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NASSCOM earlier this month made a detailed representation to the Government, highlighting the industry concerns on the proposed labour code on the Occupational Safety, Health and working conditions. Below is a brief summary of some of the issues highlighted by us.
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With little relaxation in the government guidelines amidst the lockdown due to COVID-19, companies are opening up offices with limited employees. “Back to basic” won’t apply in this scenario. Many things will change with the regard to operations, job roles, use of technology, and perception towards human capital.
The workplace has new challenges to face, the major one is the concern for employee health and safety.
HR has a critical role to play in this scenario, “Health and safety remain the top priority,” says Sumit Malhotra, Director, Gartner. “Give decision-making autonomy to local HR teams. With great responsibility of people and organization, HR has to make some critical decisions about the operations and business function that has to get opened. HR with collaborating with disaster management committee may need to revisit their organizational plans.
To reopen the offices, HR may need to consider the following measures:-
Taking the guidelines of local and national public health authorities into consideration, there has to be a regular reminder of social distancing and sanitization in the office. The company may need to spend on masks, gloves, and sanitizers to keep the resources available for the employees. HR needs to convey the criticality of these measures to the employees.
This needs to be taken care of at the first point of contact with the employee whether it is when the cab provided by the organization reaches to pick up the employee or at the entry gate of the organization. Temperature check has to be made mandatory. With proper fumigation of the main areas of the organization.
These are tough times for everyone, HRs need to focus on the mental health of the employees, providing them with all the resources. Counselling sessions should be made available to the employees ensuring confidentiality. Employee Wellbeing program has to be revisited, with regular feedback.
Stress is a normal phenomenon, but when it exceeds the coping capacity of an individual it becomes distress. It comes out in the form of burnout in the employees which results in negative ways. HR has to look into the stressors that can trigger stress in the employees. Stress buster techniques should be provided to the employee and collective activities should be carried out to extend the support to employees.
We all had a look at how the Indian Prime minister held the meeting adhering to social distancing in lockdown. In the same way, companies have to adhere to social distancing. Not many employees at one time. Managers need to spend time in meetings with small groups. Communication should be transparent and through specific channels that are before hand made clear to the employees.
At this point, it is vital for the organization to be more employee-centric and to watch out for employee safety. Without collective efforts these steps will not yield proper result, thus a sense of cohesion has to be brought within the organization in the initial days of reopening.
About the author:-
Kirti Kumar is a budding HR professional currently pursuing PGDM in HR and Marketing at New Delhi Institue of Management. She looks forward to opportunities that can hone her skills. She is agile in her attitude with versatility in her action.
The post Re-opening the offices: HR role appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
Industrial manufacturers of all sizes are changing future priorities significantly. With the increased volatility and uncertainty of staffing and resources due to COVID-19, the need to maintain an intelligent approach to operations management is critical. Operations management systems provide the foundation for a company standard for operations, enhanced compliance assurance conduct of operations workforce competency, and asset performance management.Operations Management Systems Become Intelligent Operations Platforms
Operations Management systems have morphed into a platform called Intelligent Operations. The current IT landscape for many organizations is a complex combination of spreadsheets, homegrown applications, and siloed disparate systems. Most of these systems are focused on compartmentalized tactical information without integrated, aggregated insight. Since the main center for profit in the process industries, barring reducing incidents, is gains in production efficiency and operational effectiveness, it only makes sense to focus on operations and maintenance as a way to capture the value and be responsive to market and customer demands.The Path to Interoperable Data-driven Operations
Companies who were already heading down a path of interoperable data-driven operations have had an easier time with this transition than companies who weren’t. Business leaders tend to view change as complicated and challenging and use those perceived difficulties as reasons to resist the necessary changes. However, the current situation has proven companies can move as fast as they have to when the outcome is important enough. Understanding the underpinnings of, and integrations possible with, a data-driven system is a critical step in implementing one as painlessly as possible.The Path to Interoperable Data-driven Operations
Customers who are using an interoperable platform to support remote work find this doesn’t damage the integrity of the data, the team, or the outcome. However, companies without a distributed network of information are struggling. Even after the COVID-19 is under control, companies are going to have the face the reality of remote work, because it will become a competitive advantage. Employees who now know how to work effectively remotely will want that option, and smart businesses who want to keep talented employees will adapt. The right technology and systems do make a huge difference in the effectiveness of remote working. Large organizations with multiple facilities and thousands of employees across those facilities are already dealing with this situation in their “normal” operations. The new normal will be measured by effective sharing of information, leveraged learnings, and use data analysis to streamline, align, and better manage operations across a fleet of facilities with workers in many locations – home, office, and plant.A Platform for Intelligent Operations
A platform for Intelligent Operations is specifically designed to create that interoperable, distributed, data-driven network of information that is the backbone of remote information sharing. In particular, elevated solutions for EH&S and APM will transcend departmental barriers and become part of something more substantial. Intelligent Operations eliminates siloed systems from 5-6 departments, bringing them into an integrated, holistic view of the organization.
For example, a current customer in the Chemical sector who is following the Intelligent Operations pathway is achieving benefits by quickly responding while adapting during this pandemic. The company uses OESuite from Operational Sustainability, LLC to manage its Asset Performance Management, Operational Risk, EH&S, Workforce, and Conduct of Operations needs. Some of the specific areas of focus include Management of Change, Risk-Based Inspection, Asset Health Monitoring, Asset Strategy, Operator Rounds, and Emissions Management. When you have a depth of insight that reaches across department silos, you can make better, more informed decisions faster. Intelligent Operations enables businesses to move at the speed of change in today’s world.
About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.
For further information or to provide feedback on this article, please contact RPaira@arcweb.com
About the Author:
Peter performs research into process and technology areas such as process optimization, asset performance management, and data analytics. He brings more than 25 years of professional experience as an Energy and Chemical industry subject matter expert.
Peter is a distinguished thought leader, strategist, and speaker, with an extensive history of practical experience in refinery automation, safety, and IT. He has also published several whitepapers related to digital transformation and frequently speaks at technical conferences throughout North America and the EMEA region.
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One of the biggest concerns with distributed systems is fault tolerance. A lot of development as well as testing time is spent over exception handling and regression. Microservices Architecture is essential for failure handling in the times when application complexity is on rage. So, how exactly does microservices based systems handle failure? What are the principles that guide it? Most importantly, what measure do the organizations need to take so that these principles are practically met for a scaling customer base. Let us have a look.
A Resilient Architecture
Resilience is a key governing principle of the microservice architecture. In general terms, it states that the microservice, at any time, should be available for function even if there’s a failure. Practically, this is achieved by restarting the replica of the failed microservices on another machine, hence maintaining the availability undisturbed. Furthermore, the state of the failed microservice is saved to be retrieved later. Therefore, resiliency and availability ensure data consistency and fail-fast mechanism. However, with the increasing complexity of the applications, the availability of microservices might face some challenges like the applications upgrade, for instance. Here the dilemma for the deploying microservices is whether to upgrade to a newer version or roll back to an older one. There need to be enough machines for the app to run uninterrupted during the update. Additionally, a constant monitoring of microservices health is required to make timely decisions in this regard.
Here are some tips to maintain the resilience and availability of microservices for a fail-proof architecture:
The robustness of the microservices architecture is also a result of its resilience and availability. As the customers scale for the organizations, mere multiplication of microservice instances won’t work. There need to be provisions in place to deal with the unpredicted failures. A little proactiveness and experience on the part of the organization can help their applications to fully enjoy the benefits of this architecture while also avoiding certain pitfalls.
Did you ever wonder what would happen to teachers when students start learning online?
So talk of learning moving online due to technological advancements and now accelerating due to the current crisis might make some believe that the role of teachers would become insignificant or even redundant. But that is far from the truth.
Research at NASSCOM FutureSkills has found that learners prefer VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training) to purely online learning when it comes to really undergoing deep skilling. People definitely want to be able to engage with a human teacher along with technology, vs only technology.
“Embracing Blended Learning” by Amit Aggarwal, CEO SSC NASSCOM, dispels the notion that technology can replace teachers and highlights how the role of the teacher would be enhanced and become even more important with the advent of new models of learning. This is part of NASSCOM FutureSkills Perspective Series.
Click here to read more:
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What is a Crisis?
The world has gone through many crises, The Great Depression of 1929–39, The Asian Crisis of 1997 or be it the Great Recession of 2007-09. All of these wrecked havocs in the lives of people around the world. The most unprecedented and latest among them is the COVID-19 pandemic.
What a Crisis does to Business?
A crisis can result in stock markets crashing down globally, increased unemployment rate, economic slump and much more. All these result in disrupting economic revenues and profits generated which is directly related to shutting down of various businesses. About 94-95% of businesses globally are small scale companies and employ a majority of the global workforce. These are the ones who are deeply affected since they lack the cash reserve to survive months-long interruption in the normal business flow.
Even if the current COVID-19 pandemic is controlled in the coming few months, the short-term effects would end but the long-term economic impact will ripple through the coming years. The pandemic has forced people to live and work in radically changed ways with travel bans, skeletal crews as well as adjusting to the work from home culture. Social distancing has suddenly become the new norm. The employed sector faces concerns like layoffs, no or limited investment and significant reduction in pay-outs.
What could be done by businesses in a crisis?
Crisis management and response should be the first thing to strike the mind of any business owner in such a situation. Today, companies that have successfully come up with a management plan that allows smooth functioning during the pandemic are at ease and can focus on business as usual. For the rest of them, the focus should be on allowing employees to work from home smoothly, providing means to share data securely with ease, assessing the company’s responses and identifying any weak points that could hamper smooth functioning.
During a crisis, prioritising the workforce becomes of topmost importance for businesses. The focus shifts to prioritising their comfort, physical and mental health and adopting empathetic policies to help support employees in any way possible, so that they can keep supporting the clients and daily workings of the company. It takes time to adapt so suddenly to newer ways of working. Earlier where you could simply walk over to your colleague and work together, now you have to resort to lengthy explanations over call. This causes an inevitable delay in meeting deadlines. Maintaining a work-life balance becomes difficult as the clear black and white distinction turns into a giant grey blur. With the workforce struggling to function normally, businesses are bound to suffer.
Businesses now need to focus on aligning the whole workforce to come up with new strategies to stabilise the situation as much as possible. They need to shed off their orthodox business practices and evolve quickly so as to maintain smooth functioning. They need to identify new resources while prioritizing the existing ones and be open to exploring new opportunities during these uncertain times.
What is helping in the current crisis?
Apart from supporting the employees in all possible ways, businesses need to embrace the digital transformation if they wish to keep making progress, no matter how slow. Although an advantage to this is that employees now have the opportunity to upskill through digital platforms, allowing them to learn and contribute more than they could during normal operations. There are many big brands who are looking past the sudden shift in the work culture and seeing the advantages that working from the comfort of our homes has to offer. A lot of big companies have thus planned on continuing work from home for all employees even after the situation starts to normalise.
The world is going through uncertain times and a crisis like this affects human lives and their livelihoods drastically. Undergoing a digital transformation, prioritising the workforce and finding new resources to ensure smooth functioning are just some of the things that are helping businesses survive during these times. However these changes are here to stay as more and more businesses can see the advantages in adopting these changes permanently. COVID-19 has forever changed the way the world does business.
The post How a crisis changes the business landscape? appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
This is a very different angle to leadership and business as we see often. It is clear that with greatly enhanced connectivity and remote working requirements, the focus on cybersecurity will be at an altogether different level. We were fortunate to catch up with Mr. Argha Bose over a virtual luncheon session, and he was kind enough to share his insights.
Please read on, to find out how the future is going to look like:
As you know, we are into cybersecurity and at this point, it is one of the most critical areas in which companies always need to remain vigilant . Ours is primarily a people-driven business that requires a very high level of skills and capacity to deliver.
At TASL Cyber Security Practice, we were able to transition quickly to work from remote locations and safeguard our deliverables from getting impacted. We knew that a lockdown was imminent but not to the extent and with the speed we’ve seen it to date. We had conducted dry runs for our core services accordingly and addressed roadblocks including the connectivity issues to enable our resources to work from home and continue to serve our customers. For people who are on the consulting side of the business, we confirmed that they have information access to enable business continuity. While moving to this new model at scale, we had to also be mindful that we did not end up with any new loopholes.
From an external interfacing standpoint, we continued to work closely with our customers while adhering to their security guidelines. Towards this, we also engaged with multiple functions including HR to maintain employees’ safety and frictionless delivery. Staying close through regular follow-ups is the key. Whilst the lockdown was declared with immediate effect, we remained focussed on employees’ well-being and productivity as our topmost priorities.
It is my observation that WFH as a practice hasn’t been as prevalent in India as compared to other geographies, although it had been gaining acceptance. We aren’t there yet but if this is going to be the new normal then there’s a greater need for coordination and collaboration. I am saying this from a long-term standpoint. As of now, the approach has worked well.
We are primarily a horizontal organization without too many hierarchies. With the changed scenario, it wasn’t going to be easy for the management to be in touch with people cutting across the levels, and it was evident that we needed an out-of-the-box kind of thinking. So, we ventured out to dismantle layers (informally) to the maximum possible extent and created smaller groups (people with similar skills/project delivery) to optimize the frequency and quality of interactions. This structure enabled people to take ownership and reach out more effectively to their team managers. It facilitated smooth communication across levels and patterns started to emerge. With a constant stream of ideas and feedback, it helped us to plug the gaps based on the feedback that we received from the ground. We had plans to do this anyway, and now we have a deeper understanding of how to cross-leverage our potential across the organization. It is very important to communicate effectively and remain close to the last-mile resource as well. This ensured that our delivery remained unaffected and the messaging percolated downstream at regular intervals. It was rather effective in earmarking responsibilities as well. I’d like to add here, yet another powerful channel of communication i.e. Town Hall – albeit virtual. It has indeed been great learning on team dynamics all along.
We are also focusing on the skilling (and cross-skilling) aspect to ensure that talent stays relevant to our customers. We have kept our ears to the ground and continue to observe the major shifts in the landscape to decide in which direction we need to focus on. Our HR has been very busy conducting events such as virtual Fun Fridays that help in maintaining strong employee connect. It started as an experimental approach and has paid rich dividends.
We are in the business of cybersecurity and as I mentioned earlier, for us, the expanse of the landscape is massive. All of this happened so abruptly that businesses were caught off guard. Typically, this is a fertile ground for cyberattacks and I can only see our workload going up exponentially. And as I said, India was never prepared to adopt WFH at this much scale. So, there are some additional challenges as well.
I believe that organizations will now look at cybersecurity from a completely different standpoint. It was already a major topic for boardroom discussion and now with all of this, it will be even more so. In the drive towards modernization of IT, cybersecurity is now an integral part. We can expect that this model of WFH will be around for some time and the significance of cybersecurity cannot be over-emphasized. Organizations must compulsorily ensure that continued remote access, protection of data, and authentic user access are provided. Moreover, there are third-party users as well (vendors, partners, etc.) and data travels out of the companies’ network. Therefore, providing secure access is a pan-industry phenomenon. For us, it is an opportunity to keep the WFH environment safe.
As COVID-19 started to impact our lives and changed the way we operated, WFH became the new normal and most of us had to hit the ground running to accommodate our attitude and habits. When a crisis like this happens, the pace of business is different. We have started to see work with a completely different lens. We are suddenly having to accept the fact that telecalls will have children popping in or one needs to align the office schedules to address the pressing needs at home. There is a lot of human element that people have started to accept and work around that, which has led to a lot of patience been built in either while working on something important or attending meetings over video conferencing. So is it here to stay, I presume so. This has given every organization to have a plan B and be prepared with it to be able to transition better in similar kind of situations. Moreover, even traditional organizations have faith now that WFH can work and people can be productive. End of the day in my personal view, if an employee is delivering on time should I bother whether they are in office, home, or even the cafeteria? Frankly, no. Certainly, WFH provides greater flexibility and our time can be better utilized and specifically where people have a longer time to commute or need to be at home for any pressing needs. On the other hand, does this model hamper my ability to connect with my teams and maybe have a corridor chat or quick coffee break and would it matter? The answer is yes. So effectively, I feel that it has got to do with the role one has in the organization and there is no single right or wrong answer.
This model is ideal for those who have elderly parents and very young children at home. They can optimize their time and efforts. Moreover, we have access to a greater talent pool as the physical location does not matter any longer. We can hire from anywhere in the country. It also allows us to stay close to the customer at all times.
There’s a strong element of human connect that I personally miss today – the non-verbal aspect of communication, observing behavioural traits, etc. Technology is so powerful today that it almost provides an experience that is as good as face-to-face interactions.
Not everyone has the same level of self-motivation. Some need more handholding and arguably, remote working may not necessarily suit them. We can’t ignore the fact that we are creatures of habit and some people can only function effectively when there’s a definitive framework in place, such as an office environment. Also, some managers value face-time a lot and would prefer the traditional approach over remote working. The more granular your engagements are, the number of touchpoints also increases proportionately. In some cases, a hands-off approach works, and in others, it doesn’t. In certain instances, the element of de-motivation cannot be ruled out entirely. The WFH model is entirely dependent on TRUST and, a very high degree of self-discipline is required to make it sustainable in the long run. So, a SWOT might not exactly fit in here as the demarcations have very thin lines and roles, job profiles and the organizational culture drives a lot of the decision-making process.
With respect to your question of the hiring process and the interviewing challenges, remote interviews are probably as good as 95% of the real thing – technology is powerful today. Even a few years back, it wasn’t the case but now things have improved and there’s a very little difference today. An interview gives us an opportunity to study the behavioural aspect of candidates under stress. Particularly, the non-verbal aspect of communication. Technology on this front is improving continuously and giving us all the necessary cues. Today, there are so many virtual meetings that it has almost become a regular feature. With time, we’d have perfected the mechanism and there’d be very little to separate from face-to-face meetings.
As I am not an expert in the manufacturing industry, I can only speak from the cybersecurity perspective and provide my thoughts. It is often said that India had missed the manufacturing bus. But, COVID-19 has brought back the focus on manufacturing, and now a great opportunity in this sector awaits the nation.
In the manufacturing sector, there’ll be a stronger focus on automation to bring down cost and increase productivity – a great opportunity to wean away businesses from countries. Already, many companies are pulling out and the contenders in other regions are bidding hard. If India plays its cards well, we will have a great chance ahead. Obviously, the more you automate, the more you need to augment the cybersecurity posture. And, it’s not just software but hardware devices too.
Interviewed by Soumitra Dasgupta, NASSCOM. You can write to him at email@example.com
The post #LeaderTalk: In Conversation with Mr. Argha Bose, Head – Cyber Security Practice & Risk Business, Tata Advanced Systems Limited appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
For the last few years, the global quest has been to create connected living that fosters collaboration and builds communities who have better access to a wide range of services. Central to all these are technologies such as Cloud, Communication (Short Range and Long Range), Cognition (AI and ML), and Multimedia. These technologies and the underlying silicon platforms have made it possible to introduce new products more rapidly than ever before. At Sasken, we believe that this will be our holy grail for the foreseeable future and we will doggedly pursue opportunities arising out of these technologies irrespective of undulations in the market.
Rajiv Mody, the Chairman, Managing Director and CEO of Sasken Technologies Ltd., founded the company in 1989, at San Jose along with two other co-founders. The company was set up in the classical tradition of Silicon Valley startups; in a garage in Fremont, California. Rajiv, then, returned to India to expand company operations in 1991.
Under his able leadership, over the last three decades, Sasken has grown to be a powerhouse in providing Product Engineering and Digital Transformation services. Over the years, Sasken has steadily expanded its portfolio of solutions to cover the entire product development life-cycle for Automotive, Industrials, Communication & Devices, Semiconductors, and Digital Enterprise segments.
Rajiv served as an Executive Council Member of NASSCOM (2001-2008) and is currently part of the Harvard Business School South Asia Advisory Board. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from M.S. University, Baroda, India and Master’s degree in Computer Science from Polytechnic School of Engineering, NYU, New York, USA. Rajiv has attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP 161) at Harvard Business School.
In his leisure time, Rajiv enjoys reading biographies, scuba diving, and watching movies.
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