Operational Resilience of the Indian IT-BPM Industry during the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Case Study
Keywords:IT-BPM, operational resilience, COVID-19, pandemic, work from home
The whole world witnessed the COVID-19 outbreak in the initial months of the year 2020,including India that announced a nationwide lockdown to break the virus transmission chain.Total lockdown imposed in India laid restrictions not only on how people commute but alsofunctioning of all government, private and commercial establishments, except emergency andessential services. Travel and tourism, aviation, hospitality sectors and other industrialestablishments incurred a heavy loss throughout this lockdown period while only a fewIndustries were able to continue their functioning without violating the laws of the land.However, Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) is one suchIndustry, which could exhibit operational resiliency in the wake of COVID-19 by providingwork from home option, which was indeed not a new concept for this technology industry. Itplayed a major role in creating a virtual workplace that could continue its operations byenabling one to be at a safe and comfort zone of their homes. Work from home would not havebeen successful without employee co-operation, relaxation in government regulations,technology advancement, etc. Over 32,000 registered information technology (IT) firmsoperate in the country. 7.9% of India's Gross domestic product (GDP) is contributed by the ITand BPM industries and about 41 lakh professionals are employed. Transitioning from aconventional work model to work from home model was not a simple task as it involved a lotof challenges like Information security threat, work life imbalance, psychological disorder, etcassociated with it. This paper examines the way how IT-BPM industry enabled the work fromhome model during initial days of pandemic. Further operational resilience, influencingaspects, financial status and latest industrial developments related to IT-BPM Industry havealso been studied. A systematic SWOC analysis has been conducted to understand thestrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges to the IT-BPM industry during work fromhome model. Some recommendations are also made based on the SWOC analysis.