Social distancing and working from home are the only known responses to the menace of CoronaVirus currently attacking the world. Below are some steps organizations take to ease running of business operations during these times.
Note some business functions (technology, marketing) and senior management are typically already well equipped to work from home because of the type of work they do; and availability of laptop with VPN connection and remote meeting and task management solutions. The most impacted functions are things like call centre, back-office business processes, sales.
- Quickly deploy some digital solutions: This can be accomplished very quickly on a war footing. Examples of this can be:
Quickly implementing voice and chatbots to reduce the load on call centres. The reduced load can allow fewer people in the office each sitting with a safe distance from each other. One can automate a few most common cases in a matter of days to a week.
Automate some of the most common back-office processes. Pick the most important ones to help the business keep running with a minimum workforce.
- Enable remote and online sales: This can involve self-service bots helping customers make smart buying decisions or simply providing the sales team with cloud-based voice/video solutions to reach out to customers to remotely close sales.
- Move to the cloud: A big issue that hinders work from home are on-premise enterprise applications which are often designed and implemented with the limitations that they can be used or used effectively only from within the office premises. While this might take a few weeks to a month to achieve, it is a good opportunity to re-evaluate the current IT infrastructure. Business continuity during these kinds of disasters should be an item all decision-makers should carefully consider in future. But, currently, if IT managers think of which on-premise solution is hindering business continuity and which can be easily replaced quickly with an equivalent cloud-based solution.
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Shibabrata Mondal, Founder and CEO at Wizergos.