The ongoing global coronavirus health crisis has forced a new way of working for most organisations, with offices now closed and employees working from home. Intelligent CIO’s Jess Phillips speaks to Mohammed Arafat, Presales Director, Micro Focus Emerging Markets, about the crucial role CIOs must play in leading this change and ensuring their businesses have the digital infrastructure and tools to survive during these unprecedented times.
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us to instil a new change in our everyday behaviour and engagement model.
Local governments are taking proactive measures and implementing controls to respond to this unique situation, including locking down cities, limiting social gatherings and suspending schools.
Public sector organisations, corporations, financial institutions, education systems and enterprises are reacting and adapting to those measures. Nevertheless, the wheel of the economy needs to keep rolling.
And guess what? Technology is here to help the economy to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Working from home is the new significant change and CIOs are now under pressure to make sure that business services are not affected, nor compromised.
Embracing Digital Transformation over recent years has contributed to businesses today having a crucial dependency on technology.
Therefore, availability and ongoing improvement of a company’s digital services are required in order to survive, while also continuing to offer services without any performance degradation or availability issues.
CIOs today are leading the change and are responsible for ensuring the company can survive during this crisis.
The current operational processes and IT capabilities need adjustment and tuning to address the new issues and challenges as a result of the unanticipated amount of load and connection due to the working from home model.
Most large enterprises have developed a Business Continuity plan and the process is typically tested every six months to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s operations during a disaster or a crisis.
The CIO should immediately assemble his virtual incident response team to react swiftly and precisely to assess the situation during critical IT incidents or cybersecurity attacks, so they mitigate the damage, respond at speed and make informed decisions about how to move forward.
The administrators and operators of the data centre and on-premise business services will manage the systems remotely and the CIO needs to have end-to-end visibility of the entirety of the services provided to both internal users and the customer-facing applications.
The health of the business services and data centre infrastructure components, systems performance and availability are the highest priorities for the CIO in order to maintain excellent levels of user experience and service accessibility for customers and employees.
The command and control team should provide the CIO with a single pane of glass dashboard, equipped with the right views.
The dashboard will provide real-time visibility on the most critical business applications and their dependencies, as well as network performance and traffic, virtual private connections status, application response time and, most importantly, security threats.
Working from home will allow workers to connect remotely to critical business services and underlying infrastructure, possibly from an unsecured network and without the use of a trusted and regulated VPN. This will upsurge the chances for attackers and simultaneously compromise data centre servers and interface with malicious threats and attacks.
The CIO and the security officer must implement further security controls to shield critical IT assets from cybersecurity assaults and abuse by expanding and increasing the system update refreshes and application fixing toward the endpoint level to proactively secure any vulnerability.
As customary business movement requires interfacing and arrangement between representatives and clients, the CIO is required to provide a secure, reliable remote work platform with a collaboration system to power up remote work. This essential service will turn into the most critical function to equip the workforce and enable the everyday action.
The CIO and his management group need to lead the change and be an excellent example for employees.
Processes and methods should be amended and communicated back to the employees. The pressure on the customer service department will drastically increase as incidents and requests will increment and accomplishing the guaranteed administration level understanding will be intense.
It’s a chance for the CIO to improve current frameworks and procedures, begin progressing and enhancing the customer service solution with more knowledge-based articles that will help and guide the employees.
They can also look to utilise advanced AI solutions to efficiently resolve first-level interactions and improve time to fix.
Deploying bots to handle repeatable enquiries and interactions, considering more automated workflows and implementing robotic process automation to handle known issues or tasks will reduce human errors. This will help the employees to stay focused on responding to this change effectively and concentrate on the company vision and its mission.
Micro Focus offers Business Continuity services to combat coronavirus
Micro Focus is helping organisations ensure continuity of service to their customers in response to the coronavirus global pandemic.
The company is placing an emphasis on helping its customers facilitate their employees to work remotely and is offering a range of critical packages.
A statement from the company said: “As we all deal with the unprecedented world event that is the spread of COVID-19, we know that like us, customers will be enacting their Business Continuity Plans (BCP) and readjusting those plans to accommodate the evolving situation. We know that time sensitive and unimpeded access to technical experts to bolster your readiness capabilities is critical.
“We want you to know that Micro Focus is here to partner with you through these times and we want to help provide you the easiest access to resources so that you can ensure the successful implementation of your BCP.
“If you need help during these times, we have put together a series of packaged offerings that are designed to be rapidly deployed and to help customers do everything from temporarily supplementing staff in the case of regular team members being out through to providing 24×7 solution support in case of emergency.
“We have adapted our offering to be delivered fully remotely and can accommodate your security requirements with US or local-based resources or leverage our global centre of excellence.
“We are here to help – if you would like to learn more about how Micro Focus can help you adapt your plans through services support please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Visit microfocus.com/en-us/businesscontinuity/covid-19 for more information about the services.Click below to share this article