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Remote Working: The new normal amid COVID-19

By Rohit Madhok, Vice President Engineering, GlobalLogic

In a matter of months, the world around us has changed at an unimaginable speed. Such drastic changes were witnessed earlier when the human race at large was exposed to global crises like World War II and Spanish Flu during the last century. As of today, the COVID-19 outbreak has intensified globally, and has surpassed the threat level by gigantic proportions.

A thriving tech industry (like all the other industries, their businesses and the rest of the world) is coping with this threat and finding ways to sustain, recover and hopefully emerge stronger with more opportunities for a brighter and hopeful future once the pandemic is over.

Business Continuity Planning

While traditional BCP across sites & regions has proven to be a workable model for the past many decades, a global crisis which shuts down entire countries has forced the industry to innovate and re-strategise their BCP.

Few key aspects which are emerging are as follows:

  • Organisations which had equipped their entire workforce with laptops found the transition to Work From Home far more seamless to adapt with least / minimal disruption
  • Security Policies, checks and strategy at large, needs to incorporate employees operating from home ensuring no loss or threat of any confidential company-related data
  • Enhanced Remote Infrastructure management to provide remote home support

Technology for Good

While all/most of the tech industry has a robust Corporate Social responsibility program, this industry is the most equipped with providing significant care for the larger population:

  • Using the power of Predictive Analytics / AI / ML, tech companies should work closely in providing meaningful insights on potential pandemic hotspots to governments and local authorities so that proactive measures can be put in place
  • Provide their vast office infrastructure to convert to temporary medical facilities
  • Bring their significant global reach working with international clients to the local regions

Building a stronger ecosystem

Tech sector has been a pioneer in lesioning across industry bodies:

  • COVID -19 reinforced that in many ways, Industry bodies came together and collaborated, and hence were able to provide the much-needed guidance and liaison between the government and the industry to act and react swiftly
  • Building a stronger ecosystem of local technology companies which can support each other with resources and sharing of best practices will go a strong way in helping tackle such a crisis even in the future

Adapting to the New Normal

The new normal has been set. The technology industry, which has thrived in co-located spaces to maximize high productivity, has to realize that when the COVID-19 crisis is over, the world will not go back to where it was before. Home office will be the new norm, agile scrum teams would meet virtually, and productivity gains and client value would have to be driven right from the comfort of home offices.

Embracing the new reality, now is the time to re-think how this industry and the businesses can evolve to ensure it survives this changing dynamic. Forward leaning organisations have already been thinking and setting in motion the new ways of working as the pandemic still fails to seize.

For the Indian tech industry, a bigger role in building a unified community is desired in this “new normal” as now, the business continuity will be approached and driven by new integrity, defiance and comebacks.

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