‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’: Why Optus can turn outage disaster around

On the latest episode of the Mumbrellacast, the team reflect on the week that’s been since the Optus nationwide outage.

While the telco has been hit with criticism from customers and industry stakeholders – as well as the government announcing an investigation into the matter – Mumbrella publisher, Adam Lang, believes there is still time to turn it around.

“There is such a thing as a good crisis. But this certainly was a crisis, right? We called it a disaster last week, and indeed it was. So, it’s now been seven days. I don’t think Optus has fully capitalised on this 2022 cyber attack crisis or this one,” he said.

“So, I’m still thinking that the opportunity to turn this crisis into something good. Something that’s strong, something that enhances the brand of Optus with its customers. I think that opportunity is still available to them. I don’t think they’ve done it yet. And I hope that they will pursue it quickly.”

Criticism toward Optus have also included some calls for leadership members to step down, including CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who is also fronting a Senate committee on Friday.

At the hearing, Bayer Rosmarin addressed the backlash that she and the company received last week regarding the few updates that were shared with customers throughout the day.

“Could we have done something better? Of course we could have, but I am also so grateful for the way so many of our people mobilised under intense pressure and unique circumstances,” she said.

Despite calls for resignations, Lang said he isn’t sure that resignations are the answer, calling them a temporary fix.

“You have to look at what is the operational learning and what are the operational lessons that can be taken from this,” he said.

“Particularly in the atmosphere where we’re looking a bit over a year ago was the cyber attack and response.

“So, really I think the most critical path for customers is around what work is there to do. If a resignation happens, it’s a temporary fix, right? It’ll alleviate some pressure.

“I think the brand, no matter who’s the custodian of the executive positions, has to be responsible for itself. And in that mind, the board are responsible for oversight and appointing the key executives, so this is really a matter for the board.”

Listen to the full Mumbrellacast here.


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