Advanced Business Management

Our consultants are highly trained to provide complex management solutions and strategy planning for your business. You can count on us to improve performance and your business skills, while cutting costs.

We ensure full support in a broad range of business management areas, such as:

Business Strategy

Knowing how and when to make the right strategic move is critical to your success in today?s dynamic environment. Our Strategic Management Consultants provide solutions for a tighter integration of your vision, values, and mission statements with the strategic management process.

The result is a stronger alignment of your operating activities with your goals, and also an improved internal infrastructure to support and manage the strategic management process.

Business Process Improvements

In our years of activity, we have developed a robust process to ensure Business Process Improvements projects are implemented successfully. To achieve a positive outcome a number of factors must exist and we?ll make sure your company manages to get the right mix of: sponsorship management and commitment, process improvement goals, right motivations, cultural issues management, provision of adequate resources and funding, and availability of standards and procedures.

Performance Management

An effective performance management system integrates all aspects of the organisation from a shared vision, through a common language, and establishes a culture of accountability and results. It provides more of a holistic way of managing your organization that is more powerful than its individual parts, and without forsaking the values of the organisation.

Change Management Services

Economic downturns, fast rising new competitors, and even climate change, can force companies to scale down, engage in mergers & acquisitions, or transfer to a new location. We?ll help you through every step of the change process, from: evaluating the required change by conducting diagnostics such as change complexity, causal, structural, and context analysis, managing stakeholders including your sponsors, top executives, managers, and personnel, planning for the change, and managing the change process itself.

Project Management

Whether you need help for a single project or much more, we’ve got you covered. With us you get a coordinated, presence-of-mind approach to project management that will point all of your projects to an overall strategic direction, no matter how complex or simple these might be. Our services incorporate all project-related activities including: programme management, project risk management, project review and audit, project rescue, and project governance.

Interim Management

Our resources have an MBA and/or professional accounting qualifications with an average of 10 ? 30 years of progressive work experience with public companies, in complex private equity environments, and/or privately-held middle market companies. We not only offer the most highly qualified project / interim resources to our clients, but we also allow for an interim-to-hire provision in our contracts.

It has proved mutually beneficial to our consultants and clients to have the option for longer term employment opportunities after having worked together on a project / interim basis.

 

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IT Risk and Control Solutions Specialists – Why you need them more than ever

Over the years, the capabilities of IT systems have certainly grown by leaps and bounds. But so have the risks that accompany them. Countless threats to IT systems now exist that are capable of seriously disrupting business operations. That’s why companies have to conduct assessments aimed at making sure their systems are still capable of functioning effectively, efficiently, and securely all the time.

If you think you’ve been lucky enough to be spared from these threats, then maybe it’s because you haven’t conducted a risk assessment on your IT system recently. All too often, we hear of CIOs who believed their IT system was in tip-top condition, only to be later caught off-guard by a critical system breakdown that would eventually cripple their business for days or weeks.

More information assets to look after

If, before, you only had to worry about regular office applications, workstations, a LAN and a server, today’s varied and more sophisticated information assets are more challenging to maintain.

In addition to network operating systems, database management systems, content management systems, email systems, virtualization platforms, document management systems, business intelligence applications, and accounting software, a typical enterprise may also have to look after firewalls, intrusion detection systems, storage and backup systems, and data loss prevention systems, to mention a few.

These understandably require the services of experts spanning a wide range of skill sets.

Rising threats to corporate identity and privacy

Individuals are no longer just the ones being preyed upon by identity thieves. Businesses can now be subject to corporate identity theft as well. You could wake up one day finding your business already accused of carrying out illegal activities, a big chunk of your money gone, and your directors? seats already occupied by complete strangers.

To make things worse, corporate threats aren’t just coming from the outside.

Threats to corporate privacy, for instance, can come from within the organisation itself. Sensitive information like trade secrets and financial data are often leaked out (purposely or inadvertently) by employees. This is largely caused by the ever growing number of options for communications and transferring data (e.g. emails, instant messaging, blogs, social networking sites, ftp, P2P, etc.).

Greater challenges in designing, developing, and implementing policies and programs

Laws and regulations like SOX and Solvency II, which have direct impacts on IT, are on the rise. That is why corporate policies and programs now require sweeping changes. You now have to be more deliberate in integrating IT when establishing governance, internal controls, change management, incident management, and performance management.

A solid understanding on widely accepted frameworks and good practices like COBIT, COSO, and CMMI will help you considerably in such undertakings. Using these frameworks as guidelines will not only help you keep your policies and programs attuned to the times, they will also keep you in compliance with regulations.

Increasing demand for disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities

Every time you have a down time, you increase the probability of losing your customers to competitors. The longer the down time, the greater that probability becomes. Therefore, when a major disruption strikes, you should be able to recover at the soonest. If possible, you should be able to deliver products and services as usual.

This of course requires spending to increase your disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) capabilities. Are you ready for it? Migrating your IT infrastructure from traditional systems to the latest technologies that are better equipped for BC/DR requires careful planning and implementation to ensure an optimal return on investment.

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Why DevOps Matters: Things You Need to Know

DevOps creates an agile relationship between system development and operating departments, so the two collaborate in providing results that are technically effective, and work well for customers and users. This is an improvement over the traditional model where development delivers a complete design ? and then spends weeks and even months afterwards, fixing client side problems that should never have occurred.
Writing for Tech Radar Nigel Wilson explains why it is important to roll out innovation quickly to leverage advantage. This implies the need for a flexible organisation capable of thinking on its feet and forming matrix-based project teams to ensure that development is reliable and cost effective.
Skirmishes in Boardrooms
This cooperative approach runs counter to traditional silo thinking, where Operations does not understand Development, while Development treats the former as problem children. This is a natural outcome of team-centred psychology. It is also the reason why different functions pull up drawbridges at the entrance to their silos. This situation needs managing before it corrodes organization effectiveness. DevOps aims to cut through this spider web of conflict and produce faster results.

The Seeds of Collaboration

Social and personal relationships work best when the strengths of each party compensate the deficiencies of the other. In the case of development and operations, development lacks full understanding of the daily practicalities operating staff face. Conversely, operations lacks ? and should lack knowledge of the nuances of digital automation, for the very reason it is not their business.
DevOps straddles the gap between these silos by building bridges towards a co-operative way of thinking, in which matrix-teams work together to define a problem, translate it into needs and spec the system to resolve these. It is more a culture than a method. Behavioural change naturally leads to contiguous delivery and ongoing deployment. Needless to say only the very best need apply for the roles of client representative, functional tester and developer lead.

Is DevOps Worth the Pain of Change?

Breaking down silos encroaches on individual managers? turf. We should only automate to improve quality and save money. These savings often distil into organisational change. The matrix team may find itself in the middle of a catfight. Despite the pain associated with change resistance, DevOps more than pays its way in terms of benefits gained. We close by considering what these advantages are.

An Agile Matrix Structure ? Technical innovation is happening at a blistering rate. The IT industry can no longer afford to churn out inferior designs that take longer to fix than to create. We cannot afford to allow office politics to stand in the way of progress. Silos and team builds are custodians of routine and that does not sit well with development.

An Integrated Organization ? DevOps not only delivers operational systems faster through contiguous testing. It also creates an environment whereby cross-border teams work together towards achieving a shared objective. When development understands the challenges that operations faces ? and operations understands the technical limiters – a new perspective emerges of ?we are in this together?.

The Final Word ? With understanding of human dynamics pocketed, a DevOps project may be easier to commission than you first think. The traditional way of doing development – and the waterfall delivery at the end is akin to a two-phase production line, in which liaison is the weakest link and loss of quality inevitable.

DevOps avoids this risk by having parties work side-by-side. We need them both to produce the desired results. This is least until robotics takes over and there is no longer a human element in play.

Disaster Recovery

Because information technology is now integrated in most businesses, a business continuity plan (BCP) cannot be complete without a corresponding disaster recovery plan (DRP). While a BCP encompasses everything needed – personnel, facilities, communications, processes and IT infrastructure – for a continuous delivery of products and services, a DRP is more focused on the IT aspects of the plan.

If you’re still not sure how big an impact loss of data can have, it’s time you pondered on the survival statistics of companies that incurred data losses after getting hit by a major disaster: 46% never recovered and 51% eventually folded after only two years.

Realising how damaging data loss can be to their entire business, most large enterprises allocate no less than 2% of their IT budget to disaster recovery planning. Those with more sensitive data apportion twice more than that.

A sound disaster recovery plan is hinged on the principles of business continuity. As such, our DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) blueprints are aimed at getting your IT system up and running in no time. Here’s what we can do for you:

  • Since the number one turn-off against BCPs and DRPs are their price tags, we’ll make a thorough and realistic assessment of possible risks to determine what specific methods need to be applied to your organisation and make sure you don’t spend more than you should.
  • Provide an option for virtualisation to enjoy substantial savings on disaster recovery costs.
  • Provide various backup options and suggest schedules and practices most suitable for your daily transactions.
  • Offer data replication to help you achieve business continuity with the shortest allowable downtime.
  • Refer to your overall BCP to determine your organisation’s critical functions, services, and products as well as their respective priority rankings to know what corresponding IT processes need to be in place first.
  • Implement IT Security to your system to reduce the risks associated with malware and hackers.
  • Introduce best practices to make future disaster recovery efforts as seamless as possible.

We can also assist you with the following:

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