As offices, onshore and offshore, abruptly closed their doors, almost a year ago now, companies scrambled their tech warriors to ensure their staff had access to work-from-home infrastructure with some semblance of the quality to that which they left behind.
In some cities in India et al this was not possible. Low-cost centres in smaller Indian cities such as Jaipur and even in some well-known offshore ITSM destinations such as Pune struggle with low residential internet speeds and domestic penetration. In the years BC (before Covid), leased-line broadband and huge uninterruptible generators took care of business continuity. Suddenly the bottleneck found itself at the makeshift desks of the company’s employees, at the mercy of unreliable broadband, patched together by local ISPs, and over-stretched mobile data providers. A disaster for some IT support centres that positioned themselves in low-cost towns and cities across India. To get over the hurdle, they will have to rely on local IT management services, similar to Treasure Valley IT (tvit.net/) to get their footing back in these uncertain times.
Not just in some areas of India but also the Philippines was badly affected where internet was not well established. Anthony Esguerra admitted to AFP that 80% of his company operations were disrupted due to restricted internet at homes.
But in modern Indian cities where home internet penetration and mobile data was highest, offshore IT support companies thrived, transition was seamless and downtime imperceptible. Mumbai has the highest mobile download speeds and the highest internet penetration in India and the move out of the office, originally unthinkable, to apartments across India’s biggest city, Mumbai, has had one spectacular outcome: the dread of any interruption to business continuity has been eliminated. In business continuity documentation, work from home was the last resort. Now it underpins it. And if a particularly heavy July monsoon downpour keeps a few employees from the office for a day then they can seamlessly move to work from home.
As much of the Western world struggles on with interminable lockdowns, India is moving on. A McKinsey report in May 2020 suggested that India’s economy must be opened and “managed alongside persistent infection risks” and so India came out of lockdown in June 2020. Although Indians, at a personal level, have suffered from Covid-19, it had one of the lowest mortality rates in the world and there is now a growing consideration that it may have approached a herd immunity. Research by Indian scientists also suggests that exposure over time by those in India to an extensive range of pathogens has resulted ina more robust immunity to the virus. Certainly, the freedoms that were taken away from Indians overnight have been returned much more quickly than in Europe, the US and other Western regions. Organisations that prefer IT service management support from a physical office are turning to cities like Mumbai for their outsourcing, not just for cost benefits but for reasons of business continuity.
Mumbai has been home to ESG Global Services, a leader in outsourced IT Support, since 2005. All our tech experts, customer support workers, service desk operatives, DevOps and developers were quickly and seamlessly repositioned at home and continued to provide our clients with world-class IT support, and we are now moving towards back to a full office-based support function with a business continuity plan we do not have to lose a wink of sleep over again.