It seems like we have been in lockdown for years now, but it was only on the 12th of March that the Irish government announced the restrictions to our schools, colleges and social gatherings. This was followed, on the 24th of March, with restrictions placed on workplaces. We have all witnessed the devastation Covid-19 has caused to families and loved ones along with the mental health challenges it has placed on everyone trying to deal with a global pandemic. Unfortunately, we are still in this and we all will have to continuously adapt.
The severe impact on business globally is unprecedented and something we will not know the true cost of for some time. But what we have seen in the midst of this life-threatening pandemic, is a truly remarkable response from individuals to help, adapt and perform their duties.
We have all recognised the contribution of frontline staff, in particular the healthcare workers but also including delivery people, shopkeepers, transport etc., in fact everyone who has continued to work to enable others to do so as well. Sometimes we can forget the sacrifices these people are making, but every now and then its good to type in “clap for carers” into google or twitter and read some of the reports from other countries, it is truly heart-warming.
In Asystec we have had to change our work practices much like everyone else. We are very fortunate that across the organisation we can all continue to work from home and the adaptation has been relatively easy, but then working from home has its advantages and disadvantages.
I tend to be on the phone/laptop most of the time anyway, so my family think my job hasn’t changed a bit, although Alfie (My Dog) would disagree.
The real change for Asystec has been to our Service Delivery team; our Architects, Engineers, Project Managers and Consultants, who typically spend 50-80% of their time on customer engagements. With almost everything now having to be carried out remotely, it can be a challenge, but because of the technological world we live in today, we are very fortunate that there are multiple tools to make remote engagement easier. On the downside it’s at the point now where “Zoom/WebEx/Teams (delete as appropriate) Hell” is now a thing!
While remote work is the preference, some tasks need to be carried out on-site, and with close cooperation from our fantastic customers we have managed to safely and effectively deliver all types of projects, small and large, easy and complex, over the last few months. Physical installation of hardware has been achieved through a number of methods like utilising server lifts in the DCs to maintain social distancing, dividing delivery teams into groups or providing detailed cabling diagrams to allow customer DC staff to perform the initialisation of the equipment, allowing us to connect remotely and continue the deployment and configuration of a solution. Communication is more important than ever in this situation and this is where our Project Managers have excelled. These adaptations have enabled our customers to continue to operate and improve their business as they find their way through these new times.
On a personal level I do miss workshops and a good old whiteboard session to chat through ideas, but we are finding new ways to get these done and that too is satisfying.
The successful completion of these projects, is and will continue to lie in the advanced planning and organising abilities of Asystec and our customers and vendors. Yes, technology has been an assistance, but the real enabler has been the people involved and we are lucky to have some brilliant people internally and within our customers and vendors organisations to make this happen.
I look forward to being able to get back out and meet people face to face, but in the meantime, we will continue to adapt and work our way through this difficult period and help others to do the same.
Stay safe, enjoy the easing of the lockdown restrictions, and hopefully, we will see you soon!