Get ready for lockdown: dust off your business continuity plans

UPDATE: The UK government has since recommended people work from home and to avoid unnecessary travel, but has still not mandated this.

Many businesses are feeling the pinch due to Coronavirus. Stock markets are plunging, airlines are cutting up to 80% of flights and the EU Commission is considering closing borders. Oh, and people are getting mugged for their toilet roll. By now, presumably you’ve already dusted off your business continuity plans?

The UK government hasn’t forced the closure or cancellation of schools, cafes, restaurants, sporting events, public transport…yet. Once it does, you’ll have to invoke business continuity procedures. This may mean your staff working remotely, so make sure they have the facilities at home to do so. Also check your IT can cope with most of your employees logging in remotely all at once.

Check your BC supplier contracts. A government shut down to try to contain delay the spread of Coronavirus should be caught by the concept of “disaster” in your contract. Will it also cover a self-imposed shutdown? Don’t forget it’s likely your supplier’s other customers will be invoking BC too and it might be a competition for the assets.

What to do

If you haven’t already, you should prioritise the testing of your business continuity procedures, make sure you’ve bought enough remote access licences and server / compute resource and that you can scale up quickly. Think about where the personal data is going, especially if your supplier is based outside the EU. Have a look at your insurance cover too.

Oh and check your other contracts to see if they cover “force majeure”.

If you need advice, contact me or +44 (0) 20 7611 2338.

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