IT Management Slideshow: Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a PandemicBy CIOinsight | Posted 05-01-2009
Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic
You've planned for disasters, if not Swine Flu in particular. Core elements of your plan are likely applicable to this situation. Review past tests and implementations of your plans.
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React in Real Time
Your plan should be based on trigger events, like the WHO level being raised from 3 to 4. Activate those strategies and tactics within your plan that are tied to that escalation.
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Monitor Your Activities
Phase 4 plan recommendations include monitoring travel and employee health, and beginning personnel and workplace infection mitigation activities. Track your progress against the plan, so that you can be sure that sufficient attention and resources are being provided.
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Enable Remote Work
If you anticipate more of your staff working remotely, review your capacity to support higher volumes of remote users - and their understanding of "how to" if they are not normally remote
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Employees need sufficient information to perform their jobs, and to feel safe at their job locations. Ensure that information about the impact of the pandemic, the corporate response, and employee expectations reaches them on a regular basis.
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Keep customers and partners in the loop. Make sure messages are accurate, undergo legal and public relations review, and are released quickly and to the correct audiences. Focus on the actions planned to ensure economic and operational stability when the crisis is over.
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Consider Workforce Issues
Plan for 40% of your staff to be absent in the case of a pandemic, including those with family obligations (e.g., childcare). Consider the cross-training, documentation, tools, and support needed to continue critical activities. Remember contractors, consultants, et al.
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Revisit and Reassign Responsibilities
Factor in changes to your organization caused by recent layoffs and restructurings. Assign new responsibilities to employees based on the current organizational structure and available resources.
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Consider Internal Customers
Business operations throughout the company may be revised and altered based upon the local impacts of the pandemic. Work with business departments to align your resources to meet their most vital operations, and ensure that basic business operations can continue with adequate support.
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Consider the Impact Outside of Your Organization
Will your vendors be able to perform their roles in supporting your critical technical infrastructure and business processes? Should you look at a secondary provider as a precaution? Do support or maintenance contracts need to be extended, or have levels of support modified?
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What If I Have No Pandemic Plan?
You can perform many of these tasks on an ad hoc basis. Work with corporate leadership and crisis management teams to determine who is responsible to make critical decisions in the face of a pandemic impacting your operations.