There’s a sequel predicted to open this fall that no one wants to see – COVID: The Second Wave. Despite lack of audience interest, we could face another Coronavirus pandemic. For business, this means revisiting continuity plans.
Many countries are beginning to lift restrictions in an attempt to return to “normal.” Yet most experts predict things will get bad again later this year. At least business has time to recalibrate its business continuity planning (BCP).
Maybe your business had a plan in place. Decision-makers laid out actions to take in the event of fire, flood, or devastating data breach. The plan didn’t envision quarantine, but the planning worked well enough to keep your teams going.
Or you might have been scrambling to get up and running quickly in the midst of a global lockdown. Still, after initial business disruption, you were able to get back to business (if not quite as usual).
Now, looking ahead, we’re told to expect a second bout of sheltering in place. Take stock today to prepare for another bout of the virus disrupting business.
BCP predicts various types of crises and strategizes what to do when things go wrong. If you did BCP in advance, you weighed options and decided on the best attack without stress and urgency. Those reacting in the moment to mandates to shut down probably took more of a “this is the best we can do” approach.
Either way, let’s hope your business found some approaches and had positive results. Perhaps moving to cloud-based virtual desktop services smoothed the transition to remote work or installing a virtual private network (VPN) to secure off-site access paid off.
Identify all the strategies that were successful. If adopted as short-term solutions, you may want to explore their value long-term. Perhaps you contracted with a vendor for a temporary solution that worked well, this could cost less if you renegotiate for a longer duration. Perhaps something you tried with one team can roll out company-wide to prepare for a second period of work from home.
What Needs Improvement?
Did you find any shortfalls that slowed work from home? What tech difficulties did your people face? Identify the problem areas, and look for solutions now.
Maybe you had employees working from home on corporate laptops or personal devices. They could be going back to the laundry room home office later this year. Is a laptop or home computer still the technology you want them using?
Were there issues with employees lacking bandwidth to get the job done? Was logging in difficult because your remote-worker system only handles 25% of employees at a given time? You need a different level of service to support everybody at one time!
Maybe certain departments were able to adjust swiftly but others struggled. Identify tech challenges, and find solutions to remove friction if we have to do work-from-home again.
Make Changes Now
Updating your continuity plan is prudent, so make the moves now to prepare. Do it while businesses are open and able to work freely. An IT partner can often work remotely, but many tasks are more efficient on-site.
The first wave of COVID-19 taught us valuable lessons; don’t be caught off guard twice.
Your people might have been more productive with the proper remote technology, so set up the systems to secure and support a long-term work-from-home solution.