The sudden mass adoption of remote working due to COVID-19 is undoubtedly accelerating the pace of digital transformation and raising fresh challenges for project delivery. Here, Version 1’s Colin Pattison, discusses the latest project work undertaken for our global clients, how it differs, and how project demands will evolve in the future.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent global lockdown, Version 1 has continued to work remotely on projects for clients in Capital Markets. Our project delivery success comes down to an established WFH policy for all employees as well as a robust business continuity plan that ensures a consistent service for our clients across the world.

This established remote working model, coupled with a longstanding culture of trust, has enabled us to deal with our clients’ urgent refocus on process automation and digital transformation since the lockdown. Such acceleration in this area has increased the size, scope and complexity of our projects and has required additional support and a highly strategic approach.

Currently, our Capital Markets team is working on a sizable set of strategic projects for a global  investment bank, which has so far led us to deploy 40 developers across multiple project teams. For this particular program to run smoothly, it requires careful management, coordination and transparency so that the client is always kept up to date with project progress and risks. We’ve successfully managed to help them deal through this very difficult time of market volatility.

Despite the rapid acceleration of digital transformation, as a software delivery partner, we’re still beholden to the same regulations and change management systems we always have been in Capital Markets. Whilst many of our clients implemented change freezes in response to market conditions, we quickly acted to highlight impacted project areas and possible workarounds to maintain progress.

Another notable short-term challenge we face is finding our productivity under the microscope, especially by those clients who relied on on-site Version 1 staff to bolster their project teams. Clients, of course, want to know more about labour utilisation and the value they receive at a time when their businesses face both top and bottom-line pressure. In many cases the shift to remote working, and the removal of distractions has improved productivity, it’s going to take time for everyone to adjust to these circumstances. It’s up to us to maintain transparency and trust, calling out productivity issues long before they impact the project

While we don’t know exactly what the next year is going to look like for Version 1 and our clients’ organisations, we hope we’ll start seeing things go back to some semblance of normal life in the next six months. The long-term focus for most Capital Markets organisations following the peak of the pandemic will be on both cost-efficiency and digital transformation. This is likely to trigger greater and lasting demand for competitively-priced digital transformation experts in nearshore delivery centres. Beyond this, we predict a massive increase in demand for automated solutions and a laser focus on digital transformation to help streamline existing processes that will no longer be fit for purpose in a post-COVID-19 world.