Talent as a Service (TaaS), the new model in Talent Acquisition

Talent as a Service (TaaS), the new model in Talent Acquisition

Talent as a Service (TaaS)

Advancements in Cloud technologies created the opportunity for concepts like software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). These “services” concepts are designed to offer cost optimization, speed, agility and scalability. Talent as a Service (TaaS) is a new model in talent acquisition that disrupts the traditional workforce staffing by borrowing concepts from the gig economy and introducing a unique approach to crowd sourcing open roles.  With staffing shortages brought on by COVID-19, traditional staffing models are no longer an option

What is TaaS?

Talent as a service (TaaS) is a flexible staffing model that provides businesses access to hire high-skilled, experienced staff, on-demand.  Vigilant offers TaaS for a specific duration and purpose (e.g. projects) or as a way to leverage a talent to support a role function (managed service).

Be wary of TaaS providers using the TaaS concept to rebrand contract staffing and placement, which retains the same limitations of the staffed contractor, which includes limited experience, lack of ownership, and does not share consideration or importance for building a long-term partnership.

Why Vigilant TaaS?

Skills on Demand

Businesses are often faced with limitations of capacity or lacking a specialized skill to complete critical business initiatives.  TaaS empowers businesses to deliver key projects with on-demand talent to keep organizations agile and adaptable to today’s rapidly shifting markets.

Cost Optimization

With Vigilant TaaS, you only pay for the services you use. You on-board our staff for the mutually agreed duration then release the manpower when the term or project completes. It is that simple.  Vigilant TaaS is a great way to control your staffing costs and eliminating other benefits such as health insurance and bonuses.

Flexibility and Scalability

Vigilant TaaS enables on-demand access to talent to give you the flexibility to scale teams up and down, to meet your business needs.  With Vigilant TaaS, you now can adapt to changing priorities, without missing out on opportunities.  Vigilant TaaS is like having your cake and eating it too.

Speed

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how we work and live our lives.  The pandemic has created market shifts we have never seen before in our lifetimes that are happening in rapid-fire succession.  Businesses are having to react and adapt in real-time to keep up with the market shifts.  Organizations are having to make decisions between short-term needs and long-term strategies.  Vigilant TaaS eliminates the “either / or” decision by rapidly deploying talent to meet all of your business needs.

Innovation

Vigilant is a full-stack technology professional services firm.  We leverage One Vigilant, to put the strength of our 300+ employees behind every project or function we support.  The collective knowledge ensures we are leveraging the right solutions by maximizing the best technologies to support businesses reaching their goals.  The strength of Vigilant also allows businesses looking to employ new technologies, such as AI, Blockchain, Analytics, or other unique skill to have access to talent to explore these new technologies.

Thank you for reading.

Learn more about Vigilant’s TaaS (Talent-as-a-Service) Offerings

Cloud Adoption Framework

Cloud migration in the Cloud Adoption Framework

Introduction

Any enterprise-scale cloud adoption plan will include workloads that do not warrant significant investments in the creation of new business logic. Those workloads could be moved to the cloud through any number of approaches: lift and shift; lift and optimize; or modernize. Each of these approaches is considered a migration.

The below steps will help establish the iterative processes to assess, migrate, optimize, secure, and manage those workloads.

To prepare you for this phase of the cloud adoption lifecycle, Vigilant Technologies recommend the following:

The Migrate methodology and the steps above build on the following assumptions:

  • The methodology governing migration sprints fits within migration waves or releases, which are defined using the Plan, Ready, and Adopt methodologies. Within each migration sprint, a batch of workloads is migrated to the cloud.
  • Before migrating workloads, at least one landing zone has been identified, configured, and deployed to meet the needs of the near-term cloud adoption plan.
  • Migration is commonly associated with the terms lift and shiftor rehost. This methodology and the above steps are built on the belief that no datacenter and few workloads should be migrated using a pure rehost approach. While many workloads can be rehosted, customers more often choose to modernize specific assets within each workload. During this iterative process, the balance between speed and modernization is a common discussion point.

Migration effort

The effort required to migrate workloads generally falls into three types of effort (or phases) for each workload:

  1. Assess workloads,
  2. Deploy workloads,
  3. and release workloads.

In a standard two-week long iteration, an experienced migration team from Vigilant Technologies can complete this process for 2-5 workloads of low-medium complexity.

More complex workloads, such as SAP, may take several two-week iterations to complete all three phases of migration effort for a single workload. Experience and complexity both have a significant impact on timelines and migration velocity.

Migration waves and iterative change management

Migration iterations deliver technical value by migrating assets and workloads. A migration wave is the smallest collection of workloads that deliver tangible and measurable business value. Each iteration should result in a report outlining the technical efforts completed.

Next steps

The steps outlined above can help you develop an approach to improve processes within each migration sprint. The approach at Vigilant Technologies can ensure that common tools and approaches needed during your first migration wave will render a successful result.

Read more about Vigilant’s Azure Cloud Migration Services

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Author:
Stephen Clark

Principal – Technology Strategist, Vigilant Technologies

Azure SQL Migration Roadmap

Getting Started with Azure SQL

Introduction

Vigilant Technologies can help your team successfully move your SQL Server workloads to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance and save up to 85 percent with Azure Hybrid Benefit and reserved capacity pricing.

Our team of SME DBA’s can ensure that you get a fully managed database service with built-in security and performance monitoring for managing hundreds to thousands of databases at scale. For SQL Server workloads that use SQL Server Analysis Service, SQL Server Reporting Service, and other non-engine capabilities, Vigilant Technologies can ensure a successful shift and move to SQL Server in a VM to get extended security updates at no extra charge.

The Vigilant Approach…

The Vigilant Technologies SQL Migration Roadmap consists of five stages, each encompassing several important tasks required to complete a successful migration to Azure cloud services.

The purpose of each stage can be summarized below, but we will look at each stage in more depth in the sections to follow:

  1. Initiate and discover – Understand your database footprint and potential approaches to migration
  2. Assess – Assess the discovered workload requirements and any dependencies
  3. Plan – Plan and describe the workloads to be migrated, the tool to be used for migration and the target platform for the workload
  4. Transform – Transform and optimize any workloads not currently compatible with modern data platforms. Optimize workloads to take advantage of new features
  5. Migrate, validate and remediate – Perform migration, validate successful migration, and remediate applications where required



Other Options with Vigilant Technologies – SQL PaaS

Azure SQL Database is a fully managed service that is comparable to a traditional on-premises SQL Server deployment, but greatly enhances SQL performance and robustness by making performance levels and storage capacity easily upgradable as well as providing standard high availability.

Azure SQL Database delivers predictable performance at multiple service levels that provides dynamic scalability with no downtime, built-in intelligent optimization, global scalability and availability, and advanced security options — all with near-zero administration.

These capabilities allow you to focus on rapid app development and accelerating your time to market, rather than allocating precious time and resources to managing virtual machines and infrastructure. Azure SQL Database currently resides in 38 data centers around the world, with more data centers coming online regularly, enabling you to run your database in a data center near you.

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Author:
Stephen Clark

Principal – Technology Strategist, Vigilant Technologies

6 Challenges CFOs solve with RPA

6 Challenges CFOs Could Solve with
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Introduction

CFOs and finance executives are always looking to accelerate and increase efficiencies across finance and accounting functions so accountants can focus more on the risks and opportunities for the company.  Streamlining operations equates to greater business agility to immediately identify when market turbulences occur then effectively respond and navigate to meet customer and shareholder demands.

With systems not evolving fast enough to meet the business needs, finance and accounting functions are required to accommodate these needs with manual work-arounds or by employing more resources.  These events have opened the doors for new technology solutions to more rapidly adapt to business needs to accommodate changes without having to employ armies of staff on or off-shore.

In this article, we will explore Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and the benefits and opportunities CFOs must consider for transforming Finance and Accounting functions.

What is RPA?

In simple terms, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a computer software (aka “robot” or “Digital Worker”) that emulates the actions of a human interacting with a computer.  RPA is best used to perform any manual task that is repetitive, easily defined, and high volume.

With RPA, digital workers replicate the mouse and keyboard functions of an employee but can go beyond the human interaction aspect and leverage more technological solutions, like running queries, calling APIs and Web Services, and conducting advanced analytics within the robot.  Additional benefits of employing digital workers are the 24/7 work, ability to rapidly scale to meet demand, and flattening the peak demand from your financial close.

1. Streamlining business processes

According to a report published by the McKinsey Global Institute, 42% of finance activities can be fully automated and an additional 19% can be mostly automated. RPA is good for simple tasks, like checking for FX rate changes, to complex processes, like reading bank statements for bank reconciliations.  Other examples where RPA is often used are: Entry of sales orders, cash application, account reconciliations, vendor registration, purchase order creation, invoice registration, journal entry uploads, report retrieval, assembly, and preparation.

Imagine what you can do with over 50% of your finance and accounting processes automated effectively, efficiently, standardized, and with quality.

Related readings: Transforming the Finance Function with Automation 

Finance Function | Process Automation

2. Improving productivity and reducing operational costs

The intent of RPA is to automate repetitive, standard, and manual low-value work.  Employing robots streamlines business operations and returns hours to the business and enables employees to focus on higher-value tasks.  Freeing up resources also enables employees to work on high priority projects that are often tabled because resources are only able to keep up with the volume of manual work.

Poor data quality costs businesses millions of dollars each year because employees will accommodate bad data and integrate work-arounds as part of their day-to-day work.  Poor data quality will trickle through an organization, causing dependent processes to also accommodate the data issues.  For example, unstructured vendor entry can cause additional lookups in procurement, invoice registration, cash application, and vendor reporting.   RPA can be used to standardize data entry and validate data to ensure data quality at the acquisition point of the data.

Accurate and standardized data means faster processing which translates to faster report generation, which accelerates Close, Financial Analysis, Analytics, and more.

Processes automated with RPA can also be repurposed to support time-consuming system upgrade projects that tie up your most knowledgeable resources with user acceptance testing.

Related readings: RPA can fix your data quality issues

3. Reducing operational risk (aka Enable your team to excel, not Excel)

Does your organization have to certify an Excel workbook, as a system of record?  Does your F&A team specialize in complicated macros and formulas?  Are you at risk of a key-man dependency because someone on the team built a complex macro-laden, formula powered, cross-referencing data behemoth of an Excel workbook?

RPA is a great way to eliminate End User Tools (EUT/EUC) and the risk of corrupted Excel files.  RPA also ensures that the same steps are always completed the same way, which eliminates the risk of an accountant not refreshing a lookup table or retrieving the most up-to-date results.  RPA processed data will be standard, consistent, documented, and auditable.

4. Scale operations to meet growing demands

Processes automated with RPA can return a significant number of hours back to your business, which enables team members to refocus on what is important, such as identification of risks, errors, and opportunities.  Standardizing processes also enable the automated process to scale in the event of higher transaction volumes or seasonality, which reduces costs associated with hiring (FTE or temp workers).

Be aware that most RPA practitioners want to automate accounting tasks based on an individual’s user requirements, which is not scalable and cannot also automate comparable functions across Finance and Accounting teams.  Our extensive experience supporting finance and accounting functions helps us to identify automation components that can be repurposed across a multitude of processes, which not only helps to speed up automation deployment, but also establishes standards and consistency in processing.

5. Optimizing key performance indicators (KPIs)

A big challenge we often see when automating finance and accounting departments is that most companies do not have any metrics to support where employees spend their time, processing times, or volumes.  The implementation of RPA enables organizations to drill into the details on how teams are utilizing their time.  We often see a lot of inefficiencies in manual business processes, so we use the captured information to reengineer the process for automation to ensure that the processes run more efficient and effectively.

RPA also enables the tracking of processes for volume counts, average processing times, processing costs, and exceptions.  Isolating and analyzing exceptions can further improve process efficiencies, but it requires operational metrics to understand how well the processes are being executed.

Related readings: Understanding benefits realization with RPA

6. Ensuring compliance requirements are being met

RPA is effective for supporting and ensuring compliance across your organization. RPA ensures greater compliance since the defined actions within an automated process are always executed in a consistent manner with more accuracy and higher quality.  This ensures greater compliance across all business processes.

RPA also improves oversight and auditability, because a Digital Worker’s defined actions are captured during execution into an audit log for monitoring and auditing, which simplifies operations and enables compliance concerns to be addressed more quickly.  The log is also helpful in troubleshooting processing issues.

Conclusion

With the job requirements of CFOs to be more focused on the company’s viability, long-term growth strategies, short-term crisis navigation, and managerial decision-making, there is less time for focusing on the day-to-day functions.  Leveraging RPA will help free your staff from the low-value tasks and functions to create business agility by transforming and reshaping the finance function from number crunchers into data-driven, strategic partners your business needs.

Author:

Joshua Gotlieb

Intelligent Automation Practice Director, Vigilant Technologies