Coronavirus is now a worldwide pandemic. Here’s how to make sure your business keeps running amidst the chaos and panic.
COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is fast a world-wide pandemic that many country’s infrastructures aren’t ready for. As numbers of positive infections and deaths from the virus climb in North America, many individuals are left wondering what they can do to prevent the chaos and virus itself from overwhelming them.
As top management, you have an additional responsibility on top of protecting yourself and your family: How to keep your business operational and viable amidst the crisis. In the end, much of this will depend on the reliability of your business continuity.
Information technology professional, Phillip Baumann of Boca Raton’s BoomTech Inc explores how exactly COVID-19 will impact your business. We’ll also discuss how you can reinforce your current business continuity plan to prepare for the virus.
How Will COVID-19 Affect Businesses?
Chances are, it’s already affected your business, namely because America, Canada, and many other nations depend on China for a wealth of resources and outsourced services. With their economy and infrastructure hurting hard from the outbreak, it’s impossible not to be affected in this way. Depending on where else in the world you depend on resources and services, you may be looking at broken supply lines there as well (Italy or South Korea, for example).
If your business is headquartered in North America with most of your employees here, you’ll soon see other negative changes as well. Most pressing, wherever you have offices and manufacturing facilities, your employees, as well as mid-level and upper-level management, may contract the illness. In large businesses where many people work closely within one area — whether that’s a factory, office/cubicle setting, or otherwise — this will be a grave danger.
How Can You Protect Your Business Before and During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
The most important thing to keep in mind as we wait for an outbreak of coronavirus in North America is to be prepared with a business continuity plan. All systems and networks within your business — whether technological or otherwise — will be most affected by whether or not you have people who are able to continually complete their work and fulfill their roles. While you cannot control supply chains of services or products in far off places, you can aim to continue the normal daily operations that your business performs here.
This means preventing the spread of germs as best as you can within your business. It also means being prepared for any and all impairments to your systems.
Preventing the Spread of Germs: The Number One Thing You Can Do
According to the CDC:
“The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”
This naturally means one huge change to your business continuity plan — a change that you may not have planned for prior to this outbreak: Allowing those employees who can work from home to do so — any and all of them, starting now.
This can be difficult for some businesses and may require planning, which is again, why you need to start now.
IT will play a large role here as your remote employees will need tried-and-true ways to communicate with you and each other, submit and review work and files, remotely access networks, and have reliable Internet and phone connections. Services like Microsoft Teams will play a large role here.
Start working with your IT department or managed services provider today to ensure a strong remote work system is in place.
The Importance of a Strong Business Continuity Plan
Whether you operate a mid-sized business with a handful of steady employees or a large enterprise, it’s up to you to review and revise your current business continuity plan now — and not later. While we all await the outcome of whether North America’s COVID-19 outbreak will look anything like Italy’s, the only thing we can do is plan and plan well. It’s exactly at moments like these that the critical nature of a strong business continuity plan becomes glaringly apparent.