Does Your Utah Company Have a Viable Pandemic Strategy in Place?

These three practical steps can help industry leaders develop a pandemic response strategy. A third-party ICT expert can deliver remote workforce communication.  

Pandemic Planning Utah

Organizations that fail to learn from history are likely to repeat failures of the past. That’s some tough love talk considering we are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But the point is that this is not the first global health crisis, nor is it the first significant business disruption. In reality, industry leaders have been impacted by forces beyond their control many times before.

For instance, the last recession caused massive financial disruption and economic plunges. Many people forget that the crisis was coupled with two H1N1 — aka swine flu — pandemics that ran from January 2009 until August 2010. Those outbreaks ought to be ingrained in risk management professionals’ mindsets. If you consider the frequency of the following pandemics and their impact, thought leaders might decide readiness strategies are a must.

  • Cholera: 1881-1896 ravaged North America and Europe, among others.
  • Hong Kong Flu: Also known as the H3N2 virus, it surged into a pandemic from 1968 to 1969.
  • Malaria: Continues to pose a health threat as the virus gains resistance to medications.
  • Measles: Before discovering a vaccine in 1963, the U.S. suffered upwards of 4 million cases annually. The contagion ran roughshod for nearly 150 years.

Outbreaks and other forms of disruption occur frequently enough that one might think risk management professionals would have a strategic plan updated and in place. But sometimes the nature of business tends to be pursuing innovation or profit-driving endeavors. With COVID-19 health mandates grinding economies to a near halt, it’s time to either dust off an old crisis management plan and update it or craft one that can carry your organization through epidemics. These are three pragmatic steps that organizations can take to build an Information Communication Technology (ICT) strategy.

1: Create A Pandemic Planning & Response Team

Efforts to engage a diverse team of crisis management leaders begins at the top. Your organization will be tasked to tapping an executive to identify well-suited candidates and bring them on board. Many successful crisis management teams tend to select candidates from the following departments.

  • In-House IT
  • Human Resources
  • Communications
  • Finance & Billing
  • Legal Consultants
  • Facilities Management

This group will bear the responsibility of crafting a pandemic planning strategy that keeps the outfit running, people working, minimizes health risks, creates a contact information database, and delivers real-time information during a crisis. All parties must understand that this task force will meet at regular intervals to update the pandemic plan.

2: Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

In more stable times, risk management professionals would attempt to identify the ways a pandemic might impact the organization. Given we are entrenched in the COVID-19 crisis, this presents an opportunity to conduct a fact-based analysis of the actual impact of a pandemic in many areas. The following rank among the critical areas to access.

  • Supply Chains
  • Third-Party Business Relationship
  • Billing and Receivables
  • Operations and Productivity
  • Managed IT and Communications
  • Cybersecurity and Breach Recovery

Redundancy has been a strategy that industry leaders utilize after identifying areas of disruption. This may include working with more than one vendor in your supply chain or having a third-party managed IT outfit oversee portions of your communications network. Once the current crisis passes, your team will also have an opportunity to review customer relations, satisfaction, and have an experience-based rationale for client prioritization going forward.

3: Pandemic Response & Recovery Protocols

Although some crisis management response strategies may prioritize backups and operational aspects, there’s a lot to be said for making communication the top priority. When a pandemic, natural disaster, or another type of disruption hits, employees, customers, and other key stakeholders need information.

Employees need to know whether to show up at work or stay home. Customers and industry partners must be contacted to plan next steps, and families cannot be left not knowing about the status of loved ones in your employment. Along with vital messaging abilities, companies are currently shifting profit-driving tasks and projects into the Cloud so that people can maintain productivity during the current disruption.

Although this may be thought of as a stop-gap measure for some outfits, emerging software such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and others have revolutionized remote workforce capabilities. Given the fact that pandemics, natural disasters, and disruptions, continue to negatively impact the business community, enhancing remote communication and goal-achievement is standard practice for crisis management strategies.

If your organization experienced setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to create a robust strategy to mitigate future disruption, Nexus IT works with companies in the Salt Lake City, Park City, and others across Northern Utah to deliver determined ICT that minimizes disruption and develop remote workforce capabilities.