Why are we thanking IT?
IT professionals have always somewhat gone under the radar when it comes to their importance to society… that is until the nation’s stability rested partially on them. When the nationwide lockdown was announced, many businesses likely went into panic mode – what are we going to do? How will we continue to operate efficiently? How will we, as a business, survive this period?
Step in IT departments!
For those companies fortunate enough to already had remote working capabilities at the ready – thank the IT department.
For those companies who anticipated a situation where employees wouldn’t be able to attend the office, and therefore prepared a remote working contingency plan – thank the IT department.
And for those companies who didn’t already have remote working capabilities, didn’t anticipate a lockdown but still managed to move their employees (or at least some) onto a remote working model – thank the IT department.
What exactly have they done
As we don’t work in IT (unless you do, then, thanks!) we probably aren’t aware of exactly what it is that IT professionals have been doing to minimize any risk to their respective companies by a nationwide lockdown.
Every company is different, which means every company will have different needs for migrating to remote working. So, let’s take a look at some of the key considerations that they have been working on:
The first issue, before anything else can even be considered, is a simple make or break: do we have the appropriate equipment for employees to migrate to homeworking? And if so, can we successfully get this to employee’s homes?
This could pose a number of problems such as if everyone has a PC, can laptops be loaned to staff or can they work on their personal computers?
Getting staff and the appropriate equipment into their houses and up and running is only the beginning. The chances are they’re going to need to be on the company’s network to view files, shared areas and other things like company intranet. IT will have to make sure a VPN is up and running and that staff can successfully access the network – prior to moving staff home.
For the companies that don’t really receive incoming landline calls or only use to call internally – this shouldn’t pose too much of an issue. However, for telephone-based companies such as many sales-focused firms, it’s an extremely large obstacle to overcome. Solutions could include using a softphone with headsets or even temporarily switching to mobile phones.
Tested and Implemented:
Once solutions to the known problems have been conjured up, they will need to first be tested across a number of different users and departments to ensure it is successful. IT departments will also need to work out an implementation schedule – to avoid teething issues en masse – so that employees begin working from home in a staggered process (most likely by department).
These are just some of the potential problems that IT departments will have had to (continue to) endure and overcome during this unprecedented period. A gentle reminder that, alongside these unexpected challenges, they also need to do their usual job and ensure all IT systems and running efficiently!
A recent campaign, #vITalworker, led by BCS, has launched to inspire “Celebrating the IT professionals keeping us connected”
and this is us doing our bit to thank the amazing IT departments all over the country.
We encourage you all to search #vITalworker in your favourite social media channel and read some of the amazing stories and tributes to IT and technology over these past few weeks.
If reading about that incredible work that IT professionals do has inspired you to take up a career in IT, find out more about how you can begin your journey to achieving that.