The classic hit keep on running originally recorded by Jackie Edwards reminds me that although there may be hurdles, persistence pays off. At the time of writing this article, the coronavirus is today’s hurdle so how are you dealing with it? What are your options?

Keeping a business or organization going is all about Business Continuity Planning (BCP), that thing that you thought that you would do some day when you have time and money to waste on something that might not happen. It affects everyone, what do you do when it all goes wrong?

BCP and Disaster Recovery (DR) are much, much more than just the IT scope with backups and geo-redundant high availability. In the current scenario, governments are imposing shutdowns, lock-downs and the lack of certainty is hitting global financial stability. Even if your business is not directly affected, finding customers may be difficult and even impossible for some.

So if you have not done so already, now is the time to work out what happens next in your business. Perhaps you need to hibernate your business, what does this look like? How long can you continue in this state? For others working out alternative ways to service your customers may include working from home but what happens when your team are not well enough to work at all? The UK government predicts one fifth of the workforce may be out of action at any one time over the next few weeks/months.

For some organizations in the health sector, government and charities, the current situation has put a sudden increase in pressure on their resources whilst still having to face a reduction in their workforce or capability to deliver. Whilst most public services are prepared for disaster with age old solutions, we are now used to a higher level of service. The public are worried and are hungry for information, the leaders need data to support their decision making. We are much more reliant on technology than ever before and we must keep the lights on.

With travel restrictions and panic buying, supermarkets and supply chains are also under strain. They are heavily data dependent tuned to provide the best service at the best price, how can this be re-tuned to fit the spike in demand?

It is also important to note that the previous risks and challenges are still present so don’t drop your guard. There are plenty of low life out there waiting for you to look the other way or to reach out in desperation.

It is true that you cannot plan for every scenario, we base our planning on what has happened in the past and manage the risks. Having a strategy in place to do this and being able to adapt when the unknowns happen is what keeps us running.

Good luck to all and keep safe!

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