Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, NTT DATA Services needed to quickly create a secure, resilient Dynamic Workplace program to keep themselves and their clients — many of whom were frontline organizations fighting to manage the pandemic — safe and productive.
NTT DATA Services leveraged their own workplace, cloud and security solutions to innovate and quickly create a remote work program — driving digital transformation for themselves and their clients.
Disruption can inspire us in new, unexpected ways. For NTT DATA Services, the coronavirus pandemic catalyzed a work-from-home program designed to protect employees without compromising productivity. And by transforming their own workplace, the company helped clients through unprecedented upheavals.
NTT DATA is a global technology leader dedicated to serving clients in all industries around the world. When the pandemic hit, their mission was clear. John Graham, Group President of NTT DATA Services’ commercial sector remembers it vividly. “We had a big task in front of us,” says Graham. “Our number one focus was to keep everyone safe. That meant getting 40,000 plus employees in 40 countries home fast.”
At the same time, NTT DATA also had to manage onsite safety. “What inspired me was how our entire company stepped up,” says Stephanie Liebman, Chief Risk Officer for NTT DATA. “Recognizing that frontline clients needed our support, we quickly authorized thousands of team members who supported hospitals and other essential locations to continue working onsite.” Keeping them safe was a big undertaking. “NTT DATA followed safety policies informed by public health sources, and employed logistics programs to distribute PPE and arrange transportation enabling our teams to work safely onsite,” Liebman adds. “Everyone worked tirelessly from day one to support our client’s critical missions.”
NTT DATA rolled out the next phase of an enormous pivot: the quick creation of a robust work-from-home program for other companies. “The pandemic is fundamentally the largest impact to business and society we've ever seen,” says Graham. “We needed to get our people productive quickly to ensure our clients had everything they needed to move forward — workplace stability, business continuity and secure, resilient services.”
Remote work meant stepping up in new ways. “Right from the start, our employees exhibited our core values,” says Tim Conway, Group President of NTT DATA Services’ public sector. “They took incredible initiative because our clients’ missions were at stake.”
NTT DATA used its Dynamic Workplace to deliver the digital tools and functionality required to power a remote workforce. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) services in tandem with NTT DATA’s Security and Cloud Transformation services gave employees the tools and flexibility needed to stay engaged while maintaining the security and governance the company required. NTT DATA created this safe, agile and resilient remote work program in under two weeks.
As the company raced to re-envision workplace processes and solutions, the NTT DATA community adapted their internal communication style — constant remote engagement was key. “The communication and collaboration of our entire company was extraordinary,” says Barry Shurkey, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “Everybody came together in a shared vision around employee safety and delivering on client commitments. An unexpected gift of this intense time is deeper connections. There’s a real sense that we’re in this together. That bond is unbelievable.”
But empowering more than 40,000 employees around the globe to work remotely and preserve business continuity was just the first of the challenges ahead. It was time to help clients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the principal first responder to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. And NTT DATA provides all the CDC’s infrastructure services, data center services and end-user computing.
“With the pandemic, we were suddenly in a mission-critical role and had to quickly pivot to create a much more distributed remote service model to enable the agency to manage the crisis,” says Conway. “Our Dynamic Workplace gave the CDC the ability to work securely and effectively from home. That had never been tried or tested before. Together, we made it a reality over a weekend.”
NTT DATA supports many large clients in the financial services industry. One client had leading-edge cybersecurity processes to protect onsite operations but was unequipped with the same level of security for large-scale remote work.
“They needed extremely robust security,” says Steve Williams, Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer. “Our Security services provide an offering centered around “Zero Trust” that secures work from anywhere on any device. We deployed that to secure our own work-from-home program. It was a quick pivot to provide the same solution to our financial services clients.”
The coronavirus forced school systems to adapt to a new normal for education—one driven by remote learning. The New York City Department of Education needed a technology pathway for its students. “We designed a remote learning solution with our Dynamic Workplace,” says Conway. “Within three weeks we deployed 300,000 iPads to students, 800 devices to teachers, hired and trained 70 call center agents and fielded 29,000 call — all so those students can continue their education from anywhere.”
The pandemic created unprecedented business and emotional challenges that tested the resiliency of NTT DATA Services’ solutions and teams. Ultimately, the company delivered secure, agile solutions for employees and clients with uninterrupted service. Doing so generated a renewed appreciation for the positive impact that NTT DATA can deliver.
“Our entire company has rallied together and collaborated in an incredible way,” says Graham. “And we’ve created meaningful digital transformation more quickly than ever. But the thing I’m most grateful for is that we’ve kept our people safe. It’s clear in a whole new way that by protecting and empowering our teams, we protect and empower our clients. We now know on a really deep level that we are stronger together.”
Read more from Barry Shurkey: "Confessions of a CIO: The Top 5 Things the Pandemic Taught Me About Cultivating Resilience."