The ongoing Icelandic volcano ash cloud saga shows no signs of abating and, as a consequence, large numbers of company managers are finding their business travel plans impaired or even cancelled entirely.
According to Denise Plumpton, a non-executive director for 360°IT, the IT infrastructure event, little has been written in the media about alternative approaches to management whilst under the effects of the cloud.
Plumpton, an ex-director of the UK Highways Agency and former CIO with Powergen, has also previously been the IT director of TNT, the international courier and parcels group.
In a posting on the 360°IT – The IT Infrastructure Event Blog Plumpton reports that she was impressed to hear Lord Adonis’ recently holding a videoconference with his counterparts across Europe to discuss the volcano ash cloud incident.
“I wonder whether his first inclination next time he needs to converse with these people will be to use videoconferencing – or does he see it as the [communications] channel of last resort?” she questions.
The non-executive director for the 360°IT Event also asks how many companies have turned to electronic communications as a primary means of keeping business rolling during the ash-driven travel problems.
And of these, she questions how many will continue to support their operations in this way as a matter of course.
“Was it purely a crisis response to a crisis situation,” she wrote in her blog.
Plumpton argues that these types of structural innovations usually occur at times of crisis.
As a result, she explained, whilst the technology of videoconferencing is far from new or innovative, maybe this has been the opportunity to innovate the processes that allow it to be more fully used and finally reap some benefits from the investments.
Plumpton’s comments show that business innovation often stems from crisis management, but attendees at the 360°IT Event – a technology infrastructure conference and exhibition that demonstrates how infrastructure solutions can help to achieve key business objectives – will gain an insight into how to deploy these management techniques all of the time, rather than at times of crisis.