Coronavirus (COVID-19) has swiftly exposed the vulnerability of supply chains. For most IT organizations, that fragile ecosystem includes providers of critical IT services.

Service problems were already emerging as an issue for outsourcing customers surveyed by Everest Group prior to India’s shutdown. As of April 1, 14 percent of respondents were reporting major business disruptions and another 21 percent were seeing the beginnings of serious issues. More than half had seen minor disruptions.

In addition, work-from-home mandates are requiring service providers to ensure that their workers who are supporting mission-critical enterprise customers have the necessary tools and technologies to enable the speed, security, quality, and overall efficacy of services provided.

“Especially in offshore locations, much of the workforce has not previously been set up for this work-from-home scenario, presenting new tactical and operational challenges, including getting laptops to service provider personnel; setting up VPN, VDI, and/or Citrix access; ensuring WiFi is available; and providing the requisite security software applications,” says David Rutchik, executive managing director at Pace Harmon.

Slipping service levels and accommodating shelter-in-place orders are just a couple of the ways the global pandemic will impact the IT services ecosystem in the near term. Following are the areas IT leaders will need to address in the coming weeks as the outsourcing industry adjusts to this evolving new reality.