Swine Flu and IT Continuity


I've been getting story pitches with subject lines like this one: "Swine Flu Outbreak Highlights Need for Supply Chain Resilience & Vulnerability Assessments."

Opportunistic? Yes. But nonetheless important.

IT plays an important role in just about everything these days, so its role in a major health story is unsurprising. Technology is seen as a way around a possible pandemic (as in this Forbes article about teleconferencing), and a critical method of information-sharing by the CDC and other authorities.

But the business continuity angle is a critical one -- and one for which many companies are underprepared. This post is pretty clear on the threat, even if it uses a different strain of the illness as an example: "Think avian flu, and its possible impact on your IT shop. Then consider what an empty data center, whether in New York or Oregon or India, could mean for your business."

This article on the continuity plan at Cantor Fitzgerald in the days after the firm was decimated by the 9/11 attacks shows an extreme example (PDF with full graphics here). Is your company prepared?