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Information technology at FCCI
Meeting challenges so our customers could meet theirs
There’s no question that FCCI teammates were resilient, empathic, and adaptable in 2020. There’s equally no question about one group in particular, whose exceptional skills, flexibility and “can-do” attitude made it possible for the rest of the company to stay connected effectively: the Information Technology (IT) department.
Historically, FCCI has taken great pride in being prepared for business interruption challenges through its Business Continuity Management (BCM) program. The BCM team regularly rehearsed for a wide variety of scenarios, including pandemics, but the work from home order and its continuation for the majority of 2020 stretched the problem-solving skills of our operations team. IT rose to the challenge, ensuring that both our teammates and customers could be successful.
Prior to March 2020, FCCI had the ability for 500 teammates to work from home via Citrix virtual desktops. Once the work from home order commenced, IT immediately scaled that number up to more than 800. There were teammates who had previously indicated they could work from home but, with partners also home and children attending virtual school, computers were at a premium in many households. FCCI was able to provide 100 computers for teammates who needed these resources at home.
Even with Business Continuity Management testing plans twice each year, never before in the company’s history was there ever a need to go from working in multiple offices across the country to working remotely – overnight.
IT implemented Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoTo Meeting, and others, ensuring there was sufficient licensing for virtual meetings. They deployed a smartphone app to give all teammates quick access to their voicemail and call forwarding. Applications were only one part of the equation. The IT team closely monitored internet bandwidth to ensure there was adequate capacity for the added workload and future operations. Finally, the team reviewed its vendor partner agreements to ensure they could provide the necessary resources for connectivity and infrastructure.
FCCI’s commitment to superior customer service was exemplified by IT. Working tirelessly to satisfy both internal and external stakeholders, they displayed a service-oriented mindset so business operations could continue without interruption.
Investments in infrastructure, processes, planning, along with regular testing, ensured IT’s ability to deliver solutions for our teammates, agents and policyholders. To that end, FCCI employs a hot site, a real time backup of its existing network environment for disaster recovery and business continuity, as opposed to a cold back up site, a less costly solution but requiring significant time and resources to resume business operations.
In today’s business climate, technology is inextricably intertwined with almost every aspect of our business. Even with BCM testing plans twice each year, never before in the company’s history was there ever a need to go from working in multiple offices across the country to working remotely – overnight.
Challenge is inevitable in any business, but the manner in which an organization responds and reacts is a strong sign of its success or failure. Working in the background quietly, effectively and precisely, IT overcame the obstacles of the past year. If the IT team’s response is any indicator of our future, then it would be safe to say that FCCI’s future is bright.
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