Was your IT organization prepared for the pandemic?

2.6k views7 Comments

Strategic Partner - Product Engineering SAP in Software, 10,001+ employees
The COVID period has tested the effectiveness of IT. But as an organization, we had zero downtime because even pre-COVID, every one of our employees across the board was enabled to work from any location. And part of that is because a lot of our folks tend to travel a lot and not to be in an office, especially in the front line. So we were ready way before the pandemic started.

So when the pandemic hit, for us it was more of a test of the infrastructure and the capabilities that we had. Apart from the fact that people couldn't physically meet each other, we had all the tools in place for the sales organization to continue to engage with the customer. Now, there might be different reasons why certain deals didn't come through (because companies on the other side might be having their own challenges) but in terms of making sure that everything is at the disposal of the sales folks, that was part of the planning that we had done years ago.

I wouldn't try to discount it and say we didn't scramble. For example, pre-COVID we had maybe 10 to 20 thousand employees globally logging onto our virtual infrastructure to do their work, but during COVID it went up to 100,000. So that was a scramble to ensure that the infrastructure can still support it because we had never tested it to such an extent. I know companies that limited their number of VPN tokens given out to employees. Those companies did scramble when they were told to work from home and they realized that they had one token for five people. That's exactly why we try to go above the day-to-day operations and look at how we continue to make the company grow, and what are some of the things you might want to do that you ordinarily would not have done. It gives additional capabilities for the company to grow.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Generally speaking, yes. While we never had pandemic in our playbook, we were always prepared for earthquakes or wildfires - which had a similar short term disruptive nature. What we were not prepared for was the duration of this particular workflow.
CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 11 - 50 employees
No. It was a hard lesson to learn and something that we add in the risk management planning for following years.
Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in Software, 10,001+ employees
Yes from an IT perspective
ISSO and Director of the IRU in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees
Yes, 100 percent prepared. We have been preparing for this type of event for years.
CEO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
Not at all
CEO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
No one could be prepared for the pandemic. We were not either. The discussion we had was to prioritize the topics and get ready on different topics. Many topics had to be handled in parallel and the different teams were broken up to handle them. In retrospect, could we have done it more efficiently- yes for sure. But I think we did the preparation fairly well.

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