The U.S. along with many other countries has been in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic for months now. Cases worldwide have exceeded 3 million with fatalities of over 200k. The human toll in the US is over 1M cases and 56k fatalities. States are in lockdown across the country with the majority of businesses closed with the exception of those being deemed essential. Schools have been closed for the rest of this school year with students engaged in “distance learning” activities using Google Classroom and a plethora of other tools. Hundreds of thousands of workers are now working remotely from home as a consequence of the shelter-in-place policies that have been implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The economic devastation for scores of small businesses being forced to shutter for the duration of the quarantine is enormous and will reverberate for years.
These are unprecedented times.
America’s long weeks of lockdown that helped depress the infection curve in some areas are beginning to wane as more and more states opt to ease stay-at-home orders, hoping to relieve economic conditions that raise the specter of Great Depression-style unemployment. However, there are many projections that in the absence of a proven cure for the virus, social distancing measures will continue for the rest of the year and this will also have an impact on economic activity. As businesses open in phases, it is likely that many people will split their time between working from home and the office in efforts to mitigate the risk of exposure.
As a consequence, infrastructure that supports remote work from home remains critical. To be productive, people working from home need access to email, files, and collaborative tools that even though it’s virtual, mimic activities at the company offices. There needs to be seamless access to Outlook, Office apps such as Word and Excel, video tools such as Teams and Zoom for videoconferencing and virtual meetings. These activities all hinge on IT services being delivered effectively.
CRA remains cognizant of the impact the pandemic has had on its customers and remains committed to effective IT service delivery. Some of our clients in the hospitality and food services industry have been adversely impacted and we have been able to help in ways that reflect our commitment to customers and our focus on the quality of service. There are many human sides to the pandemic but as economic activity picks up slowly, we will continue to ensure that our services to customers can lead to successful business outcomes.
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