As Covid-19, aka Coronavirus spreads globally, South Africa has just reported on its first positive case. This obviously raises concerns for both our employees’ wellbeing as well as our ability to service our clients should an outbreak occur in our immediate area.
We have been tracking events internationally and learning from companies’ responses in severely affected areas.
From a technology perspective, our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) still holds and would come into play should it be deemed prudent to not have employees come through to the office to avoid contamination and spreading of the virus. This will enable us to continue a largely uninterrupted service to our clients.
A decision to do this would be based on guidance given by the local health authorities regarding the severity of the outbreak.
In a nutshell, our BCP speaks to Open Box employees having offsite access to all the systems required for them to be productive. Offsite connectivity is facilitated by the Open Box VPN, which enjoys the same security protocols applied to our client VPN connections. Being fully cloud based, our SharePoint and other administrative applications are accessible from anywhere.
While the above addresses the ability to connect offsite, we are also cognizant that some employees may become infected and thus unable to do their work due to illness. While every precaution has been put in place (including disinfectant wiping of surfaces, hand sanitizers at every workstation and people working from home when not feeling well), it is possible that some employees will still fall ill. This may affect coverage for any given project, which would need to be assessed at the time, and dealt with accordingly with the affected client(s).
We are assuming and preparing for the worst, in a calm and rational manner. While this approach may be shown to be overkill in time, we feel it prudent to ensure the safety of our personnel which in turn assures our best service to our clients and our community.