Is it time to look at your IT and Operational Business Continuity Planning?
Yes, it probably is.
As the UK Government has suggested making workers eligible for statutory sick pay on the first day of sickness, and the NHS is loudly promoting a strategy of self-isolation in suspected cases of COVID-19 (a virus with initial flu-like symptoms), your company’s available workforce may be reduced beyond levels previously estimated in assessments – even those created as little as a month ago – unless a potential pandemic was already factored into your Risk Assessments and Business Continuity Planning.
Continuity planning is usually born out of IT and Operational risks raised through a comprehensive Risk Assessment. Business continuity failure usually poses a high financial and reputational risk. The risk assessment is important to all businesses regardless of size and sector, and currently, we are facing a very specific risk – the potential for an immobile workforce.
Each role within a business may be impacted differently. For example, a continuity plan for quarantined fabrication staff using specialised workshop facilities is unlikely, however, your field sales consultants could re-book face to face meetings via video conference, and your administration, sales and customer services staff could be almost entirely unaffected with the correct systems in place.
Planning and testing for remote working is the single most effective and cost-efficient risk control for Business continuity risks posed by COVID-19.
The questions you need to ask now are:
- Do staff who could potentially work from home have the facility to do so if required?
- Do staff have access to all the resources required to fulfil all their job functions remotely? For example, would Customer Services staff be better prepared with a proper phone/headset on the company inbound call queue than call redirection to their mobile?
- Is the remote working equipment used by staff properly secured and controlled in line with the Company’s security policies?
If you are confident your company have considered these questions, then the next question is:
- Has your Company thoroughly tested the effectiveness of the remote working systems for all company functions, roles and processes?
If you’re unsure of the completeness of your Business Continuity planning then please connect with us. If all is well then we can put your mind at ease and provide some additional tips at no cost. If we identify areas for potential improvement, we can assist with a full risk assessment and IT-focused continuity and testing plan. To implement the required systems, we can engage with your IT provider or internal team, or if you are lacking IT support, our managed IT services team can assist.