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Feeding Business Continuity Into Digital Transformation

Many of the flexible telework solutions that organizations rapidly implemented may become permanent ways of work.

At HP, when employees were sent home at the beginning of the outbreak, the company was presented with two problems: People with IT issues could no longer walk up to its support centers, and the highly skilled technicians who manned these posts no longer had work.

To solve these challenges, the team transformed the in-person support centers to a virtual “Cloud Café,” where employees with tough IT issues could make virtual appointments with technicians through video chat.

“Not only was it well received, [but] it was overwhelmingly the most popular support option that we’ve ever had,” said Lynda Jarrett, Head of Employee Experience and Services at HP Inc. All of the employees who used the Cloud Café service responded with positive feedback, Jarrett said at GovLoop’s online training Thursday.

This is one example of how efforts to keep organizations up and running during a crisis can feed into broader, longer-term digital transformation efforts, whether that’s in government or industry.

“While we enabled employees to work from home, we thought this was also the right time to improve productivity using digital transformation,” said Suresh Vaidyanathan, Global Head of Infrastructure and Enterprise Services at HP.

Like HP, the majority of online training poll respondents — 55% — said their organization had accelerated digital transformation efforts following the pandemic. Many organizations seem to be taking advantage of the opportunities that high-scale remote work presents.

The end goal is to keep employees engaged while they are adapting to their new reality. Crucial to this effort is communication. Communication was one of the most important priorities that HP focused on at the start of the outbreak, said Tracy Keogh, Chief Human Resources Officer for the company.

“We found how important transparency is. It’s important to communicate even when you don’t have the answers,” Keogh said. In other words, when situations are uncertain, that doesn’t call for less communication but more.

Another best practice Keogh shared was to tailor communications to be specific to locales. At HP, that meant toggling between global and local information. For government agencies, that could mean tailoring information to be federally versus locally relevant.

“We’re using our digital transformation journey to make [work] better and more productive for employees,” Vaidyanathan said.

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