It’s not often that businesses face a pandemic. At the start of 2020, consultancy firm Mercer surveyed organizations around the world to learn how many were prepared for downtime from events such as the spread of the corona virus. Findings show that 51% have no plans for how to address this type of emergency, while 92% said working from home is their primary option when working at the office is not possible.

Natural disasters, man-made disasters, security threats or an outage can easily impact operations. Businesses may also face other disruptions such as revenue loss, data loss, threats, and stifled productivity. In uncertain times like these, business continuity planning is important as owners look for ways to continue operations through temporary disruptions.

According to Oren Chaplin, author at National Law Review, each plan should include the following, at minimum:

  • Dislocation from office or key physical assets
  • Information backup / System restoration processes and procedures
  • Continuation of customer service and customer communications
  • Loss or unavailability of business operational systems and components or key personnel
  • Supply or distribution channel impacts
  • Processes and procedures for training employees
  • Record-keeping and supervisory obligations
  • Emergency contact and communications trees
  • Risk and liability mitigation strategies

When facing disruptions, the first step (as Jason Albuquerque – Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer for Carousel’s IT Operations suggests) is to review the organization’s needs and formulate a strategy to facilitate communications & collaboration. Next, develop short-term strategies to minimize disruption to operations and finally evaluate and develop the right long-term approach to ensure the existing business continuity plan delivers the kind of resiliency required. Business continuity (and shortcomings in the business continuity plan) should constantly be reviewed by organizations, and not only during times of emergency.