At Options we have a lot of experience troubleshooting instability in complex global systems, be it networks, storage, etc. Viewing the COVID-19 pandemic through that operational lens, there seems to be conclusive evidence that the lockdowns across the developed world well and truly halted the impact in its tracks.
Last September, Options launched its 2020 graduate and placement programme. At the time, we expected it would run as it had each year since we first launched the scheme in Belfast in 2012.
As we now know, nothing is quite what it was in 2019. Like most firms, Options went fully remote at the start of March.
A few observers have noted that the COVID-19 shock will force business and people in general to bound forwards on communication technology adoption. We’ll likely see more progress in the uptake and evolution of technologies like Zoom or Teams in 12 months than would have happened in a decade. Caveat, events have accelerated the wave, but the wave would probably have happened anyway.
Experienced CSO’s know that how any company responds to a security incident says a tremendous amount about an organisation. Companies quick to acknowledge errors are often quick to fix them as well.
It must be said that Zoom have responded to recent criticism in fairly impressive fashion.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our plans for a return to "normal operations" over the last few weeks.
The first point is that we could continue to operate the core platform as normal with our staff working from home for a few years if we had to. Many firms feel that WFH has fundamentally undermined their operating models and the erosion is accelerating.
First and foremost, we hope you and your families are keeping safe. For a quick update on our position given the evolving situation:
Looking at the data we believe that political messaging has gotten a little ahead of itself and significant lockdown restrictions will remain in place right through the summer and potentially beyond.
A note from Options CEO and President, Danny Moore...
Just a quick note to thank everyone for a great team performance in Q1. Tomer and the board send their thanks and appreciation also. We’ve kept them abreast of developments and shared all the MEMOs through March and your work has not gone unnoticed.
As March and Q1 have drawn to a close, 95%+ of the our client base (and Options) are now successfully running in BCP mode. COVID-19 is still unleashing it’s full force across the globe and we continue to see a very fluid situation on the business and personal fronts.
There has been rapid (maybe even rampant) adoption of collaboration and conferencing solutions since the start of the year, with most organisations exploiting tools such as Zoom, Teams and Webex to connect colleagues and clients all now working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance firms, including those in the FinTech sector, get a bad rap from time to time. New York’s “Robin Hood Foundation”, effectively the charitable wing of the Hedge Fund industry, tries to provide a counterbalance.
In that vein, it has dawned on us just how interconnected the Options team is with the health service in Belfast, London and New York.