commentary If the Grim Reaper had dropped in to his local Internet cafe to look in on some tech news sites over the past few weeks, he would have nodded approvingly. In fact, the spectre of death would have headed outside to take a couple of practice swings of his scythe to limber up for a big task ahead.
commentary If the Grim Reaper had dropped in to his local Internet cafe to
look in on some tech news sites over the past few weeks, he would
have nodded approvingly.
In fact, the spectre of death would have headed outside to
take a couple of practice swings of his scythe to limber up for a
big task ahead.
The threat of a bird flu pandemic -- with consequent mass
illness and fatalities -- has sent government officials and
company executives scrambling for their business continuity,
crisis management and disaster recovery manuals.
Australian authorities are apparently reviewing how the
nation's communications networks could handle a massive shift of
people from office to home-working as organisations try to
minimise the effect of a pandemic on their operations.
According to some estimates, some 30 percent of workers could
be laid up at home by the bug, with a hefty percentage more
directed to work from home in comparative isolation to minimise
their risk of infection.
Welfare agencies and financial services companies at home and
abroad are among the leaders in contingency planning for a
widespread outbreak of a human variation of bird flu.
According to ZDNet Australia's United Kingdom-based
sister site Silicon.com,
HSBC is among those taking the threat seriously, predicting
that up to 50 percent of its staff could go sick in the event of
a pandemic and saying it was preparing for staff to work from home,
or via video link and teleconference facilities.
Further adding to the bleak tone of late was Victor Meyer, the
global head of business continuity management at Deutsche Bank,
warned this week that firms were failing to comprehensively
plan for extreme unexpected events such as terrorist attacks or
large-scale natural disasters.
Meyer, who clearly brings a ray of sunshine into every room he
enters, told delegates at a conference "in order to avoid
tragedy, it is necessary to think tragically".
Apparently Deutsche employees in Tokyo can rest assured that a
catastrophic earthquake there is top of the business continuity
management team's planning priorities at the moment.
There is no doubting the resonance of Meyer's words,
particularly for any Australian organisations which have not
undertaken any planning for bird flu or other similar-scale
disaster. The mantra should always be hope for the best, but
prepare for the worst.
What are you doing to prepare for a bird-flu pandemic? Is
your organisation equipped to handle a massive disaster like an
earthquake or terrorist attack? E-mail us at email@example.com
and let us know.
Iain Ferguson is the News Editor of ZDNet
To take your opportunity to vent about what's bugging you in
enterprise technology, visit ZDNet Australia's
disaster recovery blog, penned by myself and journalist Steven
Deare. The blog can be accessed