How COVID-19 is disrupting the enterprise and what you can do about it

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From cancelled tech conferences and impeded supply chains, to telecommuting and cybersecurity threats, the impact of COVID-19 on the enterprise will only escalate.

Iinscription COVID-19 on blue background with red ball

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues on its global path, infecting multiple countries, including the United States, along the way and causing extensive damage to the enterprise.

The infectious disease was first reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019. By January, it was linked to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses--the same family of viruses responsible for SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, as well as some cases of the common cold.

SEE: Coronavirus and its impact on the enterprise (TechRepublic Premium)

As a result, a special WHO committee has declared a public health emergency of international concern, and it's had a serious impact on personal and business lives throughout the world.

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As many organizations across the globe employ significant measures to mitigate the spread of the disease, such as cancelling major conferences, enforcing employee travel bans, and encouraging employees to work from home, the C-suite is reminded that it's always a good idea to have updated business continuity and disaster recovery plans at the ready.

Companies must plan and prepare for risks that may be involved with business continuity interruptions such as cancelled business travel plans, possible data loss, and managing a remote workforce.

When a person starts working remotely, managers and employees must also adjust their daily habits and communication styles. TechRepublic's Macy Bayern writes in How to manage employees working from home during the coronavirus scare "that working from home does not equate to not working, but it does cause people to work differently." 

Chief of research for Gartner's HR practice Brian Kropp said there is one critical shift managers have to make when working with remote employees: "If you're managing employees who are remote, you have to trust them more without asking them to be transparent with everything that they're doing."

But like any crisis there are opportunities and new ways of doing things that will emerge. As ZDNet's Larry Dignan writes in How coronavirus COVID-19 is accelerating the future of work, "the coronavirus scare may just accelerate changes in work already in play. Collaboration has relied more on video. Travel bans may retool sales and marketing practices as companies realize maybe those cross-country flights for drinks and dinner don't deliver economic returns. And if most of the workforce can work from home without productivity loss, it's going to be hard to justify commercial real estate costs.

"Simply put, the coronavirus scare may just show us a better way to work. How enterprises navigate the coronavirus and changes to work will be telling. One thing is certain: The coronavirus is likely to mean the definition of business, as usual, will change."

The following Coronavirus and its impact on the enterprise ebook is a compilation of the latest information including which tech conferences were canceled, related cybersecurity attacks, remote work tips, tracking and predicting how COVID-19 will spread, and the impact it has on the tech industry.

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