Mercedes F1 has just developed a breathing aid for COVID-19 patients after receiving regulatory approval and moving into production in under a week. This is just one example of new business models spun up on the fly to meet the new requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to adapt to uncertain operating conditions relies on the resilience of your IT systems, especially Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions, to drive flexibility and continuity.
Before everything, COVID-19 is a human tragedy. Organizations across the globe are working incredibly hard to ensure the safety of their people. Social distancing and self-isolation mean that more employees are working remotely. This is putting new levels of pressure on all aspects of IT operations.
After worker safety, the next priority for companies is to ‘keep the lights on’. How can you ensure your business survives the current crisis and also emerges stronger when the worst has passed? For many organizations, EIM solutions are at the heart of equipping their people with the information they need to do their job, whether in the office or at home. Ensuring you have the right level of people and resource to deliver optimal performance and availability from your EIM systems is these difficult times is no easy task.
Resilience is key to business
Reducing capacity on-site and increasing remote working means that simply maintaining business continuity is becoming a major challenge. However, with estimates suggesting COVID-19 could cost the global economy almost $3 trillion, companies need IT capabilities to create business resilience that lets them rapidly adjust to new market environments.
Most businesses will find themselves faced with new strategic imperatives and will need to be able to move quickly to respond. Whether that’s retooling to create medical supplies or refocusing on online sales channels, organizations are dealing with a limited IT resource, depleted through illness and isolation, that is being diverted onto new tasks while trying to maintain business as usual. In addition, some businesses, such as airlines and hotels, are finding some of their operating systems nearly idle while their call center and customer-facing systems deal with huge growths in volume.
The result is a massive scramble to manage and re-allocate IT capacity. It’s revealing resource shortages and vulnerabilities within organizations that need to be quickly and effectively addressed.
Offering a flexible alternative
For most organizations, the current challenge is to assure the quality of service given in very uncertain operating conditions. You need to know that you have the skills and resources you need – but only when and where you need them. For effective management, the ability to scale up and down quickly and effectively is essential.
As the pandemic develops, the ability to maintain data center and EIM operations worldwide with minimum resource on-site becomes a major factor. The shift to remote working has shown that IT teams can operate effectively but often require supplementary skills and support – especially EIM solutions where specialist skills and experience are needed, which are difficult to replace when your people are ill or have to self-isolate.
Organizations are turning to third-party providers such as OpenText Professional Services to deliver services in areas such as:
- Standby Expert Support: Available 24×7, this service allows you to call on the level of EIM skills and resource when you need them. It acts as a remote ’safety net’ for planned system events and business critical periods.
- Interim Staff Augmentation: This service delivers a flexible recourse pool of EIM technical skills and knowledge that you can call upon at short notice to provide coverage for planned or unplanned absence.
- Remote Technical Assistance: This service delivers the capabilities to remotely management your EIM systems anywhere in the world. Our technical team is spread throughout the globe to enable full remote management and maintenance when required.
- System Health Check: Another completely remote service, system health check will quickly identify and alert you to any potential issues and problems within the configuration and use of your EIM solutions.
Optimize Assist: Delivering remote skills and support
In uncertain times, you don’t need to go it alone. OpenText has a number of Optimize Assist services to meet individual business needs flexibly and cost-effectively. OpenText Professional Services has the largest team of EIM experts in the world who can quickly provide relief and guidance through this crisis. These services have been specifically designed to be customizable so organizations have flexible access to all the help they need to achieve business resilience and continuity.
Planning for the future
It may seem strange to say it now but this pandemic will pass and the organizations that succeed are likely to be those who learn the lessons from their experience and use their time and resources to plan for the future.
For example, when IT staff are taken from day-to-day operations, does this give you the potential to re-evaluate your IT operations? Can you re-assign people to look into areas such as architecture assessments, security reviews or upgrade planning? This is another area where Optimize Assist can help.
In addition, some organizations are looking to enhance the skills of their staff now that self-isolation has meant they are not so busy. OpenText Adoption & Learning Services has created a series of online courses to help your people get more from their enforced downtime. We’ll be looking at the learning services on offer in our next blog.