COVID-19: For IT Managers, Home Is The Front Line

IT Managers may not be customarily considered first responders. Still, when it comes to fighting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, IT managers are in a unique position to assist in the front lines, right from their home offices.

In other words, for IT managers working from home to comply with social distancing, the front line is, in fact, their home.


IT Managers: At The Front Lines

Everyone is probably now well aware that supermarkets and other stores selling basic necessities (e.g. pharmacies) have been hit with a phenomenon that very few Americans have ever experienced in their lifetimes: Empty shelves.

This new phenomenon can be particularly unnerving and eerie when experienced in person. To walk into your local Target only to see rows and rows of empty shelves and freezers can be a big shock. But this phenomenon hasn't been limited to brick and mortar supermarkets. Amazon Fresh, an extremely well-funded website that only last week was able to accept orders for same-day delivery, basically collapsed and users were unable to select a delivery time.

This is where IT Managers can jump in and join the front lines in the war against COVID-19, right from the comfort of their own homes.

IT Managers: How To Help In The COVID-19 Front Lines (Right From Home) 


1-Help Grocery Delivery Sites Get Back Online

Amazon Fresh and supermarket chains have boosted hiring for their delivery services. IT Managers will be needed to help their e-commerce sites handle all those new online orders.

2-Help Your Team And Customers Work From Home

As many companies begin to telecommute, IT Managers will be very busy helping teams get set up by setting up video-conferencing software, moving shared folders to a central location, putting everyone on the same Professional Service Automation system, and helping team members boost their home Wi-Fi (by helping them install routers) via Skype.

3-Help Restaurants Pivot

Many popular restaurants have rapidly pivoted to convert their operations to 100% pickup and delivery. Some have transformed their dining rooms into mini-markets and food pickup counters. IT Managers can help restaurants transform their websites to process online orders. Restaurant owners will also need IT managers to help with their back-end accounting and inventory systems. 

4-Help Schools Go Virtual

As schools and universities close and go online, IT managers will be tasked with helping them handle the new traffic generated by online classes and video conferencing. Some schools may also use the downtime to clean and run a comprehensive inventory of their IT equipment.

5-Help Your Local Government

As local governments mobilize their real-world assets to help combat the virus, IT managers will be needed to help boost their IT systems to handle the extra load. Because some government employees will be working on-site, and others from home, IT managers can help ease communications between teams by improving their back-end processes, project management software, and other systems shared between local government and first responders.

6-Help Your Local Hospitals

As hospitals prepare to combat the virus physically by maximizing their usable space and ordering new equipment, IT managers can help hospitals set up their telemedicine sites. IT managers can also help by thinking outside the box, like providing open-source CAD files for 3D printing hospital equipment that needs to be replaced frequently (like this 3D printing team did in Italy).

7-Help Factories Pivot

Many factories around the world have been pivoting their production lines to start producing hand sanitizers or N95 masks. IT managers will be needed to help these factories change their production lines from dresses to masks or from cosmetics to hand sanitizer. IT managers will also be needed when pharmaceutical companies begin expanding their USA based production lines.

8-Help Your Regular Customers

Because all your regular customers will be impacted uniquely, IT managers should reach out to them to find out how they can help them cope with the new normal. It can be helping them set up telecommuting networks, helping with inventory systems, or boosting their servers to help handle more e-commerce traffic.

Going out of the way to let your customers know that you've got the IT side of their business in good hands will go a long way toward helping their business pivot, grow and survive this challenge.

What are you doing as an IT manager to join the front lines to help fight COVID-19 right from your home office?



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Florin R. Ferrs
By Florin R. Ferrs

Florin is a technology writer based in Silicon Valley.