CDK Gobal is an MNC providing dealer management solutions, majorly to the auto sector, to over thirty thousand clients globally. The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped through countries globally, which could potentially have massive repercussions for companies operating at a global scale. Express Computer has been running a series of articles covering companies of all sizes on the actions taken to maintain business continuity. In today’s edition, EC speaks with Venkata Sudhakar Nagandla, Global Senior Director – Global Infrastructure Services at CDK Global.
The company’s business continuity plan is as per ISO 22301:2019 (International Organization for Standardization).
As a part of the business continuity plan, some of the urgent steps undertaken by the CDK Global are the following: Virtual on-boarding of new hires – Delivering laptops to their homes wherever possible; Emergency break fixes for end points; Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provisions during on-boarding or for break fix activities, where there is no movement of people; Handling Employee Separations remotely – Ensuring the disabling of access and collecting IT assets.
When asked about the baseline backend infrastructure in place, Nagandla said, the company has taken a hybrid cloud approach. “CDK uses a hybrid cloud environment. About 70% of our enterprise applications/products are in house hosted in our colocation data centres across the globe. Rest of our work loads are distributed across the public cloud platforms,”
In terms of VPN availability, based on the historical trends of bandwidth utilization, in line with the business strategy, “We enhanced our internet bandwidth by augmenting an additional 50%. This helped us to support the work force better when hundred percent work from home requirement emerged in the crisis period during the lockdown,” says Nagandla. The company introduced split VPN tunneling to divert all the internet bound traffic (specially video conferencing applications) via employees’ home internet. This helped in enhancing the performance of enterprise hosted applications.
Video conferencing has also become an important ingredient in enabling employees to interact. CDK Global rolled out a new lighter version of the video conferencing application. “This has helped us to significantly have additional options available as far as video conferencing is concerned and also reduce our bandwidth consumption,” In addition, the other collaboration tools enable employees to be connected to effectively deliver the services.
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On the security front, CDK uses multi factor authentication as per industry best practices. The content sharing among employees also has to be regulated during a work from home environment. CDK has a well-defined IT and security policy for content sharing during BAU scenarios even prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Employees continue to follow existing guidelines while working with internal and external contacts. There is no change in this policy.
In a work from home scenario, marking for employee attendance and productivity is also crucial. “At the company, leaves and work from home requests are applied and approved through a workflow in a home grown tool,” Nagandla concludes.