The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has taken a significant toll on businesses worldwide as broad-reaching stay-at-home orders and vendor mandatory policies have forced employees and service providers to perform work remotely.
Even though many companies are continuing to adjust to the current pandemic, now is a good time to increase your preparation for future public health emergencies and other natural disasters by creating a business continuity plan.
When dealing with disasters beyond our control, a comprehensive business continuity plan will deliver the essential steps your company must take to maintain “business-as-usual” operations, including:
- Ensuring your company will have the necessary tools, technology, capacity and security measures to support a large remote workforce
- Mapping dependencies to understand where disruptions may impact the value chains
- Identifying single points of failure across the IT ecosystem
- Establishing a strategy that enables employees to work effectively from home, continue to function without endangering themselves, such as isolation protocols should the threat of possible infection arise once more
Overcoming shortfalls during an emergency
Along with outlining necessary steps to maintain daily operations, a business continuity plan will also address potential shortfalls and how you can best avoid costly interruptions:
- Service outages or service-level failures—In a time of limited resource availability, your IT division may potentially make decisions to allocate those resources to the benefit of some customers at the detriment of others.
- Limited internal resources—Businesses themselves may experience difficulties in their own performance such as software support, upgrades or implementations due to unavailability of resources. Some may even fail to fulfill their contractual obligations, resulting in loss of business or severe penalties.
- Government regulations—As governments and companies act to protect their citizens, operations and employees at home and abroad, their actions may result in risky business operations, travel risks and other effects that could be detrimental to business continuity.
Preparing for next time
Disaster planning for a pandemic is different than normal continuity planning.
The threats to business continuity of operations are significant during natural disasters and a pandemic outbreak such as what we are experiencing with COVID-19. A typical disaster plan helps bring a company “back to normal” operations. When planning for a pandemic, businesses need to take steps to protect the workforce, ensure continued productivity and avoid business disruption. Most businesses already have a detailed business continuity plan in place but for those who don’t the crisis caused by this pandemic may be a wake-up call.
This crisis will pass, and while we should not underestimate the seriousness of the disease and its socioeconomic consequences, planning for the next time is vital to running a business.
How Odyssey can help
All businesses should have a plan for the unexpected—that “never will happen” moment. Our team of experts can help design your infrastructure so that it will operate regardless of any power, internet, weather or hacker event, or — in today’s current environment — a global pandemic. Our goal is for your business to always be available, working and ready for your customers. Click here to learn more.
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