IT Management Slideshow: Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 05-01-2009

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic

Don't Panic

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 2

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 2

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 3

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 3

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 4

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

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 4

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 5

Communicate Internally

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 5

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 6

Communicate Externally

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 6

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 7

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 7

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 8

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 8

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 9

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 9

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 10

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?

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 10

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 11

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.

Eleven Ways IT Can Prepare for a Pandemic - Page 11