The recent health crisis has brought to light the unpreparedness of many organizations in terms of ability to pivot and adapt to a completely new way of working. Much of the emphasis has been placed on helping companies make the transition to work-from-home as quickly and seamlessly as possible. But one area of concern that’s not be talked about nearly as much is the situation for businesses who have completely or largely outsourced their IT operations to MSPs.
The reality is, a significant number of organizations operate under a cost-saving MSP business model that relies either partially or entirely on off-shore labor, and the majority of that labor is based out of India. Unfortunately, India is positioned to bear the brunt of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the entire country has been placed under a 3-week lockdown, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking all 1.3 billion Indians to stay home for 21 days in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
This presents a new set of problems to organizations who rely on India-based MSPs to manage their IT operations because, unlike many other countries, the ability to work remotely is simply not a possibility in India. Most homes lack internet connectivity and those that do have access often struggle with little to no bandwidth. There’s also the logistical issue of a lack of available equipment, such as laptops and servers. And, of course, there is the red tape of regulations and security to consider, with many IT service providers requiring permission for employees to work with sensitive data outside the office.
As a result of all of this, many global organizations are now scrambling to develop contingency plans that will help them stay operational. And with experts predicting that this situation may last well beyond the initial 3-week timeframe, perhaps even into the summer months, the need to respond effectively is quite urgent. The good news is, there is a viable solution, and one that is not only straightforward and affordable, but can be implemented and scaled up within as little as an hour.
IT process automation breaks the mold by enabling organizations to bring IT operations back in-house without having to hire and pay a full tech team. Systems and applications can be fully monitored 24/7/365, detected issues can be automatically addressed (or escalated to the appropriate personnel if necessary) and end-users can manage a significant portion of their IT support needs through virtual agents, often without the need for any human intervention.
Automation of IT processes can also serve as an “insurance policy” for the future, allowing you to not only weather the immediate storm, but eventually, after COVID-19 is contained, help facilitate the transition to a work situation in which companies are not so dependent on human labor. This will make situations like this much more manageable. Experts at Gartner are urging companies large and small – and even those that aren’t being impacted by India’s lockdown – to consider investing in automation.
“To move beyond tactical approaches to automation, I&O leaders should rethink how and where they can apply automation skills inside an organization.”- Chris Saunderson “Start Building Your Automation Team Now”, 13 August 2019.
Without question, the coronavirus crisis has all but crippled the world economy, leaving businesses in almost every industry struggling to stay afloat. And while we know that the current situation will eventually resolve, organizations must take proactive measures in the interim if they want to emerge victorious on the other side. IT process automation can serve as the bridge during these uncertain times and ultimately provide protection against such catastrophes in the future.
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