Many companies had a pandemic plan in place prior to COVID-19. I'm interested in hearing how effective the plan was and what changes you've made based on your learnings so far?
Yes, we remote enabled our IS staff over the past several months because we wanted to have the capability to allow them to work from home at least 1 day a week. With some home-processors we also had secure access via VPN and VDI set up and just upgraded the services. When COVID-19 hit, we "just" scaled up and within 2 days our whole office staff can now work from home. We are already in week 3 of working from our home offices and it went without a glitch. We actually interviewed, hired and on-boarded the first employee without her setting even a foot into our company.
We've embraced remote work over the last few years, as opposed to prior years where everyone had to come to our physical location to perform their daily job duties. We're sort of a mix of IT and Document QA, and we've experienced two significant outcomes from these events;
1. We had three people (out of ~375 in the business) whom did not have work from home equipment available as part of their role.
2. We had to order equipment for ~60 people sooner than otherwise planned, as our Document QA staff graduate over time, from point of hire, to working from home.
Both challenges were trivial to overcome, and did not significantly impact budget.
There's naturally been some observations to resolve, mostly around firewall management. For example, we've had to block certain streaming services from out work from home (VPN remote access), as bandwidth suddenly became very precious!
In hindsight, this has significantly been a non-event as the business had already embraced remote work and solved a lot of the performance management challenges inherent.
Great topic for conversation now and going forward. It’s a smart practice to always do a “post-mortem” on your executed business plans. And after we get back to the new normal, I believe a lot of organizations will be evaluating the effectiveness of their DR/BC plans and making changes from the experiences over the COVID-19 response. For those organizations that had not fully embraced remote IT managed services, you now have the hard justification to explore and expand this capability with your Board. There are some very solid companies that you can partner with in this area. Connect with other IT Pack members and find out whom they are using today and learn from their experience. This exchange is one of the many great benefits of being an IT Pack member.
We did NOT have a remote worker plan for our IT department however we had for sometime many tools other departments used. We had always been prepared to scale quickly as we are in a hurricane region. We very quickly were able to implement these tools and scaled them. It has worked so well we are starting to expand in to remote working onboarding and training. Usually a situation we are in for hurricane preparedness had been a short term work from home. Since this situation has gone on for weeks we have found many creative ways to improve and expand what we are doing in our business side and clinical side.