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Focus on digital transformation is key to prepare for business continuity: Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India

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A crisis of this scale calls for businesses to relook at their existing protocols and facilities and identify opportunities to fine-tune their infrastructure, opines Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India, in an interview with Express Computer

Some edited excerpts

From an IT standpoint, what are some of the key initiatives initiated by NetApp in ensuring that business continues as usual?
Our IT team has worked swiftly and surely to deliver business continuity through our always-on infrastructure. Our seamless Virtual Private Network offers connectivity across all enterprise networks. We deployed NetApp Virtual Desktop to enable easy access into our infrastructure for employees. Our ongoing focus on security is paying dividends in our ability to enable a remote workforce while securing our intellectual property. Custom tools such as NetApp NAC (Network Access Control) enhance network security at every end point. A Multi Factor Authentication approach has become the rule of the day in ensuring secure connectivity to the corporate infrastructure.

Our employees are well informed to steer clear of any opportunistic phishing attacks. We have also ensured availability of replacement assets that can quickly be shipped to employees in need.

What are some of the key challenges faced to ensure a Work from Home Policy?

A robust infrastructure is essential for business continuity. Some of the challenges in working from home include unstable home Internet connections, occasional broadband bottlenecks, power fluctuations and outages and sometimes, hardware failures. As work and home life get integrated, other challenges are emerging. School and home life is also integrating, multi-worker households are also integrating, work days are getting flexible, and the lines between personal time and professional time are blurring.

Our teams are constantly sharing work-from-home best practices to maintain balance while remaining productive, being tolerant of intrusions that are inevitable when this situation exists for a sustained period.

What are some of the key lessons learnt during this crisis?
The biggest lesson is a pleasant one – we are capable of bringing our best infrastructure forward when in times of need, we are able to be productive and focus on making our customers successful in these challenging times.

What are some of the technology tools used to facilitate smooth collaboration between employees?
As with most technology companies, we have licenses in place for tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and such. NetApp’s own hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud data fabrics is enabling us to stay productive and continue to innovate. We are focused on is a use-of-tools approach wherein these tools are being used as effectively as possible. While infrastructure or technology are the means, it is the motivation and engagement with employees that drives collaboration. We have had large all-hands style meetings with great success- not just through these tools, but also through the engaging style of our leadership.

Do you believe that the current mandatory use of remote work for business continuity is a signal to all organizations that it’s time to revisit their remote working policies and redesign them for wider application for business as usual?
Today more than ever before, digital transformation is an important aspect of managing any business. Every business now relies on technology for development, reach, logistics, and operational savings. While work-from-home is a fallout of the situation we are in today, the focus on digital transformation is the key to prepare for business continuity. Most performance or capacity issues can be mitigated with a modern outlook to technology infrastructure.

NetApp has a flexible work culture and employees avail work from home when circumstances call for it. Our teams collaborate globally, we engage with our customers across geographies. Going beyond work-from-home, we use the same tools that we build for our customers. One such example is NetApp Active IQ, a built-in support feature is used to proactively monitor our environment for capacity and performance issues before they occur.

A crisis of this scale calls for businesses to relook at their existing protocols and facilities and identify opportunities to fine-tune their infrastructure. The future demands that we support and empower our workforce to keep their productivity high – and extend our businesses to our customers in a smooth digitized manner.


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