Everybody in business must have already realized how crucial is IT role to help individuals and organizations in overcoming disastrous circumstances. COVID 19 had forced the world into largest ever global lockdown, when all markets and businesses had been impacted simultaneously with an unprecedented and unpredictable health crisis of a unique nature on a devastating scale. Business had to retreat to virtual and remote work, where IT and technology applications and instruments have been the key survival tool.
IT professionals and providers, in contrary to other areas of business, have faced a sudden peak in demand and heavy operational work load. Taking in consideration that not all individuals are well adept to using technology tools for remote business conduct, nor all organizations are ready with the essential infrastructure to accommodate such continuation of business remotely, IT people had several tasks to carry on:
- Education and familiarization of various staff members on technologies and tools to be used for remote business conduct, maybe through one-on-one or group coaching
- Availing, acquiring, and setup of communication and collaboration tools that facilitate team work during offsite times
- Securing the online environment to protect business assets in transit over public networks and the internet, and ensuring proper access rights of authorized staff only
- Planning for long-term disaster recovery plan, knowing that the situation is not clear enough, with no end time visible in the horizon
IT response to such situation has differentiated between well-prepared and not sufficiently mature organizations in adopting continuity management practices. The IT function is expected to be always on standby position, ready to encounter any unexpected disturbance to the business and respond accordingly. Disaster recovery sites and backup plans are well known techniques used by IT departments to be ready for such cases. Continual education and raising awareness of staff is also when of the roles played by IT for business sustainability. It's always better and cheaper to take preventive actions rather than entering into fighting mode under pressure when disaster strikes.