Unlike many disasters, outbreaks such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) are unique in that the CDC and other health professionals recommend people stay home from work for extended periods of time if they have developed COVID-19 or were potentially exposed to the virus.
Organizations need to be prepared to continue normal operations with a potentially large percentage of their staff working remotely, possibly for weeks or more, particularly staff who have traditionally not been remote workers. This will likely involve changes to technology capabilities, communications and collaboration practices, as well as training and education.
Below are questions to consider to help you prepare for this type of situation.
1. Remote systems access
- Do you have a remote access solution? Can it support many simultaneous users?
- Are employees trained on how to access systems remotely?
- Have you addressed security risks of home computers connecting to company resources?
- Is your disaster recovery plan accessible without remote access to the office?
2. Remote document access
- Can staff access required documents remotely?
- Can approvals be made remotely to ensure workflows continue?
3. Phone systems
- Do you have a way to answer key phone numbers remotely?
- Can employees access their voicemail remotely?
- Do employees have remote access to video and web conference services?
4. Communications planning
- Do you have a documented and accessible communications plan for this type of situation?
5. Vendor management
- Does your business rely on contract resources and vendors that could also be impacted?
6. Support for key business processes
- Can you remotely complete key back office processes, such as payroll, invoicing and processing payments?
- Have you automated manual processes so they can be completed remotely?
7. Technology support
- Are manual processes required for daily IT functions, such as swapping tapes for backups?
- Does IT have the proper tools and training for providing remote support?
- Has a risk analysis for any large in-flight projects been completed to reduce business impact?
Hartman Executive Advisors can help you work through these questions and help prepare your organization for the impact of the coronavirus and other situations. Please contact us today to discuss your concerns.