Moshe shares his guiding principles, that provided Credorax with a recipe to ensuring seamless business continuity during the swift transition to working from home. Starting with office equipment and tools to facilitate collaboration and agility, and covering all aspects including HR policies, managerial philosophies, and the control systems that ensure ongoing operational excellence, even during times of change.
A million articles have already been written about the Coronavirus – how to survive at home, how to order online from the supermarket, how to stop your kids from climbing the walls from boredom, the list goes on. And on.
But, as businesses around the world grapple with the consequences of their entire workforce moving from the traditional office to working from home fulltime, Business Continuity Plans have literally become the life jacket under business owners’ seats.
At Credorax, things are no different. We decided to implement our Business Continuity Plan ahead of time, executing it in a single day, a full week before the official introduction of workplace restrictions by the authorities.
With a strong global workforce of over 250 employees, our Tech & R&D Centers in Israel shut down literally overnight and our Banking Center in Malta also rapidly moved to remote working, as government quarantine and curfew mandates begin to come into effect.
So…what happened? And what can we do?
In short; nothing. Nothing at all. As we had meticulously planned, things continued to work like clockwork. As if everyone was still at the office. This was mainly due to the way we originally set up our working policies and company philosophies from the very start of our business operations, over a decade ago. At the time, each decision was simple to make. We just had to be reasonable and consistent.
Below is a list of guiding principles that provided us with a recipe to ensuring seamless business continuity. These principles can be implemented by any business and are surprisingly easy to put into place.
1 – HR Policy
Allow (and encourage) workers to maintain a work-life balance even if they are the first line of support for a 24/7/365 payments processing system. This should be a company policy even before times of crisis. Having flexible working conditions that allow more balance are vital to maintaining employee engagement – they feel appreciated and can live healthy lives – and it also encourages employees to be flexible and dedicated when crisis hits. In today’s technology driven world, and especially once we all come out of the social distancing/quarantine situation we’re dealing with now, employers should make sure they have flexible policies that facilitate a healthy balance once life returns to normal.
2 – Office Equipment and Tech Tools
Be realistic about which office equipment is most efficient and try to supply everyone with laptop (never a desktop). Not only will it facilitate more flexible working conditions that enable work/life balance, but it even works well when employees are all together in an office and need to carry their computers from place to place. More than just physical office equipment, give employees access to the tech tools they need to collaborate and coordinate with others. There are plenty of strong and secure communication and project management tools that bring people together and align teams, no matter where they are.
3 – Trust Philosophy
Igal Rotem, Credorax’s CEO once said that the most important part of his job was to stay out of the way, so that others could do their work. And while it was said in jest, there is a part of that which rings truth. It’s important to give your middle management and team leaders the freedom to operate. Naturally, every manager must also follow guidance and direction, but otherwise, allow them to organize processes as they see fit, and they will exceed your expectations.
4 – System Redundancy
Design your core systems for complete unattended redundancy. This is critical in world where going offline for even seconds can have severe impact on your business. But it’s not only that. System redundancy also gives your first line of support critical some breathing space while they work on incident response.
5 – Data Centers
While it seems that data travels at the speed of light, in reality, that’s not yet the case. So, as you design your data centers, be mindful of their physical location. We recommend placing data centers in different continents close to major internet backbone hubs. Not only does this enhance your systems’ redundancy, it also makes API response times much faster.
6 – Monitoring and Control Systems
In the spirit of being redundant, we can’t stress this enough. Keep your monitoring and control systems remote and implement multiple layers of redundancy – a necessary investment if you are 4000 kilometers away from your nearest customer-facing server.
7 – Ongoing Operational Excellence
In order to really maintain business continuity, don’t be lazy! Consistently and constantly improve your processes and keep pushing for operational excellence across the board. Work hard to be financially sound and service the market – and in doing so – be flexible and adaptive to the changing conditions around you. Your customers will appreciate your approach and the quality of products/service you provide.
Keep calm and carry on
For Credorax, these core processes have been the difference between life and death to our business. They proved themselves long before COVID-19 started and they continue to work for us now. In fact, our technology has been consistently running at “five nines” for many years we have been recognized as one of the fastest-growing acquirers in Europe with one of the fastest transaction handling times in the world.
When COVID-19 came to town, of course we followed emergency plans and procedures that went beyond our normal daily business; we stopped business travel and shifted meetings to online video calls as it all unfolded and simultaneously, we worked closely with our third-parties and vendors, to confirm their business continuity as an important part of ours. And because of our preparedness in advance, combined with our efforts when the crisis it, we jumped into our new reality smoothly.
In times of uncertainty, no one is immune to moments of doubt and worry. However, thanks to our business continuity plans and fantastic teams, our services continue uninterrupted and we’re even onboarding new businesses to our smart payment services.
So while we’re certainly still keeping a close eye on the developments and the world around us, we’re business as usual and will be happy to connect. We’ll just have to postpone plans for dinners and handshakes… for now.
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To learn more about our business continuity plans or how we can help you, contact us at email@example.com.