5 Steps Every IT Department Should Take to Prepare for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus is Here to Stay
According to major news outlets, Americans need to prepare for the imminent spread of Coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated: “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but more really a question of when it will happen — and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” according to Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
As seen in China, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting businesses worldwide. We can expect a similar impact across the United States and Europe in the coming months.
How will Coronavirus change the way our business works?
We expect much greater use of remote meeting technologies like Zoom. This allows workers to avoid travel and decrease contact within the office, reducing close person-to-person contact in meeting rooms.
Additionally, we expect an increase in teleworking. Person-to-person infections can be greatly reduced by employees working from home. As seen in Asia, and now Europe, self-quarantine rules will likely be implemented. Teleworking will allow employees who are not sick to still be productive from home.
How Your IT Department Should Prepare
- Install office hand sanitizer stations. This simple step is one of the most effective methods to prevent transmission.
- Implement remote support tools. This allows your support team to remote control devices within your network to reduce or eliminate desk-side visits.
- Order hardware supplies. Desktops, laptops, servers, and spare parts should be ordered now. Most hardware is manufactured in Asia and supply chains are already being impacted. Organizations should be purchasing three months of equipment needs.
- Prepare for teleworking. What hardware, software and other tools are required for teleworking?
- Select the right tool. Does your IT management tool support teleworking? Can you manage devices outside the corporate network? Can devices at home access the corporate data you will need? Will you ensure large numbers of highly distributed devices are patched and secured without them coming into the office?
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