Business Continuity Planning and Pandemics

Business Continuity Planning and Pandemics

On the 23rd January 2020, we posted a blog about the importance of ensuring your Business Continuity Plans address pandemics such as the Coronavirus. We offered some practical considerations when reviewing your plans, including consideration of the following threats:

* Unavailability of key personnel;
* Unavailability of IT personnel
* Disruption to supplier goods and services;
* Loss of access to premises
* Disruption to civic services (e.g. transport)

Since then, a study has been conducted by Continuity Central has examined what actions others in the profession are taking in response to, or in preparation for, COVID-19 infections.

Survey Findings

Does your business continuity program include pandemic specific plans or playbooks?

72.02 percent of respondents answered ‘Yes’ to this question and 13.69 percent answered ‘No’. A further 14.29 percent said that pandemic specific plans or playbooks are currently under development.

Has your organisation experienced any impacts due to COVID-19?

38.69 percent of respondents stated that their organisation had already experienced impacts as a result of COVID-19. 58.93 percent said that their organisation had not been impacted and 1.79 percent didn’t know if there had been any impacts.

Has your organisation taken any actions specifically in response to COVID-19?

80.36 percent of respondents reported that their organisation has already taken specific actions in response to COVID-19. 18.45 percent said that no actions had been taken in response and 1.19 percent didn’t know whether any actions had occurred.

Do you expect that COVID-19 will develop into a global pandemic?

The final survey question asked respondents to speculate on whether COVID-19 will develop into a pandemic. Overall two-thirds of respondents believe that COVID-19 will be declared a global pandemic. 14.46 percent expect a declaration within a month; 27.71 percent within two or three months; and 17.47 percent expect a declaration in four to six months. 7.23 percent think that a pandemic will be declared but that this will take longer than six months; and 33.13 percent believe that COVID-19 will not become a pandemic.

Action
If you haven’t already reviewed and tested your BCP (and IT recovery plans), now is the time to do so. Leverage the lessons learnt from this study by assessing whether your organisation can employ the tactics used by the surveyed entities. You can find some ideas offered by the surveyed organisations here.