Question :
Essential Services Question – if I am an IT provider for larger organisations that are essential services can I still operate and how do I make sure that the larger IT service companies don’t eat my lunch?

Question submitted 29/03/20 @ 09:01am
Industry: Digital and Technology
  • Is this a test?

    For your Lovina it is – no, it was a question a few people have asked me, can I still do my IT work for say a large bank or a large Telco? And how do I make sure my work does not get cut by larger IT service providers taking my work?

    Per the essential services definition on covid19.govt.nz:

    “What are essential businesses?
    The following services are considered essential. That means businesses carrying out these functions can remain open, including any critical suppliers in their supply chains, eg a firm repairing IT and data infrastructure for an essential service is okay to remain in operation.

    This list will evolve over time. It was last updated at 6.00 pm, 28 March 2020.”

    So if you are an IT provider for an essential services business then the answer would most likely be yes.

    Answering the second half of the question requires more data and/or the answer would probably be the same regardless of Level 4 or not – how are your response times?, how much of the issues the bank faces can you fix?, what are your costs compared to other competitors in the marketplace?, etc etc.

    Take this opportunity to really focus on obsessing over what your main customers need and ways you can help them out when they are facing a multitude of issues. What issues can you take off their plate that you haven’t done before and/or what can you do better and faster now that you haven’t done before?


    Yes, we keep going and are relevant.

    We can respond and act quicker.

    Whomever is worried about t&C’s and making a margin right now will lose. The big boys may be offering their suite for free or discounted but this just helps opex.

    Smaller, more local service providers can support by helping deliver continuity plans.

    We play an integral role in this!

    Good call Bruce.

    We operate and support 4 small electricity companies. Therefore, we are an essential public service and legally obligated to continue to perform our services. For those small businesses and IT support suppliers who work to support things like power companies and other essential services, I can outline what we have in place for our BCP.

    So that those small business or IT providers can either understand where they fit, or whether they should talk to their customer and offer their help (particularly for shift / standby coverage).

    Our customer service workforce is all working remotely, separately and online (24*7), our IT teams (and suppliers) are again working remotely, separately but on skeleton staff. So, its a bit like the Xmas/New Year shutdown period. Our support teams who operate and mange our critical business as usual functions and critical services are all working, any major changes to computer systems and customers services have been postphoned, any project or development work we’ve also put on hold and those “spare” project resources are now “supporting” our BAU staff in shift patterns.

    So even though we are an essential service, we have still focussed our business to core public service and public safety activities. From what I’ve read/received in the power industry everyone else is doing something similar priorities are “keeping the lights on” BAU and criticial maintenance and responding to faults.

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