Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 01 | Page 45

Keeping our dual job in mind, we pivoted to best data management practices that enable us to meet this dual goal. Below we share the five pillars that guided us: 1. Agility. Without a built-in flexibility in the system, pivoting in the time of crisis is difficult. Agility meant that we did not have to wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn. As soon as early news from China made its way to us, we realized it was not a matter of if, but when we’d need more support for WFH employees. The global IT support team began to meet daily at 7.30am. Among other things, during one such meeting toward the end of the first quarter of the year, we decided to run a workload test. We asked employees to download large files and work in them remotely. When the test succeeded, we were reassured that remote employees could continue doing their jobs. 2. Availability. Another move that helped keep data available and factories functional was setting up de facto mini edge data centres. As inputs from endpoints expand, few at-home locations have broadband or optical fiber for remote data analysis and meetings. So we provided our engineering and financial teams around the world with access to compute functions closer to their homes. Unlike with the previous, more “ ANOTHER MOVE THAT HELPED KEEP DATA AVAILABLE AND FACTORIES FUNCTIONAL WAS SETTING UP DE FACTO MINI EDGE DATA CENTERS. centralized system, edge data centers allow us to bring applications closer to the users who need to process data closer to where it’s created. 3. Connectivity. Making sure that employees stay connected was an important function powered by the institutional nimbleness already in place. a. VPN. We ensured virtual private network (VPN) access to the employees who do not usually work from home. This extended the VPN across a public network and offers employees virtual access to the company’s assets. VPN technology provides safe paths to information not only to newly-remote employees, but also to people in places with restricted access to sources of objective data. As a result, according to Atlas VPN’s user data, VPN usage has been in great demand. b. Bandwidth. We reviewed and upgraded our Internet circuits throughout the world to increase bandwidth. This move, too, helped pave the way for the unimpeded movement of data, ensuring that we had enough capacity for home users to connect to the office. The number of employees connected doubled. c. Laptops. While most employees already had laptops, which were configured and ready to be used from home, the team sent additional loaner laptops to some employees and bought 400 new laptops for others. The laptops were imaged locally on site and overnighted to users after sanitizing and cleaning. We imaged laptops, sanitised them, sealed them and shipped to new hires as well. Employees also had the option to take their office monitors and docking stations home. INTELLIGENTCIO 45