There is a useful article available currently on regarding some of the largest companies in the country preparing for the worst by starting to implement their pandemic contingency plans.  This is a good sign, as these businesses represent a significant portion of the economy.  A disruption in business operations for firms and institutions of all sizes significantly decreases the affected business’s income.  Therefore, it is important for businesses of all sizes to begin instituting pandemic plans similar to the ones being activated by these large companies.

The article relies on analysis by the Gartner research firm, including vice president Ken McGee.  From the article:

For companies that already have contingency plans in place, he says that they need to halt all other activities and direct all their resources to activating their plans. He suggests testing home networks of critical employees to make sure they are working. He also suggests talking with vendors to see their level of preparedness.

“This is not a snow day,” he said. “Companies need to review their plans and find their weaknesses and gaps readiness. And then they need to fill them immediately.”

For companies that do not have a plan in place already, McGee says they need to be aware of hotspots where the virus is already infecting people, and they should be preparing to set up home networks and possibly shut down their offices in those regions.

The CNN article also refers to the blog of Gartner analyst Nick Jones, where Jones outlines how companies must consider exploiting technology to minimize business disruption while keeping employees safe from a pandemic.  Thanks to technology like telecommuting/remote access from employees’ homes, wireless broadband, and high-capacity mobile devices, it is certainly possible to keep people working while closing an office location.  It is, however, essential that your organization would not be technologically overwhelmed by a significant increase of telecommuting.

GraVoc Associates, based in Peabody, MA, is willing to help your business design contingency plans for pandemic events and other disasters that put business continuity in jeopardy.  As GraVoc celebrates fifteen years of business in greater Boston, the GraVoc information security team has many years’ experience in business continuity and pandemic planning.  Please don’t hesitate to browse past posts regarding the swine flu outbreak in the GraVoc news blog.  For more information about the company, please visit the website at  Also feel free to call GraVoc at 978-538-9055 if you need assistance in planning and preparing for a pandemic.

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