If you are planning your pandemic preparedness plan against the backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, here is a list of 50 questions that would help your cause.
It’s aimed to benefit a CIO or a Chief Security Officer, in addition to enabling every CXO to strive to become a Chief Pandemic Officer in the organization.
Questions 1-9: Remote Workforce Management
Questions 10-15: Communications, and Access Control
Questions 16-25: Customer Support
Questions 26-35: IT Security and War Preparation
- Have you empowered your employees to work from home?
- Can your department function effectively through long-term remote working?
- What do you plan for employees who are either unfamiliar with remote working operations or lack the necessary infrastructure to login from home?
- Have you provided any operational support to your employees to help them meet your demand in work from home scenario?
- Have you considered adding VPNs, portals, and gateways to channelize seamless remote working operations?
- Have you collaborated with the VPM providers, and hardware vendors to scale your remote workforce, in case you are planning to grow your headcount?
- Does your IT infrastructure (Cloud or SaaS) provide required resilience and security under critical situations?
- Have you tested your infrastructure against expected loading?
- Have you allowed white-listing of certain applications or do you still block all non-business applications?
- Have you made a checklist of accounts that are controlled and monitored?
- Have you considered downgrading or relaxing your access controls to meet remote login requirements?
- Have you considered the ability to white-list only specific applications during this period and block all non-business services?
- Are you allowing your employees to use video and audio teleconferencing tools to set up meetings and discuss pain points?
- Do you allow all your employees to use any other non-approved teleconferencing bridge?
- Do you have a helpline to manage access control and communications?
- Is your call-center still functional?
- If your call-center is not functional, what other communication channels have you set up to meet customer demands?
- Have you made any decision to scale your customer support headcount or prioritized dynamic customer interaction through chatbox messengers, or emails?
- Have you set up a specific helpline number to track your customer queries?
- Are you planning to scale up or downgrade any of your marketing channels to free up your marketing bandwidth?
- Are you thinking about outsourcing your call-center tasks to meet the rise in customer queries and complaints?
- Have you explored any Agency Experience platform in the last 3-4 weeks?
- Have you inquired with any vendor about the pricing drop in the customer support management tools and platforms?
- Are your critical service providers informed about your current remote working and disaster recovery plans?
- What steps have you taken to reduce dependency on critical service providers?
- Have you hired a CIO or CISO in recent months?
- Are they prepared to handle an IT incident?
- Do you have the most recent backup? If not, what do you plan to do about it in the next 3 working days?
- Has your approach changed in the last 2 months to secure operations during a pandemic?
- Do you have resilience against cyber threats and data breaches?
- Do you have cyberthreat intelligence and end-point security management solutions to thwart a possible attack on your IT systems?
- What would be your response time in case of a remote IT incident impacting a critical project?
- Is your team trained to access information about Incident Management and Response Processes?
- In case of a ransomware attack, what’s your war-room approach?
- Do all your confidantes know they are part of your war-room strategy?
Questions 36-50: Human Empathy, COVID-19 related Training, and Engagement
- Do you have a model “Work from Home” charter to ensure all your team members are following the protocol during lockdown?
- Have you personally written to your employees about your company’s mission, vision, and objective during lockdown?
- Have you provided a digital training platform for your employees to access learning and development resources?
- Does everyone in your team communicate using the white-listed applications?
- How assuring are you to others in your fight against COVID-19 and extending support to your employees?
- Is your remote workforce aware of the role they are playing in keeping your business running? How do you test their personal commitment to contribute on days of higher demand?
- Is there enough COVID-19 related information available at your site or helpdesk?
- Are you tracking your employee’s commitment to stick to “StayatHome” advisory?
- Have you sensitized your remote workforce about practicing quarantine and self-isolation?
- Have you sensitized your employees about the potential risk of phishing attacks and ransomware hacks into systems through malicious activities, including those that emerge from accessing COVID-19 information available at fake news sites or malware streams?
- Is your team aware of the escalation points in the system in case of reporting a malpractice or harassment at remote workplace?
- Is your employee contact detail updated? When was the last time you verified these?
- Who would step in place of an employee who may fall sick or is unavailable?
- Do you often take questions from your remote workforce and how do you solve them?
- Do you have a strong CSR objective toward following the lockdown advisory?