Dealing with the unexpected, TOGETHER

March 25, 2020

Over the past couple of weeks, pretty much the entire world has had to change its way of working due to complete lock downs, social distancing or any other measure in place to deal with the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 (leading to COVID-19).

Healthcare systems in many countries got completely overloaded dealing with the deluge of severe cases causing most other countries to restrict direct social contact as much as possible. The stress on the healthcare workers must be unimaginable.

That then quickly turned, what used to be done in a face to face manner, into remote and on-line leading to a tremendous increase in demand for video conferencing solutions such as Microsoft Teams. Much to our surprise, the service loss during the ramp up was actually quite minimal and restored to workable/normal literally in a matter of a day or so. For me, this really exemplifies the power of the cloud in terms of potential and resilience as well as the opportunity for dealing with disasters like this. For the second time in a short timeframe (first hurricane Sandy, now this), we see how a cloud centric approach allows us to deal with the unexpected in a way that was not possible otherwise.

Like most other companies, we also communicated our direct measures and impact to our customer base as per our CEO’s letter.

Whilst we cannot contribute a lot about solving the underlying medical challenges (we are a legacy migration company after all), maybe we can make a small contribution in people’s ability to deal with IT related consequences by sharing our practical experiences in how we adapt and adopt. Talking to one of our customers yesterday, it became clear they were facing some major challenges is switching to a remote model. That really triggered me to go write this blog.

Probably not unlike some of you, our business is very internationally oriented where we used to engage in a lot of face to face meetings for our global project deliveries. Given complete travel lockdowns, we have completely shifted our MO to everything remote/on-line in a matter of days. This transition is still ongoing and has a bunch of direct consequences which we like to share and discuss with you in the hope that, what we (continue to) learn from this, in some shape or form will be of benefit to you in keeping your business running and minimizing the economic impact of what’s going on. Also, we are looking to get some of our current customers to share their experiences as well through the same blog. Obviously, they will look at this from an entirely different perspective so they can probably share some useful experiences as well.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, starting today, we will share practical experiences from our Chief Project Officer, Rob Lawrence, addressing his experiences with ongoing projects, our global head of services, Andrew Jackson, addressing both pre-project engagements as well as post-project support and some of our ongoing projects worldwide.

Our intention is really to share practical stuff: what have we done, what works, what did not, what are the practical implications in terms of efficiency and effectiveness and particularly some of the human factors in dealing with this change. At the same time, I hope that our sharing of experiences triggers others to start sharing best practices (good and bad) as well in order to help one another deal with everything as constructive as humanly possible.

Finally, let me also voice our massive appreciation of our health workers, people involved in the day to day operations of our food supply and other basic needs, people involved in keeping us safe and anyone else dealing with this first-hand. If it wasn’t for you, our work would be moot. We are all in this together. From our perspective, we hope to make our small contribution and see how and where we can help you transition based on our experiences. In return, we would love your input as well to collectively improve our overall experience.

Stay safe.

Herman Eggink

Read the next posts on shared experiences:

Dealing with the unexpected, TOGETHER, a project delivery perspective

Dealing with the unexpected, TOGETHER, a Life Insurance CTO’s perspective

Part II: Dealing with the unexpected, TOGETHER, a project delivery perspective