How SaaS is becoming a necessity for business continuity today

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Published: May 25, 2020 1:00 AM

Today it has become more important than ever for the organisations to have a strong foundation in place for their business systems as there are challenges pertaining to business continuity, cash-flow, and supply-chain.

A modern suite of software as a service (SaaS) applications provides a complete, agile, secure, and integrated solution for an entire business, across functions.A modern suite of software as a service (SaaS) applications provides a complete, agile, secure, and integrated solution for an entire business, across functions.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, many companies have asked their employees to work remotely. This change has brought new ways of working digitally and some teams have experienced an easier transition than others with the help of cloud technology that is automating their business processes and allowing them to better cope with closing the books, remotely. “Current crisis will test people, processes, security and technology and businesses that are agile and able to adapt to change quickly only, will emerge as leaders,” Adrian Johnston, senior vice-president of Cloud Applications (SaaS) Oracle JAPAC (Japan & Asia Pacific) tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:

How can technology help organisations support their business continuity in today’s extraordinary business climate in the Asia Pacific region and in India?
Today it has become more important than ever for the organisations to have a strong foundation in place for their business systems as there are challenges pertaining to business continuity, cash-flow, and supply-chain. Current crisis will test people, processes, security and technology and businesses that are agile and able to adapt to change quickly only, will emerge as leaders. In times like these, it is important that businesses continue to innovate and pivot in order to achieve their business goals. Managing core processes and customer experience data on a single platform helps create operational efficiency, improves insights, enhances decision-making and enables businesses to be nimble and outpace market changes. A modern suite of software as a service (SaaS) applications provides a complete, agile, secure, and integrated solution for an entire business, across functions.

Can you give some examples on how SaaS solutions, including ERP, SCM, HCM and CX, are helping customers in the region to cope with business disruptions?
SRL Diagnostics is an example of how technology can be used to enable business continuity. This laboratory is using Oracle Service Cloud to manage a high volume of queries from their patients coming through to their website, mobile app and calls to the customer service center. Patients can now receive results of any tests within 24 hours via various digital channels like email, etc.

Save the Children is working round-the-clock to make sure that life gets a little easier for underprivileged sections of the society. The NPO is using Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud to enable seamless flow of supplies, resources, funds and procurement and make sure that there is no disruption in the relief work.

Hindalco Industries, a flagship aluminium and copper manufacturing company, used to face multiple challenges when it came to seamless collection of data from various locations and then filing financial reports on a real-time basis. Hindalco adopted Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud and streamlined their financial management and regulatory reports by utilising the power of data and smart automation in a cost-effective manner.
How are your SaaS customers getting better benefits by leveraging emerging technologies as compared to on-premise solutions?

Emerging technologies are impacting business outcomes, especially in today’s unprecedented times. Highly customised, on-premises solutions are siloed and often require multiyear deployments lack the agility, speed, interoperability, and simplicity required to tap into the business benefits of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital assistants and Internet of Things (IoT). This is why many organisations are turning to SaaS consumption models to more easily “turn on” “pay as you use” subscription models.

Can you give us some examples on how companies can stay efficient with new work from home mandates?
Many organisations and their HR teams are facing new and unprecedented challenges. Most have never operated with remote employees and are looking to find the best solution to make their employees’ work-from-home experience an easy and a productive one. Human capital management (HCM) applications can help by removing functional limitations and providing high-security platforms that can support business continuity anytime, anywhere and on any device.

In an effort to help our HCM customers cope with current situation, we are also providing free access to the Workforce Health and Safety module in Oracle HCM Cloud, which helps organisations track infected employees, manage data regarding the incident, etc. UST Global, one of our HCM customers, is using Workforce Health and Safety solution in extending support to their employees.

What are the characteristics of an effective business continuity plan?
Every effective plan needs to be based on hard realities. The same is true for the business continuity plan. The organisations need to first determine and evaluate the effects of any potential threat for business operations with business impact analysis. They need to factor in their employees, suppliers, and of course customers. An effective business continuity plan is based on “worst” and “most likely” scenarios. Businesses should consider these scenarios to identify new risks. Other potential risks such as financial, strategic, operational and external – and the probability of occurrence should also be considered. There should be transparency and open communication with all the important stakeholders regarding the efficacy of the plan or any course correction. Last but not the least, is the frequent and stringent monitoring of the whole process with pre-decided key performance indicators in place.

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