Techno

[Blog] COVID-19 : Technology to the Rescue of Businesses in a Remote World

It is indisputable that more than 70% of industry use technology in different forms to operate their business. People have always been reluctant to change and prefer to stay in their comfort zone, which is not to be blamed.

However, when it comes to apples, there are a couple of them which are game changers if you recall the four famous apples. Issac Newton was the man who changed the way we look at the Universe. And it all started with an apple. Once, when Newton was sitting in his garden, an apple fell from the tree above and Bingo! Newton noticed that no matter how high he threw the apple from the ground, it always came back. This led him to discover the Law of Gravity – one of the most important revelations in World Science.

Noorani Imrit, Managing Director, Ébène Gate Mauritius.
Noorani Imrit, Managing Director, Ébène Gate Mauritius.

We feel extremely sad and all our sympathy goes to all those who have lost their closed ones because of Covid-19. On the other side, this has forced companies to adopt technologies like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Citrix and Cloud, etc., which have existed since decades but which were being used by only a few companies.

We have seen a boom in the use of these technologies to conduct videoconferences and online lecture classes and to work from home. Talking about Work from Home, many BPO companies have been able to sustain their businesses without any significant impact on their figures. All credits go to the employees, of course, but also to the technology behind.

As far as security is concerned, be it GDPR or Data Protection, Cloud systems like Citrix Azure are already compliant. I would recommend that companies stop wasting their resources by funding Business Continuity Plans for Disaster Recovery, but instead move their applications to Cloud. It’s like a click to Work from Home.

It’s high time for the government to be convinced that ICT plays an important role in our economy. Therefore, the required budget and attention should be allocated to ICT. Some important measures that should be enforced by government, according to me, are as follows :

  • All government sectors should be online (not as is it – that’s amateur).
  • Exploit the payment gateway MauCAS that the BoM has launched (that’s a very good incentive).
  • Create a national virtual platform to host all SMEs and Self-employed and connect it to the BoM MauCAS.
  • Local sites should be hosted locally. This will bring down the cost of connectivity and speed up our connection. Without mentioning the name, a group of companies is hosting its website in France rather than in its subsidiary company which is a Telecom Operator. We have thousands like this. The government should put in place measures to encourage these companies to host their site locally.
  • Peering among local operators should be enforced as this will free up our international bandwidth. A simple example is given below:

Kenya

The hidden website is hosted in a local data centre. I am using another operator connectivity to access the hidden website and I have to go through Kenya to access a local website when I am also local. Meaning: Port Louis > my local operator > international bandwidth > Kenya > another local hosting provider. Whereas, it should be Port Louis > My Local Operator > local website hosted on another local data centre.

  • We have lots of online gamers, government should negotiate to have servers hosted in Mauritius. 
  • The internal connectivity between our operators should be reviewed.

Without the above in place, we are encouraging our money to leave our country. Companies who have kept pace with technology have been successful in the midst of  the Covid-19 pandemic :

  • Their applications are online.
  • They are using Cloud-based soft phone to call their customers from their laptops.
  • CRM has enabled them to keep track on their customers and give support during this pandemic.
  • A good communication conference tool has been put in place.

The above are not expensive compared to having servers, backup of servers, antivirus, firewall, etc. You just need a good process and the right strategy as Plan B. No need for an expensive Business Continuity Plan or Work Area Recovery Seat which are extremely expensive. Research, Development and Innovation should be a unit under the ICT to continuously improve our systems.

By Noorani Imrit,
Managing Director, 
Ébène Gate Mauritius.

 

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