COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected our lives, forcing us to make dramatic changes to the way we live and work. While businesses are keen to reinforce a message of ‘business as usual’, how much weight does such a statement carry? Neueda’s Senior Delivery Manager, Simon McKelvey, discusses the reality of service delivery during a global pandemic and the unique challenges and opportunities it brings.
One of the most positive aspects of our industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been the pace at which delivery teams have been able to switch to remote working while ensuring that critical systems and projects continue running.
For Neueda, our teams were set-up for remote working long before the lockdown. Of course, the overnight switch to a 100 per cent remote workforce required some thought and adjustment to ensure our people were supported in the transition and remained productive. For example, digital communication and collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, Jira and Zoom have been invaluable, with all meetings transitioning to video.
Additionally, we had to ensure that our customers had everything they needed to remain operational throughout this period. Initial work involved helping those lacking the infrastructure for remote working by sourcing and building laptops while assisting staff in adjusting to this entirely new way of working.
Luckily, a significant number of our projects use a remote delivery model, so day-to-day digital communication between the teams of our customers and us is not unusual. In fact, the only real difference in these cases is the backdrop of our video calls changing from the Neueda office to our living rooms!
Neueda being able to operate at full strength to deliver projects is only half of the story; we have to remain conscious of the unique and unfolding challenges that our clients are facing. An extra layer of complexity comes from Neueda working across multiple global territories, all of which are at different stages of the crisis. For example, while China has eased the lockdown and Spain has allowed some “non-essential” employees to return to work, New York, the epicentre of COVID-19 in the US remains on firm lockdown with no definite date for it to be lifted.
Our main aim is to acknowledge the full spectrum of challenges that our clients are facing and help them get through it to establish some semblance of normality. A common factor for all clients in Capital Markets right now is to ensure continuous communication with key stakeholders, particularly clients, employees and regulators, which is something our team is working around the clock to facilitate.
So, while we can say it’s ‘business as usual’ for service delivery, there’s nothing ‘usual’ about it. By remaining flexible to the needs of each client and applying an agile approach to our work, we’re able to help clients tackle challenges day-by-day. It’s clear that over the coming months, our clients will recover to full-strength at different rates, with the common denominator that Neueda will support them every step of the way.