Here we outline a few areas that enterprises will have to focus on to keep their businesses running with fewer disruptions.
With Covid 19 around the globe like a wildfire, enterprises today are facing some unprecedented challenges. The very first wave of the virus which orginated in Wuhan, China disrupted global supply chains of companies that had their manufacturing facilities or contract manufacturers based out of China. So drastic was the impact of this disruption that the toplines as well as the bottomlines of a number of companies including industry majors like Apple took a hit. As we pen this piece, we are seeing Covid 19 cases increasing exponentially around the world including India. It may be a long drawn fight against the pandemic as there are no known cures to the virus and it may take months for countries to contain the contagion.
It’s an unusual circumstance and it’s in this scenario that your capabilities in Business Continuity Planning and Management (BCPM) will be tested. Here we outline a few areas that enterprises will have to focus on to keep their businesses running with fewer disruptions.
Employee protection and engagement
Humans are at risk of getting infected by the virus and your employees are vulnerable. Given that people need to distance themselves socially, working out of offices like they normally did is not feasible given the extraordinary circumstances. Consequently, your BCPM framework should provide flexible working options to employees so that they can work remotely. In functions where it is possible for certain teams to work remotely you should be able to undertake measures that has a disinfected workplace where employees maintain distance from one another. They should also have physical protection like face masks, hand sanitizers etc. More importantly the managements of enterprises should constantly engage with employees in a transparent manner.
According to a report by EY, despite all these measures companies will experience labor shortages and increased costs due to the mobility restrictions faced by local governments. The report recommends that enterprises engage with local governments to find solutions.
Infrastructure Challenges As the number of remote workers rise drastically, you need to check if your IT Infrastructure, both on premise and cloud, is geared up to handle the additional load. Considering that most enterprises have hybrid infrastructure, the certain teams within the IT organization will have to work on premise. You’ll need to find out if there are ways to get them also to work remotely. It’s also important that you are able to provide adequate tech support to remote workers. Tweak your SLAs with suppliers to accommodate any unforeseen emergency that might arise out of the lockdown situation.
Business and operational challenges One of the biggest challenge you are likely to face here is the disruption of supply chains. Get proactive about this and prepare a back up plan to deal with supply chain issues you are likely to face. Define emergency measures that need to be put in place to ensure that operations continue even during times like worker shortage. If you need to close down certain offices, prepare for that and define the parameters or condiions that nessecitate the closure of an office premise.
Dealing with security risks With most of your employees working remotely and accessing the corporate network and applications through VPN your security risks will be higher than ever. This will require you to have a good monitoring mechanism in place that ensures your applications, network or the endpoints are not compromised. You should have a plan that effectively communicates to your employees on the do’s and don’ts while working remotely.
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