Denizon’s Business Continuity Services

Disruptions to business operations can be as catastrophic as a Hurricane Katrina or a 9/11 or as relatively trivial as a minor power outage or a planned shutdown. What ever the gravity, scope and duration the disruption has, your company should be able to handle each situation so that you can declare “business as usual” and really mean it.

By implementing a business continuity plan, your enterprise will not just be able to resume business after a disaster strikes. Rather, your enterprise will be able to deliver goods and services continuously.

One of the major factors that prevent businesses from resuming immediately after a disaster is the loss of data. That is why you’ll want to keep your data in the most secure places.

At Denizon, we won’t just ensure that all your data stays protected at all times, we’ll also put up the appropriate procedures to guarantee their availability in the shortest possible time whenever an interruption happens. That way, all your stakeholders – customers, suppliers, regulators, investors, and everyone in your team – can get back to business right away.

To achieve this, we’ll work with you to plan for and set up the necessary infrastructure, IT solutions, organisation, and practices. We’ll assess your risks, identify the threats and vulnerabilities, then come up with ways to control them.

Ironically, the very act of laying down the foundations of business continuity is a major disruption by itself. Now, both disruptions and even the act of preventing them cost money. That is why we’ve devised a system to reduce interruptions to the most acceptable levels as well as forgo all unnecessary costs.

Do find time to view our service offerings and we’ll show you how to bring down those downtimes.

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Six Sigma

Six Sigma has received much attention worldwide as a management strategy that is said to have brought about huge improvements and financial gains for such big-name companies as Allied Signal, General Electric (GE) and Motorola.

If you want to give your business the chance to attain the same resounding success, Six Sigma could be the method that will steer you towards that direction.

What is Six Sigma?

So what really is it? Six Sigma is a business management tool that was developed using the most effective quality improvement techniques from the last six decades. Basing its approach on discipline, verifiable data, and statistical calculations, Six Sigma aims to identify the causes of defects and eliminate them, thereby resulting in near-perfect products that meet or exceed customer’s satisfaction.

The core concept behind the Six Sigma method is that if an organisation can quantify the number of “defects” there are in a particular process, improvement activities can be implemented to eliminate them, and get as close to a “zero defects” scenario as possible. Defect here is defined as any process output that fails to meet customer specifications.

Six Sigma is also unique from other programs in that it calls for the creation of a special infrastructure of people within the organisation (“Champions“, “Black Belts“, “Green Belts“) who are to be expert in the methods.

Six Sigma Methodologies

When implementing Six Sigma projects, two methodologies are often employed. Although each method uses five phases each, these two are distinguished from each other using 5-letter acronyms and their specific uses.

DMAIC ? is the project methodology used to improve processes and maximise productivity of current business practices. The 5 letters stand for:

  • D ? Define (the problem)
  • M ? Measure (the main factors of the existing process)
  • A ??Analyse?(the information gathered to deter mine the causes of defects)
  • I ? Improve (the current process based on the analysis)
  • C ? Control (all succeeding processes so as to minimise additional defects)

DMADV – is the method most suitable if your business is looking to create new products or designs. The acronym stands for:

  • D ? Define (product goals as the consumer market demands)
  • M ? Measure (and identify product capabilities and risks)
  • A ??Analyse?(to create the best possible design)
  • D ? Design (the product or process details)
  • V ? Verify (the design)

How does Six Sigma differ from other quality programs?

If you think that Six Sigma is just another one of those business strategies that produce more hype than actual results, think again. Six Sigma uses three key concepts that sets it apart from other business management methods.

  • It is strictly a data-driven approach, where assumptions and guesswork do not figure in the decision making.
  • It focuses on achieving quantifiable financial results ? the bottom line ($) ? as much as giving emphasis on customer satisfaction.
  • It requires strong management leadership, while at the same time creating a role for every individual in the organisation.

Is Six Sigma right for your business?

While many other organisations such as Sony, Nokia, American Express, Xerox, Boeing, Kodak, Sun Micro-systems and many other blue chip companies have followed suit in adopting Six Sigma, the truth is, any company — whether you have a large manufacturing corporation, or a small business specialising in customer service.

Certainly, there is a lot more to Six Sigma than what you can probably absorb in one sitting or reading.

With our wide range of business management consultancy services, we can help you understand the Six Sigma method in the context of your business. We can also help you establish your improvement goals, set up your program, and train your own team of “champions” who can lead in implementing your Six Sigma goals.

Find out more about our Quality Assurance services in the following pages:

Do you really need a Cloud Broker?

A cloud broker is someone who can serve as your trusted adviser when it comes to your dealings with a cloud service provider. Sort of an IT consultant who: is familiar with cloud computing, can negotiate a mutually beneficial relationship between you and a provider, and help you manage usage, performance and delivery of cloud services.?But do you need one?

Is it even time for cloud adoption?

Of course, if you haven’t even started considering moving your IT systems to the cloud, what’s the point of reading this article, right? Well, if you’re running a business in Ireland or the UK maybe you should start thinking about it. The benefits (of moving to the cloud) are simply overwhelming. But then that’s for another post.

For now, let’s just briefly talk about the rate of cloud adoption so far. This should give you an idea what other decision makers nearby think about cloud computing and what they’ve done in this regard so far.

According to research conducted by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), the number of first-time users of cloud computing in the United Kingdom has risen by about 27% compared to last year.

The study, which was carried out by research company Vanson Bourne and which involved IT decision-makers from both the private and public sector in UK, also showed that 61% of companies are subscribing to cloud-based services. A similar research conducted last year (2011) revealed only 48%.

In Ireland, plans are underway to adopt cloud computing. According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 75% of Ireland’s CIOs and IT directors are already adopting a cloud computing strategy.

Definitely, the number of cloud adopters is growing. If that number already includes your hottest competitor, then perhaps there’s no time to waste.

But while a migration to the cloud should be in your pipeline, it shouldn’t be something you should rush into. Generally speaking, there are at least three kinds of services offered by cloud service providers: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service).

Some providers offer variations of these services. You might only need one type of service or a little of everything. There are also technical and regulatory compliance issues that need consideration.

Obviously, if you have no idea where or how to start, you’ll need someone who can help you. But what kind of help do you need?

Let’s proceed by talking about the kinds of services cloud brokers offer as these are obviously indicative of the needs of current cloud customers.

What cloud brokers do?

Cloud brokers offer three main types of services.

Cloud?inter-mediation

Cloud inter-mediation services are designed to add value to existing services and improve capabilities. ?Examples of cloud inter-mediation include managing access to cloud-based services, carrying out performance reporting, and establishing stronger security.

Cloud aggregation

As mentioned earlier, some cloud customers may end up subscribing to multiple cloud services; most likely from different cloud service providers. To get optimal return on their various cloud subscriptions, these customers will need to apply data integration and make these disparate systems work together. They will also have to make sure data flowing from one system to another is kept secure. This is where cloud aggregation comes into play.

Cloud arbitrage

This entails finding the best cloud service provider(s) to solve a particular problem. One example is comparing different providers offering data storage services and identifying the one offering the most competitive rates.

Other cloud arbitrage brokers develop new solutions by combining the services of different cloud service providers and then offer them to cloud customers. While there are similarities between cloud arbitrage and cloud aggregation, the former is more flexible and allows the customer to transfer from one provider to another where conditions are more favourable.

Problems a cloud broker can help you solve

Just like with natural clouds, your experiences in cloud computing won’t be all white and fluffy. You’ll also encounter gray and uncertain (or even stormy) clouds.

One major issue in cloud computing is cloud security. In fact, cloud security (or the apparent lack of it) is the one thing that’s really clouding up the sky of cloud computing. But that doesn’t mean the cloud is totally insecure. Besides, there are certain types of information that really don’t require a high level of security. These types you can easily migrate to the cloud.

For sensitive information, you really need to conduct due diligence to make sure your cloud service providers’ data centres are secure enough.

Where exactly will your data be stored? Are there enough provisions for regulatory compliance? How will your data be segregated? Does the infrastructure readily support ?data forensics? Is there a sound disaster recovery/business continuity plan? These are just some of the questions that need clear answers before you sign a contract with a cloud service provider.

Suggested reading: 9 Cloud Security Questions You Need To Ask Service Providers

Also, before you sign, you need to study the SLA (Service Level Agreement) very carefully. Look at the guaranteed uptime. Is it enough to meet your own desired service levels?

Bear in mind that the answers to these questions may be too technical. This is one of those instances when a cloud broker can come in handy. As your trusted adviser, your cloud broker can break down the technical jargon and present everything in a language that you can make intelligent decisions from.

A cloud broker will also be able to study the cloud provider’s security architecture and policies and determine whether they’re sufficient to meet your own security requirements. Basically, a cloud broker will not only help you obtain answers to your questions.

He will also know exactly what vital information to extract from providers in order to ensure that you find the best deal possible.

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  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
What are Operational Reviews

Faced with growing competition, businesses continually need to find new innovative solutions and ideas to improved organizational performance, especially in various cut-throat industries where innovation and good management can make or break the company.

This is the reason why, businesses place greater emphasis on the evaluation of efficiency, effectiveness, and economics of its operations.

Conducting regular Operational Reviews are key to keeping your company at peak performance.

What is an Operational Review

An operational review is an in-depth and objective review of an entire organization or a specific segment of that organization. It can be used to identify and address existing concerns within your company such as communication issues between departments, problems with customer relations, operating procedures, lack of profitability issues, and other factors that affect the stability of the business.

Operational reviews allow the organization members to evaluate how well they are performing, given that they perform appropriately according to the procedures set by them, allocating their resources properly, and performing such tasks within time frame set and using cost-effective measures. More importantly, it also shows your company how well it is prepared to meet future challenges.

What are the objectives of an Operational Review

The goals of an operational review are to increase revenue, improve market share, and reduce cost.

An operational review allows the management to see their company in a different light i.e a larger perspective. That is, it gives the management the opportunity to evaluate if the entrusted resources were used wisely to achieve the desired results of operations.

Operational reviews provide a comprehensive assessment of authority in that they help define expectations, and empower people within an organization to enact? up on it. This is due feedback provided will help them to better gauge the value of tasks performed and whether the job is being done the right or wrong way, and on what areas the company can excel and improve on.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Questions worth considering in an Operational Review

Are you able to view your own organization as a whole from an objective angle?

Do the different departments complement each other so that they form a cohesive unit that boosts your business in the right direction?

With our comprehensive assessment of your organization?s current systems, operations, processes, and strategies, our operational review programs aim to help you in achieving these lofty goals: to improve business profitability and identify incompetence in both operations and organizational systems.

Benefits of an Operational Review

The main objective of an operational review is to help organizations like yours to learn how to deal with and address issues, instead of simply reacting to the challenges brought about by growth and change.

Information and data gathered in an Operational Review is practical from both a financial and operational perspective. Using? data, management can then formulate recommendations, which are not only realistic, but more importantly, can help the organization achieve its goals.

The Operational Review recognizes the extent to which your internal controls actually work, and enables you to identify and understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

What should be included in an operational review

  • Assess compliance within your own organizational objectives, policies and procedures
  • Evaluate specific company operations independently and objectively
  • Impartial assessment regarding the effectiveness of an organization’s control systems
  • Identify the appropriate standards for quantifying achievement of organizational objectives
  • Evaluate the reliability and value of the company’s management data and reports
  • Pinpoint problem areas and their underlying causes
  • Identify opportunities to increase profit, augment revenue, and reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of the product or service.

More Operational Review Blogs

 

Carrying out an Operational Review

 

Operational Reviews

 

Operational Efficiency Initiatives

 

Operational Review Defined

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  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK

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