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04 February 2020

Actions that organisations can take to prepare for any future novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) issues

As all business continuity managers will be aware, there is widespread concern about the way that issues relating to the recently discovered novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) might develop. The World Health Organization has echoed this apprehension, labelling 2019-nCoV as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

While the WHO Emergency Committee is not recommending any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available, there are preparatory actions that organisations can take to ensure that they are ready should the 2019-nCoV situation worsen.

Below, ClearView Continuity’s business continuity experts outline specific actions that organisations should consider taking now, all of which can be quickly and easily managed within the ClearView business continuity solution:

  • Confirm and review your critical and non-critical processes and time sensitivities at each organisational location, particularly those that are in high risk areas;
  • Look at minimum staffing requirements to support these activities paying attention to not only those that need to be protected, but those that can be shut down or serviced at a minimum operating level;
  • Identify internal dependencies on other parts of the business in high risk areas, with particular focus on shared service operations and offshored teams that often provide support across the organisation;
  • Review the strategies and locations that can be employed for continuity. Using strategies on remote working, moving between offices, and business transfer capabilities (in and out of affected regions), develop opportunities for flexible pandemic strategies to isolate and protect what’s important and deal with concentration of risk in vulnerable locations;
  • Identify your critical suppliers and engage with them on supply chain risk giving consideration to the ever-increasing globalisation of downstream supply, particularly in affected areas. Look at single source, sole source, alternate options that you may have collected;
  • Identify any key skills, knowledge and succession questions that you may have asked through risk and strategy in the context of how these may be impacted by staff unavailability.

ClearView Continuity’s Consulting team is available should your organisation require assistance with your preparations.




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