The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has signed an agreement with Shanti Business School (SBS) for the remote, digital self-paced learning programme namely The CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme. According to the official statement, the partnership aims to enable SBS to offer the CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme to students currently enrolled in its post graduate diploma in management (finance) programme.
The statement said, CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme enables instant on-line access for aspiring business and finance leaders to learn finance skills to the equivalent of a master’s degree. It further provides a new guided learning and assessment route to complete CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification and earn the CGMA® designation. With the help of real-life case simulations, the programme aims to teach a mix of finance, accounting, business, people, leadership and digital skills that are needed to build successful careers, the statement added.
“We have partnered with Shanti Business School to promote our CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme, a complete digital learning platform which will enable business students to become Chartered Global Management Accountants and CIMA members. With the impact of digitalisation, it is crucial for students to have strong skillsets and competencies to stay competitive in job market. I believe the CGMA® Finance Leadership Programme is the right tool that students can use to get the relevant skills and mindset to prepare themselves for the future workforce,” Bhaskar Ranjan Das, director, South Asia, AICPA, CIMA, said.
Further, the statement mentioned that students can start their CIMA journey while studying with SLIIT and start the programme at the appropriate entry level, building on their existing educational achievements. On successfully completion of the programme and fulfillment of practical experience requirements, students will become CIMA members and earn the CGMA® designation, the statement noted.
“This collaboration with CIMA will provide opportunity for our SBS students to gain the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation, and will increase their employability and competitiveness on both the national and global labour markets,” Neha Sharma, director, Shanti Business School, Ahmedabad, said.
Also Read: While 57% of Indians aspire to study abroad, 83% believe foreign degree to provide competitive edge: Report
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What exactly is influencer marketing? How does it differ from other forms of advertising? And why should marketers care?
Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach new audiences.
Marketers use various strategies to identify influential individuals and gain access to their followers.
In this article, we’ll discuss what influencer marketing is and the variable for incorporating influencer marketing into a brand’s strategy.
Influencer marketing uses celebrities, athletes, bloggers, and other influential figures to market brands.
Influencers are those who have large social media followings and have the ability to influence their audience.
Brands use influencers to promote their product or service through paid advertisements, free giveaways, and endorsements. In addition, they can generate significant brand awareness and loyalty through paid or unpaid posts.
The goal is to get them to share valuable information and create excitement around a particular topic, product, or service. The key benefit for brands is that they reach a larger audience at a lower cost than traditional advertising methods.
However, this opportunity comes with some responsibility on the part of the brand.
Brands must be careful when choosing an influencer because it’s easy for them to fall in love with the idea of working with someone influential.
Unfortunately, without thorough background research, this can lead to a situation where a potentially ideal influencer promotes products that aren’t aligned with a brand’s values. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the influencer you want to work with aligns with your brand’s goals and values.
Influencer marketing also requires brands to pay influencers fairly. If you don’t pay your influencers what they deserve, they won’t promote your brand in the vision you want them to. Additionally, you can risk a potentially fruitful relationship.
When collaborating with an influencer, it’s essential to not just think of the total cost but the project’s goals and establish what you would like accomplished in the front end.
This can include a discovery call to plan out potential posts or how-to videos. Will you provide the content and supporting information, or will they? Of course, all this will affect the cost and time involved in creating the posts.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective ways to get people talking about your business online. It’s essential to know how to find the right influencers for your niche to ensure your message gets across.
A study showed that in 2022 influencer marketing is set to reach $16.4 billion and 75% of brand marketers plan to include influencer marketing in this year’s strategy. This type of marketing is growing fast and doing well.
And this isn’t just for B2C brands, since 86% of B2B brands find influencer marketing a valuable strategy. That’s a considerable return on investment if you have the right approach.
If you’re only using traditional digital marketing (SEO, PPC, social media, etc.), you’re clearly missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your ROI.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an agency, brand, or business – everyone can benefit from trying influencer marketing.
Don’t believe me? You should. Influencer marketing is not “out of your league.” Here’s why.
How many clients does your agency have? That’s how many new influencing opportunities your agency has at its fingertips.
Agencies can use their clients, the ones they like and like them, to help promote their agency for them.
Think of it like receiving a referral or customer review.
If someone enjoys working with you and the business next door asks how they got so successful so quickly, they’re going to tell the next-door business all about your agency and how you helped them.
Case Studies & New Content
Capitalize on this process and ask your clients for video testimonials to become a part of your referral program (create one) and if you can use their results for case studies.
If you’ve been able to impact a client positively, they’re highly likely to approve you sharing the story of how you took them from one to 10.
Gather a dozen different case studies from your past and current clients to publish on your website, social pages, email newsletters, and ads. This isn’t only additional content but content your existing and new clients will appreciate.
You can also make the case study an appealing PDF and share it with the case study client for them to share among their peers.
If you help them reach their goals, they’ll love the PDF filled with graphics, charts, and impressive numbers to share with other business owners.
Trial By Error
Another way to utilize your clients for influencer marketing is to ask your clients to test out a new product.
If they’re a big client of yours, it’s appropriate to let them know that your agency is trying to innovate with all of the tech advances, and you want to try a new strategy or product with them as a test.
FREE Of Charge
If things work out with the test, woohoo! You’ve added another section to the contract. And you have a new service or product to charge for in the future.
If things don’t work out, you get insightful and honest feedback from the client and know how to fix the product or plan.
One of the most significant ways I see brands utilize influencer marketing is by partnering up with other brands.
Before I get too deep into this, I want to clarify that there are prominent corporate players like Sprint and Blue Apron. And they’re also individual brands like famous Instagram users and YouTube celebrities.
A brand can be an individual brand, like you trying to grow your role as a digital marketer in the industry. However, it can also represent a larger entity for cosmetics and skincare like Maybelline.
Now, back to the brands and the whole influencer marketing idea. Brands will partner together in campaigns to help widen their audience with influencer marketing.
They can use relevant brands in the same industry or reach out of the spectrum and partner with entirely different brands to increase their exposure to a new audience.
When you work with an influencer in a different industry, you get a level of influencer where you can capitalize on the new audience. Be strategic in who you reach out to and ask to partner up in a new influencing campaign.
Partnering with the wrong brand will profoundly impact your brand’s reputation and possibly ruin it.
Red Bull partnering with Coca-Cola for a new content campaign also wouldn’t be the best of ideas. On the one hand, Red Bull is heavily involved in extreme sports. But, they’ve chosen that angle due to their real product, an energy drink named Red Bull that essentially “gives you wings,” to be extreme.
Sure, the Red Bull athletes could do an incredible stunt riding a mountain bike down the ledge of the mountain holding both a Coca-Cola and a Red Bull can, but what would be the point?
It wouldn’t make sense because, technically, the two can be seen as competitors. They both are on-the-go drink manufacturers.
Instead, Red Bull could partner with Nike and do a content campaign featuring Nike’s new apparel line, Red Bull’s energy drink, and summer sports.
Just because your brand is in the same industry as another doesn’t mean a collab will work. It’s important to research how your consumers will react to the ad.
We can most commonly recognize influencer marketing when businesses do it.
If your business makes pipes for the plumbing industry, head to that list of the most famous plumbers and start reaching out.
Doing outreach is a huge part of influencer marketing. It almost feels like putting on a public relations or journalist hat for a second as you try and narrow down your influencers.
Once you’ve found an influencer who has agreed to help promote your product, don’t just stop there. The more influencers you have, the more brand exposure you get, as well as trust.
The word will get around if one of the most famous plumbers uses your pipes for repairs. Other plumbers will trust the renowned plumber and follow in their footsteps to purchase and use only your pipes.
Sometimes, you don’t need to pay an influencer. Instead, samples of the product you’re asking them to promote, discounts, or free services usually suffice.
It changes and becomes a more costly strategy when you pick who the influencer is and depends on the type of content you want.
The bigger the influencer, the more they’ll want.
If you’re aiming for that Kardashian type of exposure, you will need to break out the wallet. And the credit card. And possibly your mortgage.
If you’re a brand, business, or agency with goals like a Kardashian type of exposure and the budget to match. Then, by all means, reach out to your lawyers and start preparing contracts for when you lock in those influencers.
Make sure your contracts clearly state the expectations of the influencer. For example, if you want them to run the content by you before they publish it, specify that in the contract.
If you want the influencer to only be able to promote your plumbing pipes and not work with any other pipe companies, state it in the contract.
For the rest of us, focus on the more affordable influencers. These people may already invest much of their time promoting your brand because they love your product or what you do.
Death Wish Coffee is an excellent example of this.
People love their product, the ridiculously strong coffee that comes with a side of sarcasm. The brand speaks its customer’s language, making it fun for customers to engage and promote the product themselves.
This coffee company can monitor its hashtag mentions and unlock hundreds of potential influencers that would love to receive a free month of coffee for posting more about their brand.
Look at what kind of mentions your brand, business, or agency is attracting online and follow the conversation. You’ll quickly discover who’s talking about you the most.
Then, look at their followers if they have a healthy following reach out and see if they’d be interested in partnering up with you on an influencer campaign.
Don’t stop reading. I know those of you who are rolling your eyes yelling, “NO ONE MENTIONS MY BRAND!”
Don’t worry. I’ve got a solution for you, too. Look at your big competitors. Think of the Red Bulls and Coca-Colas of your industry.
See what kind of mentions they’re getting and from who. Then, reach out to those influencers and pitch away.
You never know who will say yes unless you ask.
Plus, they may not want as much as you think or even be willing to promote for free after getting to know more about you and your business.
Nowadays, there are numerous influencer marketing tools out there that can help connect you with the right people and brands. So, if you’re having trouble finding people you want to work with, it can be beneficial to provide one of the tools a try.
Influencer marketing has become much more than just a buzzword.
Marketers have been using influencers to promote their products for years, but brands are now using influencers to build customer relationships and create new revenue streams.
By leveraging the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, marketers can connect directly with consumers through influencers.
This can help to increase brand awareness and drive sales. It can also open your brand, business, or agency to new audiences.
As we get closer to the end of this year, try strategizing the influencer marketing opportunities you have out there.
Featured Image: Anton Vierietin/Shutterstock
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For some years now, in my own climbing, I’ve prefer the company over the grade. Having the right company is the prerequisite for having a good adventure. And when I’m with Alessandro and Alberto I don't have second thoughts or need to ask myself questions: I know right from the outset that it’s going to be a beautiful day. It is a question of alchemy.
For some years now I accepted being, first and foremost, a photographer instead of a mountaineer. And anyways, when tieing in with a mountaineer like Alessandro, a superb expert of the Dolomites, I always feel like an absolute beginner.
And for some years now, whenever I’m out and about, I like make sense of the things we do. I can’t help it. And the meaning of this route stems from our desire to climb a mountain according to the rules of traditional mountaineering.
We followed the most logical line in the middle of the South pillar, following the vein of hyper-compact red and black limestone that has remained intact through this sea of crumbly overhangs. The climbing is never trivial, but the most difficult sections are protected by pegs. At each belay there’s at least one bolt (8mm), backed up by a peg. The belays up to pitch 7 are equipped with an abseil ring, above this it’s not possible to rappel the route without abandoning gear.
We decided to end the route by sharing the same exit as the other historic routes and we quickly continued up to the summit, just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset in a quiet corner of the Brenta Dolomites. Our beloved Brenta. Brenta Caput Mundi.
by Matteo Pavana
CAPUT MUNDI by Alessandro Beber
As you walk up into Val Perse, the elegant reddish pyramid formed by the south face of Cima Roma attracts the attention of all mountaineers. There’s a route that runs up the arête on the right, first ascended in the early 1970s by M. Pilati - V. Chini and R. Pellegrini, and another route put up by ace alpinist Matteo Armani back in 1935. The latter runs up the obvious corner on the left but, inexplicably, in all guidebooks it’s marked incorrectly; perhaps this is why the central overhangs remained untouched until we arrived in summer 2022!
I decided to spend the 8th of June, my birthday, with my friends and check out the route we’d envisaged. After an exciting first pitch, while establishing the belay I smashed my finger with a clumsy blow of the hammer. Game over for me, but luckily Matteo took the lead and added another couple of pitches that enabled us to enter the heart of the face… it looked superb!
We only manage to return at the end of August. My finger, which was still without a nail, suggested we take a drill to equip at least the belays, and we decide to follow this advice… so after a couple of days of work (the mountain isn’t exactly around the corner and the approach requires time) we manage to finish the line with series of great, highly satisfying pitches.
On the summit of Cima Roma we gazed across all the Dolomites. As the shadows around us lengthened, we were happy to be there together, three friends in the center of our little world.
by Alessandro Beber
Alessandro Beber thanks: Mountime-Outdoor Adventures, Montura and La Sportiva
Matteo Pavana thanks: La Sportiva, Patagonia, Mammut
TOPO: Caput Mundi, Cima Roma, Brenta Dolomites
Most organizations describe their risk management processes as insufficient and immature, despite perceived high volumes and complexities of risks
NEW YORK, September 27, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As global organizations face an increasingly complex risk environment, a new report issued today by the AICPA & CIMA and NC State’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative found that the majority have insufficient approaches to risk management and immature ERM processes. The report found that approximately 60 percent of global finance and business leaders agree that the volume and complexity of corporate risk have increased "mostly" or "extensively" over the last five years. However, over two-thirds of respondents do not have complete ERM processes in place.
The 2022 Global State of Risk Oversight: Managing the Rapidly Evolving Risk Landscape includes insights from a survey of 747 global senior finance and business leaders conducted in 2022. The survey measured finance-related executives’ assessments of the level of maturity in their organization’s proactive management of these risks through adoption of enterprise risk management (ERM) processes (a methodology that looks at risk management strategically from the perspective of the entire firm or organization and aims to identify, assess, and prepare for potential losses, dangers, hazards, and other potentials for harm that may interfere with an organization's operations and objectives and/or lead to losses).
Increased uncertainty and rapidly evolving events, including geopolitical shifts, supply chain disruptions, competition for talent, increased volume of available data, climate change concerns, and lingering effects of a global pandemic, are continuing to drive the complexity of risk challenges senior executives across the globe must navigate. Even when faced with these complexities of risks, fewer than half of respondents said they do not believe their risk management oversight model is "mature" or "robust" (Europe & U.K. – 31 percent, Asia & Australasia – 41 percent, Africa & Middle East – 26 percent, U.S. – 29 percent). And, similarly, only between one-third to one-half of respondents claim to have a complete ERM processes in place (Europe & U.K. – 33 percent, Asia & Australasia – 41 percent, Africa & Middle East – 29 percent, U.S. – 32 percent).
"Globally, organizations face the realities of an increasingly complex risk environment while realizing their current approach to risk oversight may be insufficient in a rapidly changing risk environment," according to Mark Beasley, KPMG Professor of Accounting and Director of the ERM Initiative at NC State. "And interestingly, even prior to the massively disruptive Covid-19 pandemic, business leaders have sensed an overwhelming volume and complexity of risks impacting their organizations. As this and our previous studies suggest, risk management does not appear to be getting easier."
Business leaders understand their organizations must take risks to generate returns. But there was a noticeable variation among respondents when asked if their risk management processes provided a competitive advantage. A higher percentage of respondents in Asia & Australasia (40 percent) and Africa & Middle East (34 percent) believe their risk oversight is providing an important competitive advantage, while the percentages are much lower in Europe & U.K. (13 percent) and the U.S. (11 percent). However, the report shows a disconnect among views from around the world when risk exposures are considered by senior executives when evaluating possible new strategic initiatives, with higher percentages reported in Asia & Australasia and Africa & Middle East (both 66 percent) and slightly lower in Europe & U.K. (58 percent) and the U.S. (47 percent).
"Business leaders that embrace the reality that risk and return are related are likely to increase their investment in enterprise risk oversight to strengthen their organization’s resiliency and agility when navigating the complex and uncertain risk landscape," said Ash Noah, CPA, CGMA, Vice President & Managing Director of Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. "Organizational value goes beyond the balance sheet. Along with providing protection for businesses, embracing ERM supports the creation of value and long-term viability and sustainability."
Additional key findings from the report include:
Respondents in most regions noted Covid-19 having "mostly" or "extensively" changed the nature of top risks affecting their organization - Europe & U.K. (48 percent), Africa & Middle East (61 percent), Asia & Australasia (71 percent), U.S. (41 percent).
Most executives do not believe their organization’s risk management processes provide competitive advantage - Europe & U.K. (13 percent), Africa & Middle East (34 percent), Asia & Australasia (40 percent), U.S. (11 percent).
About one-half of organizations outside of the U.S. describe their metrics for monitoring risks as "mostly" to "extensively" robust (Europe & U.K. – 47 percent, Asia & Australasia – 47 percent, Africa & Middle East – 50 percent), while only 31 percent in the U.S. describe their metrics at that level.
Most organizations (Europe & U.K. – 64 percent, Asia & Australasia – 64 percent, Africa & Middle East – 76 percent) claim to have a standardized process for identifying risks, where the U.S. is the exception at 51 percent.
The 2022 Global State of Risk Oversight: Managing the Rapidly Evolving Risk Landscape includes data collected during 2022 through an online survey of global business leaders across four core regions (Europe & the U.K., Asia & Australasia, Africa & the Middle East, United States). In total, 747 fully completed surveys were submitted. Of those about half serve in senior accounting and finance roles, with the remaining representing a variety of management positions within a range of industries.
About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, and AICPA & CIMA
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants® (the Association), representing AICPA® & CIMA®, advances the global accounting and finance profession through its work on behalf of 689,000 AICPA and CIMA members, students and engaged professionals in 196 countries and territories. Together, we are the worldwide leader on public and management accounting issues through advocacy, support for the CPA license and specialized credentials, professional education and thought leadership. We build trust by empowering our members and engaged professionals with the knowledge and opportunities to be leaders in broadening prosperity for a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future.
The American Institute of CPAs® (AICPA), the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and federal, state, and local governments. It also develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and builds the pipeline of future talent for the public accounting profession.
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants® (CIMA) is the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants. CIMA works closely with employers and sponsors leading-edge research, constantly updating its professional qualification and professional experience requirements to ensure it remains the employer’s choice when recruiting financially trained business leaders.
About North Carolina State University’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative
The Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative in the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University provides thought leadership about ERM practices and their integration with strategy and corporate governance. Faculty in the ERM Initiative frequently work with boards of directors and senior management teams helping them link ERM to strategy and governance, host executive workshops and educational training sessions, and issue research and thought papers on practical approaches to implementing more effective risk oversight techniques (www.erm.ncsu.edu).
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220927005281/en/
NC State University
The international community deserves credit for trying to negotiate, pressure, or conjure up democratic reform in Venezuela. But it’s time to realize that five separate internationally-sponsored efforts since 2002 haven’t led to a democratic opening. Nor have sanctions cracked the inner circle of the dictatorship. The diplomatic recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president hasn’t inspired change within Venezuela.
None of these well-intentioned efforts have succeeded because of the intractability of the Nicolas Maduro regime, the absence of a credible leadership option in the opposition, and the inadequacy of tools available to the international community. provide Maduro credit; he’s a catastrophe as a strategic leader, but he and his cronies, schooled in the short-term political culture of Venezuela, have been able to hang on. For Maduro, every day he’s still in charge is a good day.
A new approach is needed.
Part of the solution will be in place when the opposition has created a realistic and attractive governance option. That’s their mission, and the ability of the international community to help them do so is extremely limited.
A different kind of negotiation should be part of a new approach. With Presidents Gabriel Boric in Chile and Gustavo Petro in Colombia, combined with the possible election of Lula in Brazil — depending on the results of the upcoming elections there — there may well be a critical mass of progressive democratic leaders in South America. Unlike well-intentioned extra-hemispheric actors, each of these South American nations has paid significant costs for Venezuela’s instability: in millions of impoverished refugees straining social services, in cross-border security problems, and in dramatically decreased trade. The security and financial wellbeing of all three nations have been damaged by the Venezuelan mess. Their interest in addressing those concerns, along with their shared commitment to a progressive democratic model, present these leaders an unprecedented opportunity to press now for fresh talks focused on achievable solutions to Venezuela’s continuing problems.
Chile, Colombia, and Brazil should focus on practical and incremental steps going forward. A few examples of useful subjects for discussion would be: loosening media restrictions to permit at least one media outlet with an opposition viewpoint; agreement to permit opposition leaders to freely travel and speak within Venezuela; the establishment of a timeline for elections at some level to test Bolivarian reliability; a regularization of migration from Venezuela; and a reliable mechanism for providing humanitarian and health assistance to Venezuelans. Critics will dismiss such matters as tried and failed, but they have not been addressed under the auspices of weighty and politically well-positioned leaders like Lula, Boric, and Petro. Importantly, much as was done during the Colombian peace talks with the FARC, questions about lifting sanctions imposed by external actors should be pushed off until later in the discussions, when and if real progress is made.
The involvement of Boric, Petro, and potentially Lula brings additional advantages. They can serve as mentors to the Venezuelan opposition. Each of those leaders participated in long, frustrating, but ultimately successful political enterprises against an existing order which each believed to be fundamentally closed to real reform. Their achievements in gaining power through their nation’s democratic processes can serve as model and inspiration for the beleaguered Venezuelan opposition.&nbsp;
To be sure, there will be obstacles. If the regional leaders take up this cause, their views of reform may not completely overlap with those of the U.S. Additionally, some foreign policy stances of the new Petro government will cause skepticism. Colombia’s understandable re-establishment of relations with Venezuela has in practice been clumsily handled by the new Colombian ambassador, and Bogota’s lame refusal to join OAS condemnation of the Ortega dictatorship in Nicaragua was concerning. Chile may be distracted after the latest defeat of the constitutional referendum — but on the other hand, a change in focus might be refreshing for Boric. And finally, while Lula might well participate in South American outreach to Maduro, a re-elected Jair Bolsonaro almost certainly would not.&nbsp;&nbsp;
Nonetheless, a regional approach by these leaders is worth the effort. The Venezuelan people have suffered enough, and the Maduro regime has wrecked the country enough. Based on their nations’ interests and their democratic principles, the current crop of progressive South American leaders can press for real democratic change in a way that 20 years of desultory talks coordinated by well-meaning but disinterested outsiders has not.
Ambassador Kevin Whitaker&nbsp;is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. He served 42 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, achieving the rank of career minister. He was U.S. ambassador to Colombia from 2014 to 2019, the longest-serving ambassador to that nation in a century. Follow him on Twitter @AmbWhitaker
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With digital disruptors eating away at market share and profits hurting from prolonged, intensive cost wars between traditional competitors, businesses had been looking to reduce their cost-to-income ratios even before COVID-19. When the pandemic happened, the urgency hit a new high. On top of that came the scramble to digitize pervasively in order to survive.
But there was a problem. Legacy infrastructure, being cost-inefficient and inflexible, hindered both objectives. The need for technology modernization was never clearer. However, what wasn’t so clear was the path to this modernization.
Should the enterprise rip up and replace the entire system or upgrade it in parts? Should the transformation go “big bang” or proceed incrementally, in phases? To what extent and to which type of cloud should they shift to? And so on.
The Infosys Modernization Radar 2022 addresses these and other questions.
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Currently, 88% of technology assets are legacy systems, half of which are business-critical. An additional concern is that many organizations lack the skills to adapt to the requirements of the digital era. This is why enterprises are rushing to modernize: The report found that 70% to 90% of the legacy estate will be modernized within five years.
Different modernization approaches have different impacts. For example, non-invasive (or less invasive) approaches involve superficial changes to a few technology components and impact the enterprise in select pockets. These methods may be considered when the IT architecture is still acceptable, the system is not overly complex, and the interfaces and integration logic are adequate. Hence they entail less expenditure.
But since these approaches modernize minimally, they are only a stepping stone to a more comprehensive future initiative. Some examples of less and non-invasive modernization include migrating technology frameworks to the cloud, migrating to open-source application servers, and rehosting mainframes.
Invasive strategies modernize thoroughly, making a sizable impact on multiple stakeholders, application layers and processes. Because they involve big changes, like implementing a new package or re-engineering, they take more time and cost more money than non-invasive approaches and carry a higher risk of disruption, but also promise more value.
When an organization’s IT snarl starts to stifle growth, it should look at invasive modernization by way of re-architecting legacy applications to cloud-native infrastructure, migrating traditional relational database management systems to NoSQL-type systems, or simplifying app development and delivery with low-code/no-code platforms.
From the above discussion, it is apparent that not all consequences of modernization are intentional or even desirable. So that brings us back to the earlier question: What is the best modernization strategy for an enterprise?
The truth is that there’s no single answer to this question because the choice of strategy depends on the organization’s context, resources, existing technology landscape, business objectives. However, if the goal is to minimize risk and business disruption, then some approaches are clearly better than others.
In the Infosys Modernization Radar 2022 report, 51% of respondents taking the big-bang approach frequently suffered high levels of disruption, compared to 21% of those who modernized incrementally in phases. This is because big-bang calls for completely rewriting enterprise core systems, an approach that has been very often likened to changing an aircraft engine mid-flight.
Therefore big-bang modernization makes sense only when the applications are small and easily replaceable. But most transformations entail bigger changes, tilting the balance in favor of phased and coexistence approaches, which are less disruptive and support business continuity.
Phased modernization progresses towards microservices architecture and could take the coexistence approach. As the name suggests, this entails the parallel runs of legacy and new systems until the entire modernization — of people, processes and technology — is complete. This requires new cloud locations for managing data transfers between old and new systems.
The modernized stack points to a new location with a routing façade, an abstraction that talks to both modernized and legacy systems. To embrace this path, organizations need to analyze applications in-depth and perform security checks to ensure risks don’t surface in the new architecture.
Strategies such as the Infosys zero-disruption method frequently take the coexistence approach since it is suited to more invasive types of modernization. Planning the parallel operation of both old and new systems until IT infrastructure and applications make their transition is extremely critical.
The coexistence approach enables a complete transformation to make the application scalable, flexible, modular and decoupled, utilizing microservices architecture. A big advantage is that the coexistence method leverages the best cloud offerings and gives the organization access to a rich partner ecosystem.
An example of zero-disruption modernization that I have led is the transformation of the point-of-sale systems of an insurer. More than 50,000 rules (business and UI) involving more than 10 million lines of code were transformed using micro-change management. This reduced ticket inventory by 70%, improved maintenance productivity by about 10% and shortened new policy rollout time by about 30%.
Technology modernization is imperative for meeting consumer expectations, lowering costs, increasing scalability and agility, and competing against nimble, innovative next-generation players. In other words, it is the ticket to future survival.
There are many modernization approaches, and not all of them are equal. For example, the big-bang approach, while quick and sometimes even more affordable, carries a very significant risk of disruption. Since a single hour of critical system downtime could cost as much as $300,000, maintaining business continuity during transformation is a very big priority for enterprises.
The phased coexistence approach mitigates disruption to ensure a seamless and successful transformation.
Gautam Khanna is the vice president and global head of the modernization practice at Infosys.
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TEHRAN - The World Health Organization says Iran has taken a holistic approach to develop its new national influenza pandemic preparedness plan.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s new national influenza pandemic preparedness plan (IPPP) is comprehensive, multisectoral, and multidisciplinary, WHO said in a report published on October 14.
The national plan reflects lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, which were integrated in real-time, and includes other respiratory viruses with pandemic potential for a holistic approach.
In early 2019, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education began drafting its national IPPP, using the three-phased approach defined by WHO’s essential steps in developing or updating a national pandemic influenza preparedness plan.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Ministry continued developing the IPPP and expanded the planning process by analyzing the gaps and challenges faced during the response and developing a real-time roadmap and implementation plan.
Ultimately, this will help secure the plan’s endorsement by stakeholders and policy-makers.
Phase 1. Preparation and situation analysis
The Ministry reviewed national guidelines and emergency preparedness plans for landscape analysis. It also did a thorough review of national capacities related to the pandemic response, including face-to-face interviews with 39 stakeholders and provincial counterparts of 15 ministries.
International guidelines and COVID-19 pandemic response experiences of other countries were also reviewed, and lessons learned were continuously documented.
The Ministry then established the following ten pillars, or building blocks, for the plan: 1) national laws and regulations; 2) planning, coordination, budget, and support; 3) surveillance, rapid response, and risk assessment; 4) clinical management system; 5) health system response; 6) points of entry; 7) risk communications and community engagement; 8) maintenance of essential services; 9) supply of medical countermeasures; and 10) monitoring and evaluation of the control measures.
By the end of phase 1, the first draft of the plan was created.
Phase 2. Developing the plan
The first step in Phase 2 was to hold three consultative workshops between 25 and 30 June 2022 for identified stakeholders and key organizations under each pillar.
These workshops were supported through WHO’s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework Partnership Contribution. During these two-day workshops, participants – who held both executive and technical positions in their organizations – discussed strategic actions for each pandemic phase (interpandemic, alert, pandemic, and recovery).
They also planned tangible activities with timelines, responsible agency, and budget.
The Ministry is now starting the second step of Phase 2, which involves consolidating the outputs of the June workshops through a series of consultative meetings with strategic ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Interior.
The Ministry then intends to share the consolidated plan with the national steering committee for COVID-19 and influential policy-makers to get their support for implementation.
Phase 3. Evaluating, finalizing, and disseminating the plan
During Phase 3, the plan will be tested through a national tabletop simulation exercise, during which participants will propose tangible recommendations to revise and edit the plan.
Finally, the plan will be endorsed by high-level policy-makers, then disseminated to all stakeholders and sectors that contributed to the process.
Overall, this multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach towards drafting and updating the Islamic Republic of Iran’s IPPP is an example of how a national plan can be devised through a well-coordinated and structured mechanism focusing on multi-level capacity strengthening.
HIGHLIGHT: The national plan reflects lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, which were integrated in real-time, and includes other respiratory viruses.
Nothing divides Bengalis right down the middle more than football. Whether it is the local derby of Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal or the World Cup rivalry of Brazil-Argentina, supporting one or the other can sometimes make or break families.
The beautiful game and its iconic rivalries have been acknowledged even during Durga Puja where pandals have been shaped like the football with Brazil-Argentina colours adorning the walls. This festive season it found its place on a sari at Art in Life, CIMA Gallery’s annual lifestyle exhibition. Woven in Phulia, this cotton sari depicts a Brazil-Argentina match in progress and it has found a home with the ambassador of Brazil to India, Andre Aranha Correa Do Lago.
“I met the ambassador and his wife at a dinner and happened to show them a picture of the sari. He immediately said that I am coming to CIMA tomorrow and ‘you will please keep that sari for me’!” said Pratiti Basu Sarkar, chief administrator of CIMA.
The sari has a white base with a thin red border. The body of the sari is decorated with little yellow-and-black footballs, but it is the pallu where all the action is happening. Twenty two players in Brazil and Argentina jerseys are shown battling it out, and it seems like Brazil has the ball. A fact that prompted the Brazilian ambassador, who visited CIMA with his wife Beatrice on Sunday, to joke about how he must show it to the Argentinian ambassador because Brazil was winning!
The on-pallu action even includes goal posts, the referee and two line referees.
“The ambassador observed how this football madness is another thing that is common to Brazil and Bengal,” said Sarkar, who pointed out how each of the figures were woven into the sari, not painted, printed or stitched. “The whole sari and every detail is entirely woven on a hand loom, which is what makes it such a great piece.”
Art in Life is on till October 1 at CIMA Gallery, 11am-8pm every day.