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BC has ‘short window of opportunity’

Recovery does not mean restoration of everything pre-COVID, says Tim Janes, chair of the Business Continuity Institute, in a foreword to the BCI’s sixth Coronavirus Coronavirus Organizational Preparedness Survey.

He writes: “Despite lockdowns being lifted, many people are still working from home and over 70 per cent of organisations plan to keep using the remote-working technologies that have sustained their pandemic strategies.”

As for the business continuity (BC) profession, he says that COVID-19 has increased the visibility of business continuity and resilience practices across many organisations. This unusually high level of awareness will not last. Executives move on and corporate memories fade. We have a short window of opportunity to reinforce the relationships built with executives and other resilience professionals during the pandemic.”

Not all, but most, about 85 per cent, of those responding have activated their incident and/or crisis management teams to handle disruption to business. While a majority have done scenario analysis or financial modelling, planning for what comes next – such as a possible ‘second wave’ or ‘third wave’ of infections – is limited, according to the report. Organisations are ‘widely starting to look towards recovery’ and about two-thirds of those surveyed (largely BC, risk, IT disaster recovery and general management) are planning a phased return to work.

The survey found that more businesses are including mental health in their response plans. While many workplaces provided staff with ways such as WhatsApp groups for remote-working staff to engage in casual conversation, and even though some staff may be becoming more comfortable with such methods of working, the BCI suggests that best practice is that communication channels should remain open, to allow for example for regular update calls on corporate strategy.

While near all workplaces are looking to offer hand sanitiser and have more cleaning of premises, opinions are split over whether to do ‘daily body temperature checks’ for staff and visitors. As for business travel, most workplaces have in place domestic and international travel bans; but they are starting to prepare plans, the study suggests; though many are waiting on Government advice.

On the IT side, nearly all meetings are now virtual; and cyber-security arrangements have now caught up with the number of staff working from home. After the pandemic, it looks like many workplaces might keep more of the home working tech; as managers have seen that it can add to productivity.

As for supply chains, many firms are looking at their supply chains with new eyes, according to the report; the pandemic has put pressure the ‘Just-in-Time’ model.

To download the full 18-page report register at the BCI website:


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