Given its rapid spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to be a public health emergency of international concern. While many firms plan for emergency situations that impact business continuity, most are not prepared for potential prolonged impacts on staff welfare, operations, supply chains, and the broader economy arising from a globally-spreading infectious disease. Organizations should take the time now to review their resilience and crisis response strategies and plans so that they are well prepared for the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus.
Being reactive to events will delay a recovery, increase response costs, and place a significant strain on senior management time available for business as usual, further compounding the disruptive effects of a pandemic event. Understanding the main likely business impacts you may face, and planning for these, is an important first step.