7 steps to prepare IT for a second-wave COVID-19 outbreak

Lessons learned to date promise to help IT weather a second round of COVID-19 lockdowns this winter. Following a few basic suggestions could spell the difference between a trouble-free transition to remote teams and a viral meltdown.

7 steps to prepare IT for a second-wave COVID-19 outbreak
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While the COVID-19 outbreak is far from over, even more trouble may suddenly arrive in the not-too-distant future. Now is the time for IT leaders to begin preparing their organizations for a possible second-wave flare-up this winter.

The worst may be yet to come, warns Massimiliano Albanese, an information sciences and technology professor at George Mason University's Volgenau School of Engineering. "While we never truly reemerged from the first COVID-19 outbreak, we are likely to see a second wave of infections, which will force organizations that were starting to bring people back to physical offices to return to fully remote operations," he says.

Preparing your organization to handle another major COVID-19 outbreak requires insightful, detailed planning, targeting a worst-case situation that, hopefully, will never arrive. Following these seven steps will help you get started.

1. Build a resilient culture

IT should embrace its role as an internal critical infrastructure provider, and set its operational expectations accordingly, suggests Paul Rohmeyer, an associate teaching professor and director of the master's in information systems program at the Stevens Institute of Technology. "Specifically, IT needs to establish a culture that recognizes that future disruptions, pandemic or otherwise, will most certainly result in increased demands on IT professionals."

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