The Novel Coronavirus could spark buyer interest in remote access software and virtual desktops.
Analyst firm Forrester Group late last week published guidance titled “Prepare Your Organization For A Pandemic - Key Recommendations For How Business And Risk Leaders Build Resiliency In A World Where Disease Outbreaks Are The New Normal” that warns organisations they’re at risk without a pandemic plan.
The document therefore recommends the creation of a pandemic-specific business continuity plan, for two reasons.
One is that quarantines imposed during a pandemic may make it impossible for staff to get into the office. The other is that staff could be required to care for loved ones, and therefore unable to attend the office.
In either case, Forrester recommends making it possible for staff to work from home or wherever is most convenient.
“For IT professionals, the highest priority is to ensure that the greatest number of employees work remotely from home or some other location,” the document therefore urges.
“To stay productive, employees need access to data; business applications; and communication and collaboration capabilities like phone, email, calendar, address book, instant messaging, teleconference, and videoconference. Your IT staff should work with local service providers to expand their telecommuting/remote access infrastructure — remote access, using personal or company-issued laptops, will mean that employees at home caring for sick family members can still pitch in.”
Multi-factor authentication is essential when staff work from home using company laptops, Forrester argues. It’s also suggested that businesses explore cloud-based virtual desktops as a way to provide a secure working environment for those working from home on their own devices.
Forrester also recommends emergency communications tools be adopted.
“Before a serious pandemic outbreak, organizations will rely on email to disseminate information. However, you must also build and direct employees to internal sites dedicated to pandemic planning and preparedness and, in addition, set up a hotline that employees can call for the latest information,” the document suggests.
“During a serious pandemic outbreak, organizations may need to update hundreds, and potentially thousands, of employees and other stakeholders immediately. For this type of mass communication during a crisis or emergency that requires immediacy as well as assured delivery (including two-way communication and coordination via multiple modes of communication), turn to automated communication solutions such as those from BlackBerry AtHoc, EverBridge, and Onsolve.”