Podcast (29 minute listen)

How to Run Your Business When The World Stops and Everybody Goes Home

Explore how to run your company when everything has changed — and the future is uncertain.

Jeff DeVerter / Rackspace

As a pandemic sweeps the globe, millions are suddenly working from home, while the companies they work for rapidly reconfigure to function in a new and uncertain world.

OEConnection is one such company. This industry leader in tech solutions that help vehicle dealers sell original equipment parts has 1,000 employees across five countries. Mike Woolard heads up a team that handles compliance certifications and “anything that’s needed in the business from a security standpoint”. He’s seen his company rapidly pivot in key areas to ensure continued success in the current climate.

By chance, the company was already transitioning to a more flexible work-from-home policy when coronavirus began to spread. “At first, coronavirus was just a topic of conversation,” Woolard says. “But when our Poland office started to get word about lockdown, it became real.”

Business continuity policy rapidly evolved and adapted as the pandemic’s impact became clear. Within weeks, the entire company transitioned to working from home. It wasn’t easy. Even though OEConnection had considered pandemics, its business continuity policy was mostly centered around coping with local natural disasters, and it didn’t fully account for a global supply chain disruption. Nor had a situation been considered where every office would be closed, impacting workflows that often required items be printed, packaged and delivered. “When everyone’s working from home — everything’s remote — how do you solve for that?” Woolard asks.

Business continuity is the topic of the latest Cloud Talk. In just 30 minutes, Woolard and Rackspace CTO Jeff DeVerter explore how to run your company when everything has changed — and the future is uncertain.

Listen now to learn more about:

  • How to equip staff to do their jobs and communicate effectively from home
  • The vital need to support employee well-being and mental health
  • A pandemic’s impact on planning compared to a local disaster’s
  • Compelling metrics on productivity levels when staff work from home
  • Exploring critical spending, so you don’t face hard decisions later
  • How personalized virtual environments can boost fun and brand alike
  • Ensuring your tech setup is optimized for business continuity and security
  • The importance of flexibility when facing uncertainty

Because of its harsh global repercussions, Woolard sees the pandemic as a catalyst for business continuity testing. When this is all over, he recommends we evaluate the continuity decisions that worked — and those that didn’t. Any actions that proved effective could potentially result in permanent beneficial change, and also become part of a ‘runbook’ for the next time something like coronavirus occurs. “But right now, it’s hard to say what productivity is going to look like in six months’ time,” he says. “There will be a lot of fear — a lot of uncertainty. So it’s all about the lessons learned. You know anything can happen anytime — so just be prepared.”

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About the Author

CTO, Products and ServicesJeff DeVerter

Jeff has 25 years of experience in IT and technology, and has worked at Rackspace for over 10 years. Jeff is a proven strategic leader who has helped companies like American Express, Ralph Lauren, and Thompson Reuters create and execute against...

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