Adapting business in the times of COVID-19

Adapting business in the times of COVID-19

Commentary from Emma Durkin (Altron Karabina Human Capital Lead) & Basha Pillay (Modern Platform Business Unit Lead)

Emma Durkin

How have we been adapting business in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19? 

The Covid-19 Crisis and associated government mandated lockdown in South Africa, and beyond our borders, has been a time for rapid learning, change management and adaptation for all businesses – Altron Karabina is no exception.  We were thrust into a situation that was unprecedented and, as such, we had little or no guidance on how to handle the situation.  We used our experience in change management to ensure that communication was frequent, clear and employee’s expectations were managed in terms of the fact that everything was subject to change as the situation progressed. At Altron Karabina we were quick to start communicating with staff about the situation before the lockdown was announced. As a Microsoft partner, we had the advantage of having a largely tech literate workforce and the Microsoft technology to enable remote working without impacting business continuity and quality service to our customers. Within two weeks we had enabled remote working for 99% of our workforce – in time for the lockdown. 

In our adapting business process, we use various communication methods to ensure we reach all of our employees – FAQs, email, phone calls, Teams meetings and a Crisis Communication App on the Power App platform, deployed by our internal Modern Platform team. Aside from just pure communication, we also want to maintain connection with our employees who are at the centre of what we do.  Employee engagement is a key priority for our business.  We know that anxiety levels are heightened at this time due to the rapid change in people’s personal and business life and we want to alleviate as much of the uncertainties as we can in this uncertain time, be supportive and enable them to continue adding value to the business and our clients. 

Basha Pillay

What advice can you give to companies in adapting to this new environment? 

If you are still considering your journey into cloud, the circumstances we all find ourselves in now should have quickly accelerated that need. Regardless of whether you are a small or large organisation, there is no doubt that those that have embraced cloud services earlier on in their journey have adapted far better to this new environment. The advice that we believe will assist organisations in this new paradigm and going forward will be the following: 

From an infrastructure perspective, look to have most, if not all, of your core infrastructure operating in the cloud or look to consume some of those core business services in the form of Platform or Software as a Service. On the communication and collaboration front, use the latest video and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams to ensure that your organisations can continue to engage with both staff and clients and collaborate over content and documents regardless of where they physically reside. Put the right reporting and measurement tools in place to manage and measure outcomes and output instead of time and material. Finally, look to adapt and transform some of your old processes and policies to enable new ways of work like remote working or work from home, DR in the cloud, multi-factor authentication, etc. Finally, ensure that you evolve your technology security to manage and protect your end user and data and not just your perimeter and end point. 

Get in touch with our experts today for assistance in adapting business, people and processes.

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