A CFO’s Concern for IT in the New Normal

by | May 19, 2020 | Covid-19, Services, Strategy, Support

I recently had a conversation with a CFO of a smart company. She is making post-pandemic changes to her IT and was referred to Waident by a client.  On the surface, Waident is a perfect fit to help her and her team. We work with several firms in her industry with a similar workforce, technology platforms, and geographic dispersion. We support all their people and technology with no problems. The opportunity looked very much like one of those “been there and done that” situations for us.  I figured the call would be straightforward and go as smoothly as any other executive prospect call. While the call went well, it did not unfold quite as I had expected.

What impact will you have on my company?

The most important thing on the CFO’s mind had nothing to do with Waident’s “credentials,” softball questions like “Are you a Microsoft partner or do you work with Office 365?” or even the critical questions asked to ensure that we understood her business. The first thing on her mind was, “How did Waident perform during the pandemic fiasco?” She was not asking how we performed as a vendor for our clients. No, she wanted to know how we managed as a company ourselves and how we handled the work-from-home panic with our own people.

It was a great question! It was the right question. It was a direct question and she wanted a direct answer. She needed to know what kind of organization we are and how we would fit with her company. This is the type of client we love to work with.  My answer would make it clear if we were the type of partner she wanted. I loved it.

 

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”   Matthew 7:15-17

So, “How did the pandemic affect Waident’s ability to provide support and cybersecurity to its clients?”

When the pandemic shut down most of the country and everyone had to work from home, we can proudly say that we didn’t miss a stride. Waident is a knowledge-based business. We recruit talented business people with a passion for technology. We have always had a culture of flexibility that allows our team to work from home when they want or need to. Some of our team work from home full-time and some techs working at client sites full-time. We have always tried to balance employee and client needs so we can retain our great people.

We were proactive and gave our team the option to work from home full-time well before the states mandated it. We didn’t want anyone on our team to feel uncomfortable coming into the office if they had health concerns.  As a result, we were already living in the mandated “work-remotely” pandemic model. We required no change to our business model or the IT that is its backbone. Most importantly,  we did not lose valuable time reacting to our own needs. We were able to help our clients who operate through more “on-premise” models modify their work environments.

Chance favors the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur

 

We monitored the news as the pandemic developed. We proactively communicated to our clients that they should prepare for their employees to work from home. We covered issues like:

  • Have a parent who needs to work at home because schools are closed?
  • Are you ready to turn on a version of your disaster recovery plan to have your employees work from home?
  • Are you sure that your systems and users were ready to work remotely full-time if needed?

The heads-up made it easy for many clients to work through any issues well before they needed so they were ready when crunch time came. Unfortunately, a few clients ignored the heads up. They experienced some panic in the days before the states issued the stay at home orders. We got them through and hope they learned a lesson.

Waident’s driving philosophy is to support the user AND the technology they rely on to get their work done. If users are working at the office, we support them. If the users are working at home, we support them. If they are working at a hotel or Starbucks, we support them. You get the idea. We already support hundreds of users who work remotely or in their homes on residential wifi or BYOD technology. The situations that arose during the shutdown were just more helpdesk tickets for our team to deliver. Of course, we did have a much higher influx of support tickets for remote workers, but that waned pretty quickly and it was nothing we couldn’t handle.

As I told the CFO, “We did not have to reinvent our company or the support process. Waident was prepared for this by default.” The beneficiaries of our preparedness were our clients who were ready, lost no productivity due to inadequate IT, and lived calmly in a world that already has enough drama.

It was the right answer to the right question.

 

Dig Deeper

 

John Ahlberg, CEO, Waident Technology Solutions

John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.

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