The coronavirus pandemic highlighted crisis management plan needs in the legal, accounting and healthcare fields. All business owners were faced with rapidly changing events, a switch from in-office staff to a remote workforce and to strains on the IT staff. Coronavirus highlighted the need for crisis management plan and brought to light any gaps in current plans.
If at no other time, the coronavirus pandemic certainly either tested a law firms’ crisis management plan or highlighted the fact that a plan was necessary. This crisis management plan, also known as a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan helps a business navigate a crisis in a calm, planned and methodical manner. The BCDR helps assure business continues to operate smoothly even if it has to undergo major and drastic changes in the way business is taken care of.
Coronavirus Highlighted Need For Crisis Management Plan
Was your law firm or accounting practice prepared or did the coronavirus crisis find you unprepared for the changes? Ernst and Young conducted a survey that found, “only 21% of business owners believe their organizations were prepared.” That’s startling, not surprising. The reason for this low number is that fewer than 50% of all companies, around the globe, have a crisis management plan in place.
Coronavirus forced business owners to alter work arrangements to implement social distancing protocols. In many cases that meant sending workers home and operating virtually. The businesses without a BCDR scrambled to provide employees with hardware and software and the IT staff was likely stretched thin trying to keep up with the changes. This switch to a virtual office setting also meant the doors were open for hackers to work their way into your company network and steal its data.
When your company develops its BCDR it’s likely because you realized how devastating an event like coronavirus can have on business operations. Those businesses that operate in areas faced with potential natural disasters – fire, flood, hurricanes, etc. – are typically more prepared with a crisis management plan than those businesses that operate in areas of the country they deem “safe from disaster.” Coronavirus has shown us that no one and no business is safe from disaster.
What lessons have business owners learned from this pandemic and its impact on their livelihoods? Coronavirus Highlighted Need For Crisis Management Plan and how did your company react?
- Close to 80% of businesses in the financial services sector were prepared
- Not all businesses were able to quickly adapt to sharp decreases in income
- Business owners understand they need to have alternative sources of product delivery
- Their IT staff weren’t fully prepared for the home set-up needed for the new remote workforce
- The need for a crisis management plan was brought to the forefront and many business owners are now talking with professionals like those of us at WareGeeks Solutions to have a BCDR prepared
Businesses with crisis management plants will be more resilient to the changes wrought by coronavirus. They were better able to embrace the remote workforce and they are also better able to welcome the workforce back and implement social distancing protocols.
It’s not too late to create a business continuity and disaster recovery plan
Don’t despair if your law firm, accounting practice or healthcare group didn’t have a BCDR or if it did have one, it didn’t have a component to address this crisis, there is no time like the present to create one.
Having a crisis management plan in place for a situation like COVID-19 will also have shone the spotlight on any potential gaps in the plan.
Caring for the financial health of the business is a component of the BCDR, but did your plan make arrangements for the health and safety of your staff? This should be a priority in your plan – your staff is the backbone of the business. The company’s crisis management plan will now be focused on the eventual return to the office. How can you set up the office to assure social distancing? Will you need to set up plexiglass dividers? Where will you get those? Who will install them? Chances are, this is such a unique aspect of coronavirus, that your BCDR may not have had a component in place, but now that your company has been hit with it, it’s the time to update the plan to address this situation. Even a seeming once-in-a-lifetime event like the coronavirus pandemic should be a part of the BCDR.
In addition to the BCDR your company principles should conduct a business impact analysis (BIA). The BIA takes into consideration the impact coronavirus had on the business operations and the steps necessary to determine critical operational roles.
Technology readiness supporting the workforce whether in the office or remote, should be reviewed to assure all systems worked as anticipated. If there is no crisis management plan in place, do a post mortem and identify all areas of concern and implement protocols to address these concerns if a pandemic – or other crisis – occurs in the future.
What if your company has employees that, for one reason or another, are not comfortable returning to the office or workplace? You need to have a plan that allows for extended remote arrangements for those individuals. Onsite testing and social distancing and cleaning and disinfecting protocols may alleviate concerns, and if that’s the case, your BCDR needs to have those protocols spelled out.
Being able to pivot and quickly adapt to changing business operations to remain viable has been highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic and the virtual shut down of the country. How will your, or has your, law firm adapted?
We save our clients time, money and offer peace of mind. Don’t let your business become a statistic. How to avoid crisis management plan mistakes and help prepare crisis management plans.
WareGeeks Solutions help organizations transform technology, operations and service delivery to meet business challenges. We seek to understand your business needs and apply our in-depth knowledge of Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) and Cyber Security whether in the cloud or your data center environments to drafting a roadmap for transformation.