Companies are just beginning
to recognize the incredible impact a bird flu pandemic and the resulting panic would have on worldbusiness activity.
reliance on teleconferencing and telecommuting would greatly reduce the impacton those businesses which are prepared to take full advantage of their IT departments.
I dont want to scare anyone
unnecessarily but the fact is that H5N1 is LIKELY to become the next big
pandemic and organizations such as theInternational
Monetary Fund are now warning businesses that they should be prepared forshort term economic disaster.
The World Health Organization is now
predicting that human deaths from bird flu (if it migrates to people)
cound be in the millions worldwide which will trigger a real panic.
What IT can do is prepare to
support more telecommuting, put remote support procedures into effect, and
encourage upper management to pay attention to the danger if a pandemic hits
and 50 percent or more of the workforce are absent.
Remember that Governments and airlines
already have quarantine plans in place to stop all movement and, if an airplane
lands in most countries with someone who has the flu onboard, all passengerswill be kept isolated for 7-10 days.
That means that your
executives and sales staff may be isolated even if they arent sick and
needs to prepare them to operate entirely electronically from any
That means, among other things, that they will need VoIP from laptops,
perhaps satellite phones, as well as simple things such as carrying the
power supply for a laptop even on shorttrips when they would normally just rely on the battery.
Although the TV networks are
just now beginning to discover the danger, I have been covering it for more
than a year and you can always turn to my free research page for currentinformation on this and other topics. www.helpdotcom.com
BTW, I am recommending to my
clients that they lay in a supply of N95-category dust/flu masks for their
workers. Using those and frequent hand washing will greatly reduce the chanceof catching or spreading bird flu or any flu.
The biggest danger may be from public panic which
could disrupt business activities even if bird flu turns out to be
mostly a false alarm.