Navigating the crisis: My IT team's adaptability win

Chris Fielding, CIO of Sungard AS, explains how her team repurposed one idea to solve a more pressing issue during the COVID-19 crisis
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Editor’s note: IT leaders have quickly shifted gears to enable remote working and overcome unplanned technology and business challenges in the weeks following the COVID-19 outbreakThe Enterprisers Project is documenting their stories and celebrating IT team wins in an ongoing series. Chris Fielding, CIO of Sungard AS, shares her IT team win below. 

The challenge:

One of our employees based in India had a hard disk failure on their laptop, but with all our employees working remotely and the country on lockdown, replacing that device was more difficult than normal. We don’t want employees using personal laptops or PCs to connect to our environment for security reasons, but shipping this worker a replacement laptop was not possible given local lockdown policies. 

What we did:

We set up a virtual PC for the employee, which allowed them to access the company’s network using their personal devices without any security concerns. As a result, they were able to continue working without skipping a beat. 

What we learned:

It’s about being adaptable. We never intended to use virtual PCs in this manner, however, this was an opportunity to repurpose one idea to solve a more pressing issue. Surround yourself with problem solvers who are well-versed in your organization’s architecture. That way, when a problem arises, you’ll be ready to act.

The employee in our India office was back online the next day. By repurposing this older idea, testing it out and successfully implementing it, we developed a workable solution for any employee facing hardware issues and to support the onboarding of new employees located in areas where we are unable to ship physical work devices. 

[ IT leaders in our community are sharing advice on navigating this crisis. Read Crisis leadership: How to overcome anxiety. ]

Chris Fielding is the Chief Information Officer for Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS). She joined the company in 2008 and held several positions before taking on her current role in January of 2018. A seasoned IT leader with over 30 years of experience in the global arena, Chris previously held senior-level positions at TIBCO, Vodafone and Oracle.