Crunch time for business continuity

How one service provider is working through the pandemic

In the face of a global emergency, individuals and organisations have had to adapt to an unprecedented level of change.

At the risk of sounding biased, my experience has been that technology is really proving its value in maintaining operations and even bringing us closer together as individuals and teams.

I work at CDL, a UK software company that serves the insurance industry. We are ISO 22301-certified for our business-continuity management systems, and our business-continuity plan includes a pandemic action plan. We formally invoked this plan on March 16 to support the ongoing health and safety of our teams, customers, and surrounding communities.

At the time, the UK government was beginning to introduce ever-stronger measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. We wanted to get ahead of the curve to protect our colleagues and the wider business community.

It took us only two days to move the majority of our 600-plus team into their home offices and switch to a fully operational work-from-home mode.

In the midst of the unusual, we are operating business as usual, supporting our customers’ live services and delivering on our service level agreements without disruptions or dips in our productivity.

[Read also: A pandemic opportunity for CIOs]

A flexible approach to work and life

This smooth migration to a new business reality results from our long-term strategic approach to designing great employee experiences, including promoting flexibility and work-life balance. It’s very much in line with ServiceNow’s goal of making work life as great as real life.

There has never been a more important time for us to put our strategy to the test.
Part of this is ensuring our people can move seamlessly between different locations and organise their work lives and home lives in a flexible manner.

More importantly given the current situation, we had already launched a remote working policy, giving our colleagues the opportunity and the necessary tools to work from home at least once a week. All our systems and platforms are geographically independent and, if urgently needed, we can also use home computers or other devices to access all vital applications.

The power of the cloud

Using ServiceNow as our core service management platform has been an absolute cornerstone of CDL’s business continuity and uninterrupted provision of services. ServiceNow has always proven its value, but in this moment of crisis we have been able to rely on this cloud-based platform to help drive the availability and speed of CDL’s software.

To further enhance our business continuity management, we’ve also started looking at the latest ServiceNow suite of emergency response apps, designed specifically to help organizations manage their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Technology is really proving its value in maintaining operations and even bringing us closer together as individuals and teams.

We’ve been using the Emergency Self Report app to provide employees with a way to notify us if they are self-isolating, if they might be at risk, and when they will return to work. This will help our people managers track staff availability while encouraging them to engage and support their teams in this challenging time. Using these data, we can generate reports and continuously assess and manage organizational readiness.

The digital workflows that underpin this app will be instrumental in helping our network of managers and team leaders provide support to employees.

No slowing down

During these challenging times, we are of course focused on maintaining our pre-COVID-19 level of customer experience and operational excellence. That’s not stopping us from moving ahead with our development and upgrades.

With an enabled, remote workforce, we are fully on track toward all our roadmap milestones (including the ServiceNow Orlando upgrade) and are confident we can go live with a seamless Orlando migration in the near future.

Our virtual team is working at pace. Although I must admit to missing our Stockport campus and face-to-face conversations with colleagues, customers, and partners, there will be plenty of time for that once we get through the pandemic. Until then, stay at home and stay safe.

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