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IT Continuity During a Pandemic

Across the globe, we are experiencing an unprecedented disruption to our standard ways of working. To combat the impact of COVID-19, businesses have transformed their workforces into remote offices virtually overnight.

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As IT leaders, our #1 job is to ensure business continuity

This is especially critical in times of uncertainty. We must keep our workforces productive and our technology deployments functioning as designed. This is why in our RFPs we always ask a series of questions to our technology vendors such as, “how are you prepared for a natural disaster, an unexpected attack, or a pandemic?”

 

That is an important question, but we should be at a point where we no longer have to ask it. Technology today needs to enable businesses to continue to run smoothly, whether we work from our offices or from our kitchen tables. 

 

Advances in cloud technology over the past decade have made this possible

Companies such as Zoom, Salesforce, and Coupa were built from the ground up to ensure stability and business continuity at all times via the cloud. Zoom allows companies to continue meeting virtually with the same ease of connecting in person, Salesforce ensures that customer and prospect data are safely accessible in the cloud at all times, and Coupa enables companies to continue managing their business spend, from procurement to payments, without disruption.

 

Think beyond continuity: How can our tech add value today?

Historically, companies planned for emergencies because operating during those times might require a fundamental shift in the company’s processes. For instance, some companies require their employees to physically go to an office every day to function. This is usually due to having very limited remote access to computing infrastructure and, therefore, these businesses are dependent on resources that are physically and logically bound to an office for security reasons. 

 

Today, technology has evolved to a point where the individual's access location has no impact on the security of data assets. This is because there are tools available that make secure remote infrastructure management a reality. Many of the tools exist because technology pioneers recognized the many advantages in delivering services to customers remotely, giving them more streamlined technology stacks and continued service during states of emergency.

 

At Coupa, we continuously and diligently evolve our tools, methods, and technical standards to improve our security, capabilities, and resilience. So when asked about how we add value during times of business uncertainty we can refer back to how reliably we operate every day of the year.

 

Consider asking your suppliers not only how they are prepared to handle a natural disaster or pandemic, but also the question we should be asking, “How is your company going to add value to my organization in times of business uncertainty?”

 

 

Paul Stuker is Director, Global Technical Solutions Consulting at Coupa Software, and resides in Sterling, Virginia.