COVID-19: Ensuring Business Continuity

March 20, 2020 - by Tim Britt

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COVID-19: Striking a Fine Balance between our Human and Business Responsibilities

During this unprecedented time, the coronavirus pandemic is impacting everyone, including us. As the situation continues to unfold, we wanted to update you on how we’re supporting our employees, our community and you — our customers and partners.

Where Synoptek Stands

At Synoptek, our primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and well-being of our people — including employees, vendors and temporary staff as well as the communities they work in. Following the CDC guidelines, we’ve taken steps to reduce the need for people to come into our offices, enabled all of our employees to work remotely and canceled all non-critical business travel and vendor visits.

We’re also committed to keeping our customers’ systems up and running smoothly and are highly trained and well-equipped for disaster preparation and recovery and have taken the necessary steps to ensure the stability and safety of all our customers’ systems and data as well as the safety of their employees. We’re also monitoring our services to ensure we meet our contractual commitments in our service level agreements (SLAs).

The Impact Globally and on Business Continuity

According to the statistics as on March 25, there have been more than approximately 425,662 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 18,951 deaths from the disease in 140-plus countries and territories. For organizations, exponential case-count growth is hard to internalize unless you have experienced it before, and many business leaders are finding it difficult to respond correctly. When it comes to the boots hitting the ground, procedures in a manual don’t always conform, leaving many leaders to choose not to escalate, creating worse issues for their organizations.1

What We Can Do to Plan for Now and Going Forward

As Synoptek continues to adapt to this new environment, along with our customers, we need to focus on combating the effects of COVID-19 with resilience. Regardless of your specific industry or where you are in the world, we want to share some practical ideas on what you can to do to respond immediately as well as plan for longer-term changes.

1. People First

Understand the effect COVID-19 has on your employees and partners and provide direct support to groups who are most impacted and customize those solutions, if needed. This new uncertainty means many companies have decided — or will decide — to perform all work virtually in response to the pandemic.

  • Determine what working virtually means for your business. Is this a short-term exception or a long-term solution? How does your company continue to work to create value in this new environment?
  • Expand virtual capabilities with the technology, tools and practices that support collaboration, productivity, culture, and business continuity
  • Align responsibilities with leadership and teams

2. Tackle Workplace Disruptions.

When you take care of your employees, they can focus on taking care of your customers.  Address the day-to-day changes you may need to implement to keep your customer response running smoothly — from division of workforce to compensation for increased sick leave to reduced hours.

3. Leverage Technology to Address Customer Demand.

Whether this outbreak surges or lulls business, ensure your IT infrastructure is prepared.

  • Expand capacity for self-service and digital sales. As companies address customer questions, orders and even cancellations, prepare content and capacity for self-service web, email, chatbots, etc. to handle the most common questions and purchases, freeing up customer service reps to handle complex issues.
  • Make remote experiences more personal — this can make all the difference. Examples would include video face-to-face time with customers, organizing and holding remote events and telehealth.
  • Seek and be open to opportunities that adapt products or capacity for current demand. For example, Japanese electronics manufacturer, Sharp, has converted one of its factories to make face masks and some Chinese manufacturers have shifted some of their existing resources away from their traditional products (in low demand due to the outbreak) to high-demand products like protective gear.

4. Think Beyond COVID-19: Digitally Enabled Geo-Distributed Workforce is the Future.

As more organizations become multinational companies (MNCs) with offices and/or factories in different countries, real-time collaboration between teams across the globe is critical for efficient and uninterrupted business. As teams expand globally, it’s increasingly critical to ensure IT infrastructure is robust and secure. Building a digital workforce that’s resilient to disruption with processes, training and planning and implementing the latest tools and technology will make collaboration seamless and mitigate crises.

  • Assess your preparedness for the future (crisis or no crisis)
  • Evaluate the readiness of your IT infrastructure to securely manage disruptions
  • Up your stack: Update your enterprise software ecosystem to make seamless remote collaboration an inherent feature
  • Build a crisis-resilient workforce
  • Upgrade your enterprise’s risk management mechanisms

At Synoptek, we believe no business should be left behind because they can’t keep up with the pace of technology. During these uncertain times, many companies may need assistance with rapid implementation of their work-from-home programs as well as other technology changes and requirements. We’re here to help you plan and address your immediate as well as long-term needs.

References

1McKinsey & Company (as of March 16, 2020): https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/covid-19-implications-for-business

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