Will Telework Work? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Will Telework Work? PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 3b3568-NTQ5Y


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Will Telework Work?


Keeping Information Technology Up If People Go Down Scott McPherson CIO, Florida House of Representatives Chairman, Florida CIO Council Pandemic Preparedness Committee – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:104
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 72
Provided by: bprState
Learn more at: http://www.bpr.state.fl.us
Tags: telework | work


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Will Telework Work?

Will Telework Work?
Keeping Information Technology Up If People Go
  • Scott McPherson
  • CIO, Florida House of Representatives
  • Chairman, Florida CIO Council Pandemic
    Preparedness Committee

Challenges to Business and Government
  • There has never been an influenza pandemic in
    what we would define as the Internet Age.
  • IT is The forgotten resource.
  • No one outside of IT fully realizes that no work
    can be done without properly functioning
    mainframes, servers and PCs/Macs.
  • Now, with a pandemic second wave looming,
    everyone needs to understand how important IT
    really is.

Once the second or third wave begins
  • A frantic agency head or senior manager will rush
    into your office and scream, I need a work at
    home plan NOW!
  • You will calmly look back and say,
  • That is why I put in all those purchase
    requisitions for protective equipment, additional
    bandwidth and a secure virtual network. Since
    they were all turned down, we will have to do
    things a different way.
  • That is when you must take over the discussion
    within your entity.

Forrester survey, 2009
  • In a recent joint Forrester and Disaster Recovery
    Journal survey, 285 BC/DR decision makers were
    asked if their company had strategies for
    workforce recovery in their BCPs.
  • 68 said yes.
  • This means that 32 have a lot of work to do.
  • Of the 68 that have strategies in place, 86 use
    remote access procedures as part of their

Forrester/ZDNet survey, April 2009
However, these questions went unasked
  • What do you do if you cannot fabricate a
    satisfactory telework solution?
  • What if your distanced employees cannot access
    via a broadband connection?
  • What if the business processes are not
    sufficiently digitized to allow for remote
    processing of bits, as opposed to atoms?
  • What if the data center staff or networking staff
    become sick themselves?

Getting your own IT house in order
  • Part One

What would Ike do?
  • The plan is useless its the planning thats
  • Ike's point is that events will never go
    according to The Plan -- but a mature planning
    process will help you prevail. 
  • Believe me, no one is smarter than Ike on this
    matter. No one.

Add context What will happen all around us?
The pandemic plan for IT organizations
  • Create corporate/agency pandemic planning team
  • Prepare succession plan
  • Update DR and COOP plans NOW, as existing DR and
    COOP plans without pandemic modifications will
    NOT WORK in a pandemic.
  • Prepare to shut down nonessential IT services
  • Ensure retail business/government ops continue
  • Acquire protective equipment
  • Monitor employee absenteeism
  • Cross-train your staff
  • Design, implement and support Work at Home plans
  • Prepare for supply chain failures
  • Prepare Communications Plan
  • Teach protective actions
  • Gain an understanding of influenza and how it
  • Leverage this planning for similar scenarios

IT Issues to Consider
IT Issues to consider
  • Do you have a succession plan in place?
  • Which services do you turn off or allow to fail?
  • Data Center operations (lights out operation,
    automated patching)
  • Public Website for emergency notices such as
    openings and closures, if necessary posted by IT
    staff at home, or even by non-IT staff as needed
  • Remote Access (Citrix, RAS, Terminal Services) as
    alternatives to SSL VPN
  • Dont forget field staff!!
  • Maintaining agency cybersecurity in the midst of
    all this
  • Do you enable or eliminate Help Desk operations?
  • PC support for employee personal computers? NO
  • Ensuring security of access and data while
    dealing with employee personal computers POLICY
  • Videoconferencing as alternative to face-to-face
    meetings how will you support it if it
  • Recovering from cascading emergencies (swine flu
    on top of hurricanes, terrorism, etc.)

IT Services
  • It is just not practicable to expect to support
    100 of all your applications/services.
  • Now is the time to sit down with leadership and
    ask which IT services may be turned off in a
    pandemic, and which can be allowed to fail
    without restarting.
  • Doing this now sets the expectation bar,
    reinforces the urgency of the coming second wave,
    and allows you to cross-train more efficiently
    and effectively.

Prepare to shut down services
  • Grab your list of IT services (ITIL) and
    (re)prioritize them with governance board
  • Prepare to shut down ALL nonessential services or
    to abandon SLAs for same
  • Do not bring these services back up if they fail,
    unless you can support them later
  • If not an ITIL shop, then work with upper
    management to prioritize applications by
    criticality. Maintain the list and review
    annually as part of Dr/COOP.

Have you cross-trained your staff?
  • Create written instructions/ procedures for
    critical processes that can be carried out by
  • Cross-train your staff, ideally three-deep
  • Anticipate 30 morbidity (illness) within staff
  • Assume absenteeism due to closure of other
    schools, day care centers
  • Train by TASK, not by what somebody does
  • Maintain a matrix of staff training and widely
    distribute and post in disaster recovery books
    and agency COOP plan
  • Cross-train inside and outside of Data Center in
    other words, cross-train non-data center people
    in simpler technical tasks such as tape rotation.
  • Dont cross-train on services you will disconnect
    or allow to fail!

  • Categorize all operating tasks within one of four
    operating quadrants
  • Supporting Break and fix oriented tasks user
    issues application outage, etc
  • Operating Task needed to keep the wheels turning
    -- backups, routine jobs, admin work
  • Changing Application updates, small code drops
    hardware renewal
  • Optimizing Large projects, version upgrade,
    performance management
  • Determine in which quadrant the critical tasks
    are located
  • What type of work will we focus on in the event
    of a crisis
  • What type of work can we stop doing without
    affecting our services
  • Determine amount of time spent on activities from
    within each quadrant
  • Calculate how many FTEs are assigned to each
  • Determine how many FTEs can be reassigned to
    other functions.

Geographic Skill Matrix Overview
Individual Skill Matrix Overview
Blank No experience 1 limited experience 2
some experience - basic knowledge 3 good
experience - can do configuration setup, some
basic troubleshooting 4 strong experience -
strong troubleshooting, configuration, setup
skills 5 very strong experience - configure,
troubleshoot - go to person
Is the answer in the cloud?
  • Cloud computing may be an alternative, but
    remember certain public-access cloud solutions
    are subject to frequent outages run on the
    greater Internet, not a secure private network
    and, for the most part, are not very secure
    (think Sarah Palin and myriad Facebook/Twitter
  • Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail)
  • Group scheduling and calendaring features on
    Google and other sites
  • Creating a Facebook presence
  • Using Twitter in place of emergency notification
  • Placing middleware in front of Twitter to enhance

(No Transcript)
Other cloud solutions/SaaS
  • Email failover solutions such as MessageOne,
    which automatically allows failover of email to
    their cloud in an emergency or even due to
    routine maintenance.
  • This makes email a Tier Zero app, with 24/7/365
  • Chief lesson learned from 9/11 is that email must
    never go down.
  • Do you have examples of other cloud-based
    solutions you are using that you can share?

Monitor your employee absenteeism, even if no one
else does.
  • Do not rely solely on actual totals coming from
    WHO and CDC. If you see a spike in employee
    absenteeism, it is probable that the virus has
    gained a foothold in your workforce.
  • This can be done without HIPAA violations, and
    should be performed agency-wide, statewide, and
    dont forget field staff.
  • Encourage an enterprise-wide or agency-wide
    initiative to monitor for absenteeism which will
    be critical to track both the spread of the virus
    (reporting daily roll-ups to DoH) and to
    determine operational readiness statewide.

Infrastructure issues
  • Upgrading networks to Priority Restoration
  • Upgrading/Increasing Service Level Agreements
    (SLAs) for hardware support, network support,
    Wide Area Network support
  • Maintaining appropriate levels of information
    security on employee personal computers
  • Preventing kids from hacking Moms corporate
    network while she sleeps or is away
  • Broadband who has it and who doesnt?

Castling oneself into checkmate (outsourcing to
India and China)
  • Half of India is age 25 or younger
  • Much of Indias IT support operations were
    hard-hit in the pandemics first wave (and
    continue to be hit)
  • Sign up for Google Alerts with keywords like
    Bangalore H1N1 to get news and blog accounts of
    the impact of the pandemic in those areas.

Have you prepared for supply chain failures?
  • In a pandemic of any severity, the supply chain
    will falter.
  • In a 1918-type (or worse) pandemic, the supply
    chain will fail.
  • If possible, keep essential supplies/ parts
    stockpiled in advance (4-6 week supply).
  • Survey your suppliers. Resurrect the old Y2K
    adage If they cant articulate their plans for
    pandemic flu preparedness, be wary of their
    ability to survive.
  • In fact, go find your Y2K plans, turn to the tab
    marked Supply Chain Workarounds, update it and
    put it into your DR/COOP Pandemic Annex.

Has your agency prepared internal and external
communications plans?
  • How will key managers communicate among
  • How will information be conveyed to employees?
  • How will employees know who to call in specific
  • How will information be conveyed to business
  • How will the public know which safety net
    offices are open and which are closed?

Consider emergency notification services
  • Companies such as Dialogic Communications,
    TechRadium, Dell/MessageOne and others have
    affordable, hosted services that allow an agency
    to push information to employees via any type of
  • Eliminates the old phone tree tedium
  • Includes voice synthesis and fax
  • Can allow agencies to poll their workforce to see
    who can work and who is too sick to report
  • Will be critical when trying to open offices or
    trying to tell people which office to report for

Communicate with employees and teach preparedness
at work and at home
  • Conduct an awareness campaign within your
  • Teach employees how to prepare themselves and
    their families FIRST. And do it now, instead of
    later when it is too late
  • Cover work and home issues
  • Teach protective actions and personal hygiene
  • Prepare them for moving from office to office
    even from agency to agency.

Teach protective actions NOW
  • Hand washing without recontamination
  • Covering cough, not using hands
  • Avoid putting hands to face, mouth, nose, eyes.
  • Staying home if any signs of illness
  • Proper use of protective equipment
  • Cleaning hard surfaces, wearing gloves, using
    hand sanitizer and wearing masks

Telecommuting and Work at Home Plans
  • Part Two

Telework reality check
  • Are you currently using any remote-access work
    solution beyond Web-based email?
  • Are your business processes adequately
    digitized that you can conduct a flow of
    business without being in the office and without
    touching paperwork?
  • Do your employees have the broadband capabilities
    necessary to move mountains of ones and zeroes
    from home?
  • Have you exercised your telework capabilities

If you answered no to questions one through
  • Then your organization has a very limited chance
    of successfully deploying telework beyond a very
    narrow scope.

Is telework due to social distancing even
practicable in this pandemic?
  • Yes. It is a serious option for those who must
    stay home to take care of sick loved ones.
  • Yes. It is a serious option for anyone having to
    stay home due to school or day care center
  • Yes. It is a way to get important work done while
    minimizing the risk of infection, especially for
    immuno-compromised employees.
  • No. It is sometimes difficult to measure
    performance unless the job is specifically
    structured in a way that managers can quickly
    determine productivity from homebound employees.
  • Airline call centers are a good example of this.
  • No. It is almost impossible to run an
    organization solely based on telework unless that
    organization was designed from the ground up to
    do so.

Viral reality check
  • There are multiple opportunities, at home and in
    the community, for an employee (or you) to become
  • Indeed, the CDC recently said it would probably
    not change guidance on people returning to
    school or work, even when new evidence shows
    contagion can exist for eight days or longer.
  • The CDCs reasoning is that the virus is so
    pervasive, such lengthy extensions of isolation
    would not produce positive results.

First, a message on leadership.
  • Leaders do not lead from the bench, nor do they
    lead from home in a pandemic.
  • Many businesses and most governments will be
    unable to function adequately using telework
    alone, and so many people will eventually have to
    come in to the office.
  • Managers and executives will lose all respect
    from their employees if they sequester at home
    and rarely come in to the office.
  • A loss of respect will translate into a loss of
    employees at their first opportunity.

A good place to start
  • Existing COOP and COG plans that account for
    employee displacement due to anthrax/ricin
    preliminary detection, hurricanes,
    tornadoes/derechos, snow days, floods, ice
    storms and other disasters that render normal
    office operations impractical or impossible and
    forces employees to work from alternate
  • Just imagine the alternate location being the
    employees home or home office.

Candidate jobs for telework(feel free to add
your own)
  • IT application developers
  • IT Tier One help desk and support staff (with
    caveats such as call forwarding via VoIP, PBX,
    along with help desk software they can access
  • Sales, PR/communications and marketing
  • Procurement staff with access to Web-based
    purchasing solutions
  • HR and personnel officers and staff
  • Legal staff with Westlaw access from home and
    access to corporate/government files or PDFs
  • Senior decision-makers (with leadership slide

Enemies of telework
Will their Work at Home plans really work?
  • In response to a pandemic, business, corporate
    America and government are all attempting to
    enable Work at Home Plans.
  • But just what is meant by working at home? How
    will paper get home to people? Who will deliver
    it? How will people input data?
  • How will people complete their work? What
    infrastructure will be necessary in order to
    facilitate this? Who will pay for it?
  • How will you secure the thousands of home PCs
    needed to fully implement such a plan?
  • Be prepared to lose the Internet (Booz, Allen)

Lets define work
  • Government and much of the private sector still
    runs largely on paper
  • Forms have to be inputted into computer systems
  • The business process must be taken apart in order
    to be streamlined
  • Tremendous opportunity to further digitize
    government and we cannot afford to lose this
    chance to streamline government and business
  • Inventory business processes with intent to
    Webify them as eGov operations

Deconstruct and reconstruct the entitys business
  • Have business analysts work with Department staff
    to seek to streamline/digitize processes
  • Remember, only those processes that are
    mission-critical should be candidates for
  • Aim for both a Webified solution and a
    manual-to-digital solution
  • Concentrate on alternatives to moving paper.

Now identify which employees are candidates for
  • It is amazing to see just how many of your
    employees do not have broadband connectivity.
  • They may choose not to pay for it.
  • Their home may be too remote or rural to receive
  • They cannot receive broadband even via aircards.
  • This makes them unsuitable for telework.

The home office is key.
  • Does the user have broadband?
  • Eliminate those who do not, or prepare a plan to
    have the agency pay for home broadband.
  • Does the user have a PC?
  • Eliminate those who do not, or prepare to supply
    users with laptops.
  • Does the user have the appropriate applications
    suite, antivirus and antispyware?
  • Prepare to have legal review your existing
    licensing agreements (Seat may allow you to
    install on a home PC if the office PC is turned
  • Is the OS patched?
  • Any other security nightmares such as children?

What is the method of logging in?
  • Citrix
  • VPN
  • Remote takeover/remote control
  • Windows Terminal Services

Potential failures in work at home plans
  • How will paper get home?
  • USPS? Irregular deliveries
  • UPS? FedEx? DHL? They too will suffer loss of
    dependable service.
  • Will agencies put together their own delivery
  • If gas is scarce, how will deliveries take place?
  • Is it realistic to expect government to set up
    its own postal service?

Potential failures in work at home plans
  • Paper must be quarantined, lest employers
    inadvertently sicken otherwise healthy homes
  • CDC and St. Jude say virus becomes inert after 12
    to 24 hours on paper and porous surfaces
  • Each stage in the paper handling process requires
    a day quarantine to prevent infection. Remember
    the terrible lessons learned from the deaths of
    Inuits (Eskimos) in 1918. The mailman brought
    the virus to them.

Are PDFs and PDF-driven forms an answer?
  • Possibly, if you have enough time to convert
    forms to fillable PDFs.
  • PDF-driven forms would have to immediately be
    designed by IT, with accompanying metadata
    captured and placed into databases for movement
    and action.
  • Scanning and emailing of documents would
    eliminate any potential for infection.
  • Scanning staff would need (and should demand)
    protective equipment.
  • The agency would need to set up a scanning
    solution to account for tens of thousands of
    documents at each retail site, or in each
    regional office.
  • Excessively large attachments might overwhelm the
    agency networks.
  • ISPs will not accept large attachments, so
    emailing to private accounts is unrealistic.

SSL VPNs and you
  • Time for an SSL VPN solution with rigid,
    unforgiving policy enforcement.
  • Implement an SSL VPN service and be prepared to
    scale it radically upward
  • Be prepared to lose the Internet, as network
    service providers will also experience high
    absenteeism and be forced to scale back SLAs
    (Booz Allen)
  • That is one compelling reason to upgrade to
    priority restoration.

Substitutes for SSL-VPNs
  • Go to My PC (made by Citrix, it requires a work
    PC to be on and functional in order to take it
    over via remote control
  • Above-average security.
  • Individual seats or enterprise licensing
  • A quick substitute for organizations who have no
    VPN established, or for those who do not have the
    ability to scale their VPN upwards.

Conclusion, W_at_H plans
  • Governments and businesses cannot afford to
    implement perfect work at home plans in the
    current financial and pandemic climate.
  • W_at_H plans can be successful, if the process does
    not involve the moving of paper or constant
    online access to legacy systems if applied
    properly if created with enough advance
    planning and if exercised frequently.
  • Once the second wave kicks in, be prepared to
    have difficulty in obtaining equipment.
  • Corporations are usually better-equipped to
    proceed with broader work at home plans. They are
    usually more digital than government.

Alternatives and workarounds to face-to-face
meetings and expensive conferencing solutions
  • Audio teleconferencing as an alternative to
  • Low-cost videoconferencing services as an
    alternative to face-to-face meetings
  • Desktop videoconferencing point-to-point via
    Skype, other platforms in lieu of face-to-face
  • Second Life as alternative to meetings
  • GoToMeeting and WebEx (with or without video
    option) as alternatives to managing your own
    conferencing solutions or as backups to your
    established services
  • FedEx Office conferencing services in key
    locations in the US as alternatives to air travel.

Low-tech alternatives to telework
  • Staggered shifts within the office, e.g., 7AM to
    4PM, 4PM to midnight
  • Limitations on personnel at any given time within
    cubicle cities
  • Heavy emphasis on cleaning of solid surfaces
  • Heavy use of corporate-supplied hand sanitizer
  • Moving to four-day weeks

Helping your organization get ready for waves 2
and 3
  • Part Three

BIG rule of thumb
  • If your agency or organization has not formulated
    a pandemic planning team, that organization is
  • If your agency or organization has not exercised
    its pandemic plan via a tabletop exercise or
    stronger simulation, that organization is NOT

What would Ike do?
  • The plan is useless its the planning thats
  • Ike's point is that events will never go
    according to The Plan -- but a mature planning
    process will help you prevail. 
  • Believe me, no one is smarter than Ike on this
    matter. No one.

Add context What will happen all around us?
There should be already in place, a pandemic
planning team
  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Training Development
  • Information Technology
  • Procurement/Purchasing
  • Communications/Press Secretary
  • Facilities/Maintenance/janitorial
  • And at the top.. The CEO, agency head, or second
    in command.
  • If there isnt one theyre not ready for a

Have they created a realistic pandemic annex to
their DR AND COOP plans NOW?
  • Armed with your information and in conjunction
    with all agency peers, urge creation of a
    Pandemic Annex to your organizations COOP and
    Disaster recovery plans now.
  • Additional questions to answer
  • Does agency COOP Plan have an event horizon
    beyond 30 days?
  • Within a 30 day to 120 day context, does it
    have a new definition of essential and
    nonessential personnel?
  • Does it contain a well-defined succession plan
    for agency leadership?
  • Just for grins, imagine if you had to support
    agency operations AND a hurricane or terrorist
    event came during a wave of the pandemic. Recall
    that 75 of all pandemics occur during hurricane
  • What plans would you engage?

Audit to ensure retail ops continue
  • Is an organization prepared to engage in core
    activities even if the following is true
  • Loss of raw materials/finished goods due to
    failures in JIT supply chain.
  • Everyday drop in workforce from 10 to 40 during
    a pandemic wave
  • Loss of customers due to pandemic
  • Forced closure of certain industries
    (restaurants, public gatherings such as football
    games, dry cleaners, boutiques).

Ensure retail government ops continue
  • Retail government service delivery offices in the
    social, medical and law enforcement safety net
    domains will have to remain open, and certain
    employees will have to remain exposed to citizens
    while at work.
  • Keeping offices open will be essential to
    preserve the integrity of government and to care
    for its customers.
  • Can you imagine what will happen if government
    fails its citizens when they need it the most?

Have they cross-trained their staff?
  • Help them understand and mentor them on the
    correct ways to go about this.

Acquired protective equipment?
  • N-95 masks or surgical masks
  • 3 per employee per workday for 6-12 weeks (you do
    the math)
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Enough for 6 12 weeks
  • Gloves (vinyl some are allergic to latex)
  • Same ratio as masks 3 pairs per workday for the
    duration of a wave of a pandemic

Have you/they decided who gets protective
  • Front-line workers with constant exposure to the
    general public
  • The social and public safety safety net workers
    (AWI, DCF, HSMV, local equivalents, etc.)
  • Data center employees The checks gotta roll.

Working with Procurement
  • Do they know what to buy?
  • Do they know the quantities?
  • Do they know the context?
  • Everyone and their brother will want the same
    items and be willing to pay more for them.
  • Does your agency have the money to increase
    expenditures on staples?

Leverage this planning for similar scenarios
  • Anthrax (loss of building for 3-26 weeks)
  • Ricin (loss of building for 3-26 weeks)
  • Bioterrorism or chemical weapons
  • Natural disasters striking your facilities
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Civil Disturbances
  • Common themes
  • What if my headquarters building were heavily
    damaged or destroyed, or people could not occupy
    it for an extended period of time?
  • Where would I put all the employees, and how
    could my agency recover and resume its core
    mission more quickly?

Plan ,plan, and plan some more.
Gain Global Context
  • Gain an understanding of influenza and its
  • Read John Barrys book The Great Influenza
  • Subscribe to Google, Yahoo and news services RSS
    feeds/email alerts on bird flu, H1N1, swine
    flu and pandemic
  • Learn how to protect yourself against all
  • Learn how to recognize the global warning signs
    when the pandemic intensity status is about to be

Final Thoughts
Ten tips on pandemic flu planning (from UK)
  • Lessons from the past are not always learned - we
    must do better than with Foot and Mouth and SARS
  • It won't go according to plan - biological,
    political and economic impact will be complex
  • Keep a sense of proportion - most people will
  • Not just a health issue - businesses will suffer
  • Lots of heroes out there - people will outperform
  • Communication will falter - we need tried and
    tested systems for contacting staff
  • The media loves disasters - can be good as well
    as bad
  • Good enough is good enough - less than perfect
    care and rationing is inevitable
  • Low tech is reliable - hygiene as important as
  • Involve the public - be honest and open
  • Source Hilary Pickles, Hospital Doctor Pandemic
    Flu conference, London

References and Suggested Reading Materials
  • The Great Influenza, John M. Barry (Viking,
    2004 hardcover).
  • Americas Forgotten Pandemic The Influenza of
    1918, Alfred W. Crosby (Cambridge University
    Press, 1976/2003 softcover).
  • Flu The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic
    of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused
    It, Gina Kolata (Diane Pub. Co., 2001
  • The Monster at Our Door The Global Threat of
    Avian Flu, Mike Davis (New Press, 2005
  • Influenza, Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne (Plenum
    Publishing, NY, 1987 hardcover).
  • The Devil's Flu The World's Deadliest Influenza
    Epidemic and the Scientific Hunt for the Virus
    That Caused It, Pete Davies (Owl Books, 2000
  • The Swine Flu Affair Decision-making on a
    Slippery Disease, Richard E. Neustadt, Harvey V.
    Fineberg (University Press of the Pacific, 2005
  • Bird Flu A Virus of Our Own Hatching, Dr.
    Michael Greger (Lantern Press, 2006, hardcover)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
    www.cdc.gov and www.pandemicflu.gov
  • World Health Organization Avian Influenza Website
  • National Academy of Sciences, Institute of
    Medicine http//www.iom.edu/
  • Recombinomics, Dr. Henry Nimans Website,
  • University at Albany (NY) Public Health Pandemic
    Course, http//www.ualbanycphp.org/learning/regist

commentary available at www.scottmcpherson.net
Follow me on Twitter _at_scottwmcpherson
About PowerShow.com