IT services has been one of the few sectors to flourish during the pandemic. Can you explain how the lockdown has helped Integrated Solutions Angola (ISA) grow in 2020?

Absolutely. In 2019, we made a strategic decision to migrate all our data to the cloud, allowing our employees to access systems remotely. Just before the lockdown in March 2020, we spent about a week setting up and testing our systems for remote work. I’m proud to say that we were fully prepared on the first day of the lockdown. Working from home has been a great experience for us as a company. In fact, our productivity has increased significantly. Our Q2 2020 appraisal revealed that it was our best quarter in terms of performance in our 15 years of operation. The elimination of commute time has been a contributing factor to this success.

What work have you done with oil and gas companies in the last twelve months?

In the past twelve months, we have continued to provide maintenance and support for critical IT systems both onshore and offshore for several oil and gas companies. Some of our clients include Total, Angola LNG, and Sonangol, among others.

What advice would you give to companies looking to adapt their operations so employees can work remotely?

It’s essential to thoroughly assess all aspects of remote work. Don’t take anything for granted. Basic requirements such as proper work tables, chairs, reliable electricity, internet access, and computers should be considered. We made sure to ask our employees about their specific needs and learned a lot through the process. My general advice is to aim for a hybrid solution, where some employees can work remotely while others may require an office environment. It’s important to acknowledge that the office setting still plays a valuable role, especially for knowledge sharing and mentorship among less experienced employees. Ultimately, a hybrid solution will likely be the way forward for most organizations.

You have been a strong advocate for companies to migrate their data to the cloud. Are oil and gas companies starting to make this transition?

The topic of cloud migration is now being discussed by oil and gas companies, which is a positive development. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that significant investments are being made in cloud technology at the moment. We understand that decision-making processes can be lengthy for major players in the industry. Nevertheless, at ISA, we have been operating in the cloud for years and have demonstrated the benefits. We are here to assist our clients in making a successful transition to the cloud.

What are your views on the importance of promoting local content to ensure a strong supply chain?

Promoting local content is not only beneficial from a business standpoint but also has a positive impact on communities. When people can work in their natural environment and have access to good jobs, it creates a more sustainable and prosperous community. While we advocate for local content, it’s important to highlight that ISA aims to be recognized not only as a leading Angolan company but as a world-class technology services company that competes favorably regardless of the origin of competitors. We have international clients, and to thrive in the international market, such as the oil and gas industry, we must measure ourselves against the best.

How much of an issue do you think cyber security is going to become in the coming years?

Cybersecurity is already a significant issue that companies must take seriously. With the rise in online interactions due to the pandemic, cybercrime has become more prevalent. As seen with the example of Zoom and “zoom bombing,” even well-established platforms have had to invest heavily in tightening security measures. When it comes to oil companies moving their data to the cloud, protecting it becomes a necessity. At ISA, we are dedicated to assisting companies in safeguarding their data and mitigating cybersecurity risks. It’s worth reaching out to us for support in this critical area.

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