 2017 report, 3.8 percent of workers were contingent. There is no doubt that this number is going to increase in the upcoming years. Are you planning to hire contingent labor?
Managing contingent workforce is a challenging task, therefore, it is always suggested to connect with an MSP. Managed Service Providers (MSP) are the experts who handle the entire process of placing a contract employee. They manage talent acquisition, screening, onboarding, compliance and offboard of the contract employees. An MSP could be your best partner in success if you choose the best one. Much before selecting an MSP (Managed Service Provider), you need to consider some factors to ensure that you are selecting a partner that you can rely on completely to achieve your staffing goals.Start with your requirements
You should start by understanding your requirements first. You need to know how many contingent employees you want and associated cost. Having all your numbers related to contingent labor will help you in selecting the right MSP. Here are the factors that you need to consider while connecting with an MSP: Once you are ready with your expectations from the MSP, these are the checklist for evaluating the selected MSPsIndustry Specialization
Wouldn’t be great if you connect with a staffing agency or MSP having expertise in filling the positions of your industry verticals? Yes, therefore, you need to ensure that MSP has the required industry specialization.Quick Turnaround Time /Order Fulfillment
When it comes to managing contingent labor, a quick turnaround is one of the most important factors. You want to fill vacant positions or get the job done in time. Therefore, you need to evaluate this factor. How can you check how fast MSP can fulfill your job order? You can ask them to share their job order fulfillment rate. Moreover, you can check some testimonials as well to verify the facts.Transparency
Transparency in the process is a vital determinant of success. Therefore, an MSP should be transparency in the entire process of managing contingent labor. You should have access to all relevant reports and data, screening process, validation, billing accuracy, compliance, etc.Compliance
If you are looking for a quality MSP, you wish to have the one that ensures agency follows all compliance and lawsuits related to the contingent workforce. Therefore, you need to evaluate the potential MSP on these compliance factors: Contract and audit compliance, Legally compliant and overall risk mitigation.Genuine Talent Pool
An MSP should have the right talent pool so that whenever you share your requirement, the agency can offer you the option. The ultimate objective of connecting with an MSP is getting the right talent at the right time. An agency having a pool of the right talent would be the best choice.Cost Savings
Not only finding the right talent should be your top priority but also keeping the contingent labor costs low. Therefore, you need to ensure that MSP helps you to manage your contingent labor costs.
The reason we are discussing these factors is the availability of several staffing agencies in the market. Not all but surely a few of them would match your criteria. It is not only having the right talent at the right time but building a long-term relationship.
Saxon Global, headquartered in Irving, has a reputation to consistently bridge the gap between the right job and the right talent. We provide a truly integrated onshore and offshore recruiting model that increases the volume and quality of candidates. With 3 India locations and 2 U.S. locations, we are recruiting around the clock to meet your needs. Our decades of experience catering to finding the right candidates for your IT and engineering needs.
What We Learned From a Room Full of Technology Leaders
Recently, we had the opportunity to bring together technology leaders from DFW that had over 150 years of collective experience in the technology space. A healthy discussion on their daily challenges and the strategies they’ve tried over the years took place, and several valid points were made. The discussion was led and moderated by Michael Mirau, Former CIO of Interstate Batteries and one of the leading Gazelle coaches in Dallas.
As we continued to discuss our people problems, the key issues that emerged were expected. We all struggle finding and keeping the right talent, building healthy pipelines of talent, and maintaining the ability to ramp-up quickly. These struggles are the downstream challenges of leaders. While communication with the Board of Directors, getting their buy-in for new technology initiatives, and procurement seemed to be the upstream people issues.
In the current market, where every job opening only has 0.7 qualified resources available, organizations are competing for talent. Mike shared the easiest ways to be successful at finding and keeping the best talent in today’s market by following 4 simple rules. First, organizations should be hyper-disciplined in defining a job scorecard for each role. This promotes clarity and diffuses confusion, right from the beginning. Second, maintaining documented processes inside the organization will bring consistency and stability to employees and outside parties. Third, training & onboarding employees should be top priority. Giving employees tangible and definitive proof that the organization wants them to advance can go a long way in building trust. Fourth and final, creating a culture that fosters and recognizes giving & receiving feedback at all levels of an organization brings transparency and drives innovation.
As a staffing partner looking to help these technology leaders, Saxon is re-committing to perfecting our processes:
A) Vetting candidates – Making sure that consultants who are being submitted have the right skill set for the Job, have experience in similar industry or technologies, value addition that they can bring into the project.
B) Understanding the client’s business – Majority of staffing vendors operate without understanding the business of the client. It always pays off to learn about the nature of client's industry, business process & models
C) Understanding competencies – Keywords of technologies are important to filter but one needs to go in depth and look for extensive experience in skill sets desired for the job.
D) Alignment – How many times do we ask the hiring manager about their culture & values. It is extremely important that the consultants who we send over align to client's organizational ecosystem
E) Process – Hiring process is unique to every organization and it becomes important for staffing partners to have good understand of it. This will also help them to educate consultants in terms of timelines and stages of interviewing.
Celebrating the Amazing Women of Saxon Global
I'm so proud of our core values! I love Saxon because they have given me an incredible opportunity to assist with opening of the Austin office. For me, Saxon is a family where there is a genuine spirit of cooperation and everybody stands for each other. I Love my job with Saxon for its positive culture, here every individual shares the same vison and works towards the same mission. I truly feel my work is of vital importance because we are responsible for helping employees get their work visas in the US. So, my job remains challenging, but it gives me energy every day to perform better. "I love being a part of a great, dedicated team that I get to train and motivate with good results. I love this Job because it has created my identity. I’ve met my soul mate, created a family, bought my dream home, and put my daughter in the best schools so she has a better future. The best thing about Saxon is the ability to be a part of a team, collaborate as a team, and grow as a team! I love working here because I get to interact with a different mindset of people and I also enjoy the culture of the Saxon family. I get to learn new things in Accounts & HR every day, and I really love working with all of the team members with different backgrounds & cultures. I enjoy the people and diversity while working at Saxon. I feel that I am appreciated, trusted, and allowed to take initiative to get things accomplished. I love working for a company that invests in its employees every day and encourages us to grow professionally as well as personally! At Saxon Global, I know that I will be supported in my career aspirations, and that is so priceless! As a new hire here, I’m still in the process of falling in love with this job. But, talking with new people all day has already taught me new things which will benefit me in the future. I love working at Saxon Global because I get to interface with all aspects of the company. Saxon Global encourages continuous development and contribution from all employees. I love the flexibility and freedom I have at work to do my job without being micro-managed. It is a wish to work for a company that is growing in the right direction, and I’m enjoying every bit of it! I love my job because I am provided multiple learning opportunities every day. My company has a positive and adaptive culture and it provides me an opportunity to be creative, to try new things, and meet new people. I love working in our Delhi office! I’m lucky to work with incredibly supportive, talented people who I’m constantly learning from, and collaborating with. I now work for a busy but creative organization where everyone on the staff truly gets along and pitches in to get the job done — even if it’s not written in their job description. There’s no egos, politics, or gossip, and that’s why Saxon is my second home. I love my job because it challenges me every day to do my best. My manager appreciates my work and everyone, no matter who they are, is warm and welcoming. I love my job because we can literally change the life of individuals by placing them in their dream jobs! Working in Tier One sales is a very challenging task but finding new solutions to overcome these challenges makes me fall in love with my work again and again. There are many things that I love about my job like the work environment, flexibility, and the helping nature of colleagues! I'm good at my job and feel positive about my contribution to the company growth. It's provided me with a wealth of understanding and knowledge that permits me to add value to others' lives. I love working in our Noida office! My company has a positive and adaptive culture and it provides me an opportunity to be creative, to try new things, and meet new people. I love working in our Dallas office! We have a diverse team, and I get to experience other cultures’ traditions and celebrations constantly.
Sr. Account Manager
Sr. HR Manager
HR OPS Head
Vertical Sales Head
Legal & Compliance Manager
Business Development Manager
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Sr. Technical Recruiter
Human Resource Executive
Sr . Account Manager
Assistant HR Manager
Business Development Executive
Business Development Executive
I'm so proud of our core values! I love Saxon because they have given me an incredible opportunity to assist with opening of the Austin office.
For me, Saxon is a family where there is a genuine spirit of cooperation and everybody stands for each other. I Love my job with Saxon for its positive culture, here every individual shares the same vison and works towards the same mission.
I truly feel my work is of vital importance because we are responsible for helping employees get their work visas in the US. So, my job remains challenging, but it gives me energy every day to perform better.
"I love being a part of a great, dedicated team that I get to train and motivate with good results.
I love this Job because it has created my identity. I’ve met my soul mate, created a family, bought my dream home, and put my daughter in the best schools so she has a better future.
The best thing about Saxon is the ability to be a part of a team, collaborate as a team, and grow as a team!
I love working here because I get to interact with a different mindset of people and I also enjoy the culture of the Saxon family.
I get to learn new things in Accounts & HR every day, and I really love working with all of the team members with different backgrounds & cultures.
I enjoy the people and diversity while working at Saxon. I feel that I am appreciated, trusted, and allowed to take initiative to get things accomplished.
I love working for a company that invests in its employees every day and encourages us to grow professionally as well as personally! At Saxon Global, I know that I will be supported in my career aspirations, and that is so priceless!
As a new hire here, I’m still in the process of falling in love with this job. But, talking with new people all day has already taught me new things which will benefit me in the future.
I love working at Saxon Global because I get to interface with all aspects of the company. Saxon Global encourages continuous development and contribution from all employees.
I love the flexibility and freedom I have at work to do my job without being micro-managed. It is a wish to work for a company that is growing in the right direction, and I’m enjoying every bit of it!
I love my job because I am provided multiple learning opportunities every day.
My company has a positive and adaptive culture and it provides me an opportunity to be creative, to try new things, and meet new people.
I love working in our Delhi office! I’m lucky to work with incredibly supportive, talented people who I’m constantly learning from, and collaborating with.
I now work for a busy but creative organization where everyone on the staff truly gets along and pitches in to get the job done — even if it’s not written in their job description. There’s no egos, politics, or gossip, and that’s why Saxon is my second home.
I love my job because it challenges me every day to do my best. My manager appreciates my work and everyone, no matter who they are, is warm and welcoming.
I love my job because we can literally change the life of individuals by placing them in their dream jobs!
Working in Tier One sales is a very challenging task but finding new solutions to overcome these challenges makes me fall in love with my work again and again.
There are many things that I love about my job like the work environment, flexibility, and the helping nature of colleagues!
I'm good at my job and feel positive about my contribution to the company growth. It's provided me with a wealth of understanding and knowledge that permits me to add value to others' lives.
I love working in our Noida office! My company has a positive and adaptive culture and it provides me an opportunity to be creative, to try new things, and meet new people.
I love working in our Dallas office! We have a diverse team, and I get to experience other cultures’ traditions and celebrations constantly.
The Reciprocity rule
Social psychology has helped us understand social norms based on how individuals think, feel, behave and interact. These three variables can be measured in human interaction and help us understand and predict how certain individuals may react to one’s actions. Social psychology examines these variables to bridge the gap between psychology and sociology. In 1945, we started to see a shift in the study of sociology and psychology to macro variables, which focuses more on individuals' actions and thought processes.
The reciprocity rule is a social psychology term which describes the social norm of how we interact when receiving a positive action or response. In most situations, when you communicate positive action with another individual, that individual will then respond with another positive action. The importance of this rule in a professional business setting really starts to set in when you are in a sales environment. It is believed that the survival of humans has been based our ability to grow cohesively by sharing goods and services. The notion of repaying someone with a gift has been embedded into our culture and is arguably a basic human instinct. There are many different ways in which you can utilize the reciprocity rule to help ensure positive client interaction, and grow a relationship. As we have seen, a simple thank you email after a meeting can drastically influence interaction with a particular client. Some other practices which have been proven as effective are dropping off a small gift 1-2 days after client interaction. This can be something simple like a gift card for a coffee shop. One of the best ways you can utilize this rule is by stopping by to drop off breakfast to a prospect. I have heard countless success stories using this simple technique – who doesn’t love free food?
The higher number of positive responses communicated to an individual will almost always yield higher positive responses back. This is due to a feeling of indebtedness which is triggered by a positive interaction, which can be initiated by either party. Taking these actions will help keep you fresh in a client's mind, and sets you apart from the rest of the competition. This will in turn lead to more sales opportunities, higher closing rates, and increased client interactions.
Saxon Global: Full Speed Ahead
Saxon Global has shown tremendous growth since its start in 2007. The company was founded by Gopi Kandukuri as a technical staffing and business intelligence consulting firm. Starting with an office in North Texas, Saxon quickly expanded to add an off-shore team in India. Gopi was able to build an outstanding recruitment team, and the staffing division aggressively grew. The off-shore team focused on supporting large system integrators and Tier 1 staffing firms; while the on-shore team worked to build a fast-moving model that was able to source the right technical candidates effectively.
For ten years, this model has been successful. In 2018, we are reaching for even bigger goals and looking to shake-up the IT staffing, recruiting, and consulting industry. Backed by disciplined and highly-trained teams, Saxon Global has set its sights on the rest of the United States. We will continue to provide a great value for our clients that are challenged to scale past their own recruiting capability.
2017 Growth and Shift
For the 3rd consecutive year, Saxon Global’s revenue has exceeded the national growth rate average by double digits. Finishing 2017 at an all-time high, our revenue is on track to keep growing at an accelerated rate in 2018. In 2017, the Dallas team focused on building relationships with direct customers and training their new team members on the best practices of IT recruiting. Our internal headcount has tripled in our Dallas office and Saxon has added over forty new faces to the teams in India. We’ve filled up our office space in Dallas with veterans of the IT staffing world and quick-learning new comers to the industry.
2018 Headcount Growth Goals
To stay on track for our 2018 growth goal, Saxon is building solid teams that will serve as the foundation for the growth to come. The Dallas office is expanding to a team of 30 account managers and recruiters by the end of the year, and the off-shore team will reach 150 team members. This gives us a platform to service our local market with an exceptional amount of customer service while utilizing the scalable power of the off-shore team.
2018 Culture and Milestones
The Dallas team is forming a culture continuous learning. Whether it’s our time spent at weekly skilled sales training or our monthly Lunch N’ Learn technology seminars, we are always pushing ourselves to evolve. Culture is important in any business, but at Saxon Global it is an essential cornerstone to servicing our clients. We only hire team members that amplify the ideas of our core values: accountability, customers first, teamwork, simplifying, playing bold, and having fun.
2017 was an exceptional year of growth at Saxon Global, but 2018 is looking even brighter. We’re excited to continue this journey of growth and success with all of our clients, present and future.
Scrum and Beyond
What is Greener Than Grass?
One of the great privileges of working for Saxon Global is the amount of effort the leadership puts into training all levels of staff. One of the most difficult parts of working for Saxon is being, by far, the least technically savvy person in the room.
I have the immense pleasure of being the most green employee in the entire office. Part of the extensive training involves bringing in actual consultants to share details about their trade and focus in the IT world. A few weeks ago, we hosted the immensely talented Rabea Buksik as gave us a thorough lesson on Scrum Framework and the benefits of the practice. Rabea, a certified Scrum master and former TK20 employee, was quick to a joke but still incredibly insightful.
The meeting started with Rabea asking who all was familiar with Scrum Framework and how technical she could be with explanations. As luck would have it, everyone has at least three years of applicable experience and had a thorough understanding of Scrum so we could skip the basics. Everyone, of course, except for myself. This wouldn’t be a tremendous problem because Scrum is relatively intuitive; it is a framework (NOT a methodology) for sustaining and producing complex products. In short, Scrum allows for open and flexible communication during projects.
What is Scrum?
I am by no means an expert, but the training by Rabea left me infinitely more knowledgeable about the process. Scrum can be mistaken for a methodology, but the true purpose is more relaxed than that. Methodology suggests a particular set of principles, tools, and practices will be used for a project while a framework implies autonomy and personal license. Scrum does not dictate what tools will be used; it acts as a catalyst for improved communication and teamwork.
Scrum is broken up into 2-4 week “sprints”, but maintains daily meetings to monitor progress and hold the team accountable. The process has a couple of different players:
- Product Owner – Liaison between business stakeholders and development team. Sets “goals” with user stories in the form of product backlogs.
- Development Team – Does bulk of the coding or development of the “goals” set by the product owner
- Scrum Master – Facilitator for the Development Team, but not to be mistaken for a lead. More than anything, the Scrum Master is a servant leader and assists wherever possible. Runs the Daily Scrum.
All of these players come together to create an environment that is more flexible and much quicker than old school waterfall methodologies. The sprints have the following (ideal) structure:
Product backlog à Sprint planning à Sprint backlog à Sprint! à Ship product
The teams work independently for this 2-4 week sprint, but the Scrum Master will lead out on a “Daily Scrum” every morning in which the entire team to discuss impediments, user story progress, and general work context. There is a serious focus on everyone standing during the Daily Scrum so time is not wasted and people get through their talking points quickly.
The end product within Scrum can fall under many different spectrums, but all Scrum projects have a focus on speed and transparency. Ultimately when a consultant works in Scrum framework they have experience in a fast-paced, teamwork centric environment and everything else is a variable.
I have a ton to learn about the implications of Scrum, but Rabea has given me adequate knowledge to have confidence when discussing the framework with potential consultants, and that means the training is incredibly effective.
Alex R. – First Year Recruiter at Saxon Global
Tech Meetups Empower Your Organization
The Meetups we see in the Dallas area are impressively insightful and they are providing real value to those who attend. Tonight’s session we ventured to was called “Building Bots in AWS”. The format was an half hour discussion about how to study for Amazon Web Services certifications then followed with an hour of guided instruction on how to build a Chat Bot using Lambda in AWS. From groups of engineers studying for AWS certifications, Agile enthusiasts debating Agile frameworks, and Product Managers discussing the evolution of their roles, we have seen how Meetups drive collaboration across organizations.
The intelligence level at these Meetups is quite impressive. The audiences range from entry level CS graduates to 35 year tech veterans. You can find all of them participating as a think tank focusing on a trending topic for a few hours straight. The solutions that are thrown out and the recent best practices give different organizations new ideas and validation for tech trends they are mauling over for their own adoption. Here are three values that we have seen from shadowing the smart people at these Meetups.
1. Best Practices
As you are leading new initiatives for your organization, it can be difficult to build your case for adopting tools and processes that are new on the market. Executive and business stakeholders buy in may take a little more convincing than you just saying it’s a good idea. By attending these meetings you are able to witness how other tech focused teams are putting new technologies to work. Even better, you have an avenue to ask them live questions about the adoption and pit falls of the technologies. We see teams bring examples of how they prototyped and ruled new tech in or out for their organizations to these Meetups consistently.
2. Team Building
As teams learn together, they bond. However paying for high end training that is relevant can be expensive. These Meetups provide a great venue for you and your team to explore new topics for free. It could be ideal to take the team out for tacos then head over to the MeetUp and sit together.
3. Recruiting Opportunity
As we mentioned earlier, these rooms are full of smart engineers that going to events to educate themselves. What a great avenue to meet new potential employees for your team. If you have open positions, you usually can ask the Meetup moderator to let you post an open position on their forum or stand up during the meeting and announce your role. Come early or stay late, you will be able to strike up conversations with likeminded tech folks that you could see hiring.
Your Top Employees Know Your Next Great Hire
Most of your successful hires are going come through your current team. However it’s not top of mind for your team to tell you about who they know to hire. Let’s explore some techniques to drive new hires from your current employees.
Hire the References
As you meet strong candidates during your interview process make sure to ask for their references. Even if the references were peers on the team, you need those names in your candidate funnel. We see that the references as the next step on the food chain and not a just a check box in the process of identifying talent in a competitive market. You will need to practice transitioning your reference check to prospecting call. This is usually accomplished by flipping the call from a conversation about the candidate to asking the reference about their current role. Here are simple lead ins to the conversation:
“I appreciate you sharing so much about Michael’s time working with you at ExcelNet. This will help us make a final decision. I am curious, what type of role are in you in now? Do you enjoy it? Would you change anything about the position?” As you guide this call, you could find some data points about the candidate
Broadcast Your Jobs Internally and Often
How often does your team get a full breakdown of all positions that are open within your company? Your team might be responsible for running testing and operations, but they probably worked with very talented Full Stack Engineers at their last company. We seem to forget that just telling your team about the opening isn’t going to spread the word to enough folks. How to fix this? Simple. Start emailing out the open positions list every week to your entire organization. Spread the word during your stand ups, town halls, and newsletters. Also, pass the word through your chat tools like Slack or HipChat. However, get the message out of your silo! The teams that are focusing on other projects might have the one away connection that is your next hire.
Pay Big Bucks for Referrals
The cost of third party recruiting can become over whelming. You can dedicate a part of that recruiting budget to create an effective referral program internally. This is a best practice that some of the largest and forward thinking companies take advantage of and it works. Paying your employees $1,000 bonuses for recommending great candidates that get hired can save tens of thousands from the recruiting budget. Companies such Capital One pay $2,500 referral bonuses to employees that recommend hires for the IT organization. In order to pull this off, you need have the team aware of the program and a tool to track the referrals correctly (internal web portal, Sharepoint, or Google Sheet will suffice). Partner with your HR department to correctly set up how these referrals are introduced and guided through the interview process. Also see if they can set a unique code or referral tag that can placed with the candidates profile if they apply online to positions.