Data Replication

Medical Data Form

These days, not many companies can continue to operate once their entire computer system goes down. All the information needed in daily operations are stored in databases while the interfaces that make use of them all come in the form of software applications.

Software applications can be rapidly reinstalled and configured for as long as the necessary programs are available. Data, however, cannot be reconstructed as quickly even with hard copies available. It is therefore necessary to store your data in a replicated setup so that when one section goes down, operations can proceed without interruption.

For instance, if a category 5 hurricane renders your main office useless, you can simply rent workstations elsewhere, connect to the Internet and continue with your usual transactions for as long as data is readily accessible.

So how do we ensure the accessibility and reliability of your data? Here’s what we’ll do:

  • Activate data replication on your database management system. If your DBMS does not support replication, we’ll migrate all your data to one that does.
  • If absolutely necessary, we can allow modernised systems to run parallel to your legacy systems and prepare both for full modernisation when you’re ready.
  • Implement fail-over technologies where applicable to provide for automatic switching to a backup data server or network from one that has just failed.

We can also assist you with the following:

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8 Best Practices To Reduce Technical Debt

When past actions in software development return to haunt you…

Is your business being bogged down by technical debt? Let’s look at measures that you can take to reduce it and scale your operations without the weight pulling you back. 

 

Work with a flexible architecture.

Right from the word go, you want to use architecture whose design is malleable, especially with the rapid rate of software evolution witnessed today. Going with an architecture that keeps calling for too much refactoring, or whose design won’t accommodate future changes will leave you with costly technical debt. Use scalable architecture that allows you to modify or add new features in future releases. While on this, complex features required in the final product should be discussed at the planning stage, that way simplified solutions that will be easier to implement can be identified, as this will lead to less technical debt in the long run. 

 

The Deal with Refactoring 

This is basically cleaning up the code structure without changing its behaviour. With the updates, patches, and new functionalities that are added to the systems and applications, each change comes with the threat of more technical debt. Additionally, organisations are increasingly moving their IT infrastructure from on-premises facilities to colocation data centres and deploying them on the cloud. In such scenarios, some workarounds are often needed to enable the systems to function in the new environments, which they hadn’t been initially developed to accommodate. Here, you will need to take some time to refactor the existing system regularly, streamlining the code and optimizing its performance – and this will be key to pay down the tech debt. When working with a flexible architecture from the start, the amount of work that goes into this will be reduced, meaning there’ll be less tech debt involved. 

 

Run discovery tests

Discovery testing essentially takes place even before a line of code is written for the system or application. This takes place at the product definition stage, where human insight software is used to understand the needs of the customer and is particularly helpful in setting priorities for the development work that will be carried out. It gives your business the opportunity to minimize the technical debt by allowing customers to give you a roadmap of the most pertinent features desired from the product. 

 

Routine code review

Getting a fresh look at the product or application from different sets of eyes in the development team will improve the quality of the code, thus reducing technical debt. There’s a catch though – this should be planned in a convenient way that doesn’t end up becoming a burden for the developers. Here are suggestions:

Break down pull requests

Instead of having complex pull requests where numerous changes in the code are introduced at a go, have this broken down into smaller manageable pull requests, each with a brief title and description about it. This will be easier for the code reviewer to analyse. 

● Define preferred coding practices

Documenting the preferred coding style will result in cleaner code, meaning the developers will focus their effort on reviewing the code itself, not losing time on code format debates.

 

Test automation

Relying only on scheduled manual testing opens you up to the risk of technical debt accruing rapidly, and not having sufficient resources to deal with the accumulated problems when they are identified. Automated testing on the other hand enables issues to be uncovered quicker, and with more precision. For instance, you can have automated unit tests that look at the functioning of the individual components of a system, or regression testing where the focus is on whether the code changes that have been implemented have affected related components of the system. However, establishing and maintaining automated testing will require quite some effort – making it more feasible for the long-term projects.

 

Keep a repository that tracks changes made

Do you have a record of changes made in the software? Keeping one in a repository that is accessible by the development team will make it easy to pin-point problems at their source. For instance, when software is being migrated to a new environment, or legacy software is in the process of being modernised, you will want to have an accurate record of changes that are being introduced, that way if there is an undesired impact on the system this it will be easier to zero-down on the cause.

 

Bring non-technical stakeholders on board

Does this conversation sound familiar?

Development Team: “We need to refactor the messy code quickly”

Product Team: “We have no idea what you are saying”

On one hand, you have the management or product team defining the product requirements, creating a project roadmap, and setting its milestones. On the other hand, there’s the software development/engineering that’s primarily focused on the product functionality, technical operations and clearing the backlog in code fixes. Poor communication between the two teams is actually a leading cause of technical debt.

For you to take concrete steps in managing your technical debt, the decision-makers in the organisation should understand its significance, and the necessity of reducing it. Explain to them how the debt occurred and why steps need to be taken to pay it down – but you can’t just bombard them with tech phrases and expect them to follow your thought process. 

So how do you go about it? Reframe the issues involved with the technical debt and explain the business value or impact of the code changes. Basically, the development team should approach it from a business point of view, and educate the management or production team about the cost of the technical debt. This can include aspects such as expenses in changing the code, salaries for the software engineers especially when the development team will need to be increased due to the workload piling up, as well as the revenue that is lost when the technical debt is allowed to spiral. 

The goal here is to show the management or production team how issues like failing to properly define the product requirements will slow down future software development, or how rushing the code will affect the next releases. That way, there will be better collaboration between the teams involved in the project. 

 

Allocate time and resources specifically for reducing technical debt

With management understanding that working with low-quality code is just like incurring financial debt and it will slow down product development, insist on setting time to deal with the debt. 

For instance, when it comes to the timing of application releases, meetings can be conducted to review short- and longer-term priorities. These meetings – where the development team and product team or management are brought together, the developers point out the software issues that should be resolved as a priority as they may create more technical debt. Management then ensures that budgets and plans are put in place to explicitly deal with those ongoing maintenance costs.

 

Retire old platforms

While most of the resources are going into developing new applications and improving the systems being used, the organisation should also focus on retiring the old applications, libraries, platforms, and the code modules. It’s recommended that you factor this into the application release plans, complete with the dates, processes and costs for the systems involved. 

 

Total overhaul

When the cost and effort of dealing with the technical debt far outweighs the benefits, then you may have to replace the entire system. At this tipping point, you’re not getting value from the technical debt, and it has become a painful issue that’s causing your organisation lots of difficulties. For instance, you may be dealing with legacy software where fixing it to support future developments has simply become too complicated. The patches available may only resolve specific issues with the system, and still leave you with lots of technical debt. Here, the best way out is to replace the system in its entirety. 

 

Final thoughts

Every software company has some level of tech debt. Just like financial debt, it is useful when properly managed, and a problem when ignored or allowed to spiral out of control. It’s a tradeoff between design/development actions and business goals. By taking measures to pay down your organization’s debt and address its interest as it accrues, you will avoid situations where short term solutions undermine your long-term goals. This is also key to enable your business to transition to using complex IT solutions easier, and even make the migration between data centres much smoother. These 8 measures will enable you to manage your technical debt better to prevent it from being the bottleneck that stifles your growth.

Operational Efficiency Initiatives

When was the last time you checked your technology spending against your IT infrastructure’s contribution to the bottom line?

Chances are, what’s happening underneath all those automated processes, expensive hardware, and fancy graphical user interfaces is not doing your bottom line any good.

If you don’t keep a watchful eye, your IT operations can easily nurture a lot of wastage and unnecessary costs. Underutilised servers, duplicate processes, poorly managed bandwidths, and too much complexity are among the common culprits.

For minor problems, we can eliminate wastage by setting up some technology enhancements, instilling best practices, and performing a few tweaks. However, if you’re not adequately trained on how to go about with it, your band-aid solutions can add more complexity to the mix.

Of course, there will always come a time when you will have to spend on new technologies to maintain the overall efficiency of your IT infrastructure. Whether you intend to purchase new hardware or software applications or build an entirely new infrastructure, the sheer cost of such undertakings warrants seeking expert advice.

Failure to do so can result in fragmented resources lacking in cohesiveness, which don’t contribute to efficiency at all.

Our solutions for improving operational efficiencies cover the entire spectrum: from planning what to buy, optimising what you’ve already bought, to making your team comfortable with them all. Please find time to view our solutions below and uncover ways to drive those profits up even as you work within your budget.

 

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Carrying out an Operational Review

 

Operational Reviews

 

Operational Efficiency Initiatives

 

Operational Review Defined

 

Importance of Field Service Management Software for Mobile Working

Technology has been evolving at a fast pace. Changes are also happening simultaneously within different industries. Making a great difference in the business world right now is the trend of mobile working.

Thanks to platforms and tools, working while on the go is now easier and more streamlined. The field service industry also benefits from these technological advances.

Mobile technicians can now give excellent performance and do their job efficiently with no hands-on management needed.

Keep in mind that field service management is no joke. So, to achieve a smooth business and mobile worker management, you’ll need to invest in good mobile service management software.

But First, what is Mobile Working?

Mobile working is a method of working that is not tied to a single physical location.

It isn’t just about checking your emails on your phone or ringing your colleagues via Bluetooth while driving your car to the next appointment. It’s so much more intricate than that.

Effective mobile working means you’re mobilising your workers. Field technicians should have everything they need to complete their day to day work. You’re giving them their entire office in the form of a mobile device.

Mobile working, via a handheld device, allows field technicians to do the following:
● Access and input information about a work order
● Collaborate on projects
● Stay in touch with colleagues, clients and management
● Utilize effectively the different software features

Your field workers should have the support of a dynamic management tool that ensures they are sent to the job that utilises their skills effectively and efficiently.

That’s where a good field service management software shows its importance.

The Role of a Field Service Management Software

Your mobile workforce is scattered across various physical locations. You’ll need to connect with them and simultaneously manage your field service business.

Thanks to the increasing connectivity and improvement of technologies for this purpose, mobile workers can easily input and access any work order details via your chosen field service management software.

What Makes a Good Field Service Management Software?

There are 3 main points to consider when investing in a good mobile workforce management software:

1. It’s simple and familiar to use. Like we mentioned before, be sure to mobilise your field technicians – not the back-office system. Make sure your chosen app or software has a simple user interface so your workers can be on-the-go easily.

2. It works offline. Rural areas and highways can have poor connectivity. Sometimes agents will need to work in areas that have little to no network coverage or are deep down working in tunnels or around heavy machines and turbines. You don’t want your field technicians unable to complete work due to connectivity issues. Make sure to choose software that can function on their device while offline.

3. It’s flexible (and maintainable). Your field service management of choice should have real-time visibility. Flexible and improved visibility for a field worker means that they can do their best in any task. They can share or get critical information about orders and customers. This drastically improves job completion rates and customer satisfaction.

Importance of Field Service Management Software to Mobile Working

Utilize the technology that is available to you. Your mobile workforce should have the right tools so they can make sure to do their fieldwork efficiently without worrying about tedious administrative work. Any back-office task can be done quickly through a field service management software.

And that’s the most important role of a great mobile service management app — effective mobile worker efficiency.

Benefits of a Field Service Management Software to Mobile Working

● Additional revenue: By simplifying the administrative work, your field technician can even double the work order in their daily shift, meaning more profit for the business.

● Cost-cutting: The cloud-based nature of a field service management software means that your business can reduce the cost of on-site IT.
Your mobile workforce can operate from wherever they have an online connection, meaning less reliance on offices and building costs.

● Boosts overall efficiency: A mobile workforce management software allows you as a manager to monitor in real-time where they are and what they are doing. It means that problems can be identified and dealt with immediately.
Your field technician, in turn, becomes more efficient because the technology allows them a quicker response, instead of taking too long finishing administrative tasks.

Invest in a great field service management software. Check out FieldElite and see how they can help you with the following mobile working features:
• Accepts jobs in the field
• Automate appointment scheduling
• Manage scheduled jobs
• Get real-time visibility into all operations
• Have a clear and easy viewing of job locations
• Resolve field service calls faster
• Enable mobile workers to get the job done right
• Keep customers updated at every step
• Create quotations and accept payments
• Analyse efficient reports from field technicians

Ready to work with Denizon?