The crisis is far from over, but building resilience into your business is now more important than ever
The world is a different place and it is highly likely that it will never go back to the way it was. People and businesses are coming to terms with the potential impact and changes to their lives caused by the Corona Virus pandemic. One of the major lessons learnt during this time is that those organisations with agility and the ability to transform to a work from home or remote location have proven to be more resilient than those that could not.
Different industries are facing varying challenges in terms of building resilience in the face of the pandemic, for example, organisations in the financial sector that have already undergone some form of digital transformation have been able to continue to service their clients through cell phone banking or other digital means during the lockdown period of COVID-19. One of the immediate responses to COVID-19 has been to get as many staff as possible to work from home. However, a simple work from home strategy is not infallible. Companies need to ensure that their IT and communications infrastructure can cope with a vastly increased number of people logging into the corporate systems at once.
Ensuring that your ICT infrastructure is robust enough is critical and should be prioritised. Consider the consequences of power outages and load shedding as most homes do not have back up power supplies. In addition, cyber and data security of employees working from home or remote locations needs to be addressed.
Focus on cybersecurity. Remote or distributed working is intrinsically less secure. Endpoint devices may not be adequately protected, and mobile devices can be lost or stolen. Also, of concern is phishing—people at home may be less vigilant. Those organisations that have built resilient solutions around their digital strategies and have previously tested their business continuity plans and IT recovery solutions are managing the crisis better now.
However, some businesses or functions simply can’t be done from home because of the need for supervision, shortage of security at home or specialised technology; for example, call centres. One needs to think more broadly than just remote working and consider how to implement a distributed business model.
There is a direct correlation between an organisation’s ability to successfully employ their business continuity plans during a crisis to the amount of time and commitment to testing and practicing of those plans. Change in the world is accelerating, especially in the technology space, which means that it is increasingly important to review and update your plans on a regular basis. Technology is ever evolving and allowing us to connect and work more effectively and efficiently which greatly benefits business continuity planning. To maximise those benefits, the processes need to be updated and disseminated, people trained and continual awareness of the plans throughout the organisation. With the right technology in place, the appropriate people should be empowered to take decisions during crises in order to maximise speed, agility and robustness when managing disasters such as the Corona virus. Those people should have access to sufficient resources for them to execute on the mandate that they are charged with.
Last but not least, remain positive. The various lockdowns around the world will have a depressing effect on everyone and we should keep in mind that this will pass and requires us to be patient and look after each other during this global crisis.
Should your business need any assistance with Covid-19 preparedness and planning then contact one of our advisors for a broader discussion.