There is a lot of literature available about the post-COVID workplace. Some companies have already returned their employees to work, while others are considering ending leases and focusing on employee happiness.
IT Operations will change wherever your company is located. What could this look like and how can you prepare for it?
Recognize the importance
Many businesses believe that IT is a one-size fits all approach. However, there are many business processes and associated systems that can be disrupted.
Check your business continuity strategy to ensure you recognize the most important systems and processes. For example, while your finance expenses process may be delayed for a few days but payroll cannot run, people get very upset.
Do not rely on Service Level Agreements
Many large businesses outsource their problems to third parties, as I have seen. The problem is that you can outsource work but if something goes wrong, your only defense is the contract. Trust me, the outsourcer is an expert contracting professional and it is almost impossible to get any remedy. In one instance, I witnessed the outsourcer sue for breach of contract.
You must have control over how the outsourcing provider handles the contract when you are considering outsourcing.
If you use Software as a Service (SaaS), you must understand how the vendor supports you and hold them to the same standards as if you were delivering the software yourself.
Multiple locations
One problem that several businesses experienced during COVID-19 was the presence of large numbers of employees in one office. Concentrating IT Operations in a single location is unacceptable. If an outbreak occurs, it could be impossible to maintain critical business processes.
Spreading the risk across multiple locations or countries is a sensible way to mitigate the risk. This is possible thanks to modern technology.
This is something I often talk about, but there are tons of IT Operations tasks that can be automated. Organisations must examine this urgently. It is completely unacceptable that repetitive tasks could be automated.
This not only puts your business at risk, but also causes a huge waste of human capital. Instead, you can invest in innovation and business transformation.
Bots can also do repetitive tasks well and are happy to complete them all day, performing thousands of times more checks than humans could ever do.
I believe there will soon be a trend to insource critical business processes. Many outsourcers were unable to support businesses during COVID-19, as they did not have remote working capabilities.
This might be fine for non-critical processes. However, if you are unable or unwilling to pay suppliers or ship product, it might be a good idea to consider taking control.
Fridays at Home
While you might want your workforce back at work, there are many benefits to working from home. It will ensure that everyone is not in the office and that the business can continue to run.
Many businesses were forced to find remote work solutions for thousands of employees when they couldn’t afford them. Some companies created teams of employees to work remotely for weeks.
Home Office
Safe home office work is a problem that most businesses have not addressed. An IT company that is well-known was sued by former employees who were unable to work due to chronic Repetitive Strain Injuries.
It is easy to create a positive work environment in an office setting. However, it is difficult to maintain at home.
Smart employers will create guidelines for home work and make sure that employees have the right screen.