How the Indian IT Industry is Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis?
The relatively uninterrupted IT services provided by India to the entire world demonstrates our agile BCP practices and technology thought leadership
There is no doubt that India is professionally handling the Covid-19 outbreak and much better than anyone had anticipated. One can argue that overall handling could have been much better, but one has to understand that this is a war-like situation and one cannot expect a seamless experience satisfying all the segments.
Virus outbreak in India was about two weeks late compared to US and Europe, however relatively quick move by Government for lockdown, the Business Continuity Plans (BCP) had very less time to execute.
Challenges in Implementing BCP
This is a unique crisis, given the global nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, a traditional BCP is not sufficient enough. For instance, working from an alternate location ( region) is not possible. So with the social distancing norms and decongesting the workplace, the Work From Home (WFH) is the most suited option. But making 100% of the workforce to operate from WFH is in itself is a big challenge. In terms of continuity of work, the challenges here are typically in staying connected due to working from home employees’ divergent Internet connections. So this needs to be managed in such a way that there are no business disruptions. Here is where the role of ISPs comes into play.
The role of ISPs
The seamless switchover to WFH by most of the companies would not be possible without reliable Internet connectivity. The ability of smartphones with 4G connectivity also came in handy for those who did not have broadband at home during these critical times. All telecom service providers were able to live up to expectations and are continuing to provide good connectivity and there are no reports of any major disruption. This affordability along with reasonably decent reliability turned out to be a boon for most of the remote workers, demonstrating the agility with which the Indian IT sector can adapt and work.
The IT industry is driven by several compliance and regulations due to the global nature of the operations. The tight legal criteria of few companies especially in Banking and Financial domain mandates connectivity via a secured office network. But this challenge was fixed, by leveraging technologies like secured VPN and Remote Desktop.
Moreover, Cloud did come in handy for many companies. For instance, news reports suggested that there is a significant increase in usage of MS Office 365 , Teams and Slack and other productivity applications. The complete concept of DevOps, Pipelines on Cloud deployment helped to access environment remotely.
Tech to Tide the Crisis
The global outbreak is yet to subside and cases are gradually rising in India but it is the confidence on technology and infrastructure that is giving organizations the confidence to think about they can leverage learning from this in the coming months and also keep the workforce safe. The relatively uninterrupted IT services provided by India to the entire world demonstrates our agile BCP practices, technology thought leadership and delivery capabilities.
Key Learnings And Expectations In Near Future
In the next few months, most Indian IT workforce will be acclimatized to working in “distributed” mode away from physical office limitations. This can also bring down the cost of development and increase the quality of development or support. Technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Serverless Architectures, DevOps will pick up like never before. There will be new solutions coming in for logistics management, warranty management, ERP, finance management aimed at making it more flexible and more compatible in working in distributed/disrupted environment.
The Indian IT workforce has got a first real feel of working from home, and in the next two months, we should see this generally accepted practice across most industries. This will reduce the cost of the workforce and will bring an experienced workforce in development and support across industries.
(By Gunendra Patil, CTO, Nihilent)