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We migrated from Windows XP using lean technology: Orbis CIO

Orbis Financial Corporation Ltd is a Gurgaon based non-banking financial
services company that made its foray in the financial services domain in
2009. The company was using Windows XP since 2009. Since XP is becoming obsolete, the company wanted to migrate to a new operating system
for all its systems but finding it difficult to do so. Orbis chose to deploy desktop virtualization to deal with the
challenge. Mani Kant Singh R, Head—IT & Security, Orbis Financial

Orbis Financial Corporation Ltd is a Gurgaon based non-banking financial
services company that made its foray in the financial services domain in
2009. The company was using Windows XP since 2009. Since XP is becoming obsolete, the company wanted to migrate to a new operating system
for all its systems but finding it difficult to do so. Orbis chose to deploy desktop virtualization to deal with the
challenge. Mani Kant Singh R, Head—IT & Security, Orbis Financial
Corporation throws more light on this. Excerpts:

What was the biggest challenge Orbis
Financial faced with regard to its IT infrastructure?

Orbis Financial Corporation was struggling to migrate to a new operating
system. All the PCs were using Windows XP, an operating system which has been
declared defunct. This was a huge security risk for the company. Plus XP
was causing a lot of problems. We wanted to move ahead and bring in the new
solution. But it was a very difficult task. As you know every organization,
especially in the financial sector, is facing the same challenge and is still
not sure how to migrate to a new operating system.

Were you able to make the move?
Orbis Financial Corporation ably moved from the Windows XP systems addressing
all challenges by strategically steering ahead with precision and agility.
We are successfully leveraging smart and lean technology solutions like desktop
virtualization.

Given the growing market volatility
and complex processing requirements, Orbis is focused on meeting the
growing demands of investors by offering premium investor services. This it
does by combining the best technology solutions and applications,
automating processes and establishing necessary controls and procedures to
create value for its stakeholders. We have to stay ahead by introducing the best-in-class
technology.

Other than the defunct OS what troubled the company most?
The company’s existing IT
infrastructure had gone obsolete over time. There were nearly 42 thin
clients with an average age of 4 to 6 years. The hardware of these devices was
bulky, with moving parts. Due to their big size, these devices couldn’t be
mounted behind the monitors, and had to be kept on the desk. Invariably,
there were instances of these devices falling on the floor and getting
damaged. Users called for IT support every now and then. Besides,
there was no way to centrally manage these devices.

Was migration to the new OS
a cakewalk?
It certainly wasn’t a cakewalk. The
thin clients were only compatible with the Windows XP operating system—the
operating system that has already gone obsolete. This posed operational
issues as users couldn’t perform financial transactions involving reading
of digital certificates. Hence, the company decided to replace these
outdated devices and migrate to the Windows 7 platform.  As part of the strategy, the company deployed
desktop virtualization solution. Desktop virtualization comes with a whole lot
of benefits and saves you the cost of hardware. The company ran through a
market search round to find a suitable partner. We ended up with NComputing’s L-series virtual
desktops which are claimed to be affordable and energy-efficient. The solution helped
us address the key IT challenges that Orbis was faced with.

What all benefits have Orbis derived from the
deployment?
Orbis has received a whole lot of benefits
after deploying the desktop virtualization solution:

Flexible and rugged: The desktop virtualization devices bundle a
sophisticated SoC (system on chip) form factor, are sleek and immensely
rugged with no moving parts. The devices come with a docket and can be
mounted behind the monitor. This clears up space on the desk. What’s more,
since it is a plug and play system, it renders a lot of flexibility of use.

Savings that are evident: Orbis saved over 50 percent on the hardware cost, and
over 90 percent on maintenance cost and support time. Power and backup
cost savings are also noteworthy.

Central management: Since the desktop virtualization devices can be
managed and updated centrally, it saves the support team a lot of time and
effort.

Green IT: These
devices have no moving parts such as fan, and do not emit any heat. So,
the CO2 emission is extremely low.

Performance par excellence: Deploying desktop virtualization has improved speed
and performance of PCs and this has in-turn improved employee
productivity. Users now get to experience uninterrupted, hassle-free
PC-like experience.

Perfect mapping of requirements: The
desktop virtualization solution can be easily deployed in any setup based
on the requirements. Orbis faced relatively less problems while deploying the
solutions and making it mainstream.

Do you also use cloud
computing?

Cloud computing is a trend no organization can afford to miss, if it wants to
deliver better experience to customers. In my opinion, organizations are fast
moving the value-chain and adopting cloud-based solutions. Virtualization is
one such step we have taken. Besides, there are applications that run on cloud.

Do you find traces of BYOD and Shadow IT in your
organization? How does it affect your routine as a CIO?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and shadow IT
is a reality in every company these days. And they pose a lot of challenge for
the IT departments. However, it is good if we prepare to embrace them. While
they pose challenge to IT departments, they help the organization in multiple
ways. Employees are more productive. Departments are able to choose best of the
breed applications.

 

 

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