As companies start to address the current exigencies, they’re learning that a pandemic is fundamentally different from more conventional threats to business continuity. Plans are usually designed to help companies respond to localized threats–not to global disruption. Consequently, contingency planning is becoming more coordinated…which means it depends more and more on state-of-the-art telecommunications technology.

Obviously, medical concerns are paramount; as human life is a higher priority than business. Nevertheless, enterprise planning must also focus on non-medical-related risk-mitigation strategies to maintain business continuity. This includes operational issues—contending with supply-chain and distribution-network disruptions…while minimizing foregone opportunities (a.k.a. “opportunity costs”), such as system-wide interruptions in essential services like utilities and transportation.

The current pandemic is leading to sustained, systemic disruption. Many businesses have yet to factor these non-traditional threats into their continuity plans. Companies need a global network of people drawn that can coordinate and adapt as events unfold, reacting immediately and prudently to disruptions such as lapses in communication (both inside and outside the organization); as well as losses of physical and human resources.

New technologies (especially those using AI) will be needed to assay threats posed by systemic disruptions…such as in public transportation, inadequate staffing, etc. The idea is to mitigate damage through pre-emptive actions that can only be taken by availing ourselves of the latest in social media technology.

The idea is to help businesses bounce back once the pandemic has subsided. It can do this by facilitating a resurgence in commerce.