The Crisis Playbook Needs a Bigger IT Chapter

As a PR specialist trained in crisis communications, I participate in simulated drills to hone my skills.  A few years ago I found myself in the White House Situation Room making real-time decisions about a crisis for which I had not planned.

It was not the “current” situation room, but it was the actual situation room that nine presidents used, re-assembled at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA for simulation drills like this one. I was sitting in the room where presidents have made some of the most critical decisions of their lives when my team was given a national crisis scenario and left in charge. 

This call launched an intense crisis simulation with new information and global reactions constantly popping up on our iPads. The team had to make split-second decisions in the interest of the economy and national security. We were unprepared but we did the best we could given the circumstance. In the end, we made mistakes.

Many businesses found themselves in a similar position while struggling to adapt to the upheaval in business operations and government-ordered work from home requirements this year. Beyond the communication and culture changes that companies were facing, declines in productivity due to technology issues were a real concern for many companies. Challenges abound.

By now most people recognize that communication tools like Zoom and Slack have become critical components of the average work-from-home day. But the need to be able to distribute applications and scale them to where users are has also emerged as a critical success factor for IT departments. It is not enough that employees can communicate, ERP systems and other business-critical applications need to be available, without delay, to the employees, partners, and customers who need them.

A 2020 crisis plan needs to include a comprehensive IT strategy to ensure business resiliency or the ability to quickly adapt to changes — having the elements in place to respond, refocus and even emerge stronger.

Diamanti’s Erikjan Franssen recently addressed the components of Business Resiliency for C-Level executives at the CXO Insights virtual conference.

Check out this presentation video in which he also explains the need to prioritize business continuity and disaster recovery, how to save critical staff resources by focusing on automation and self-healing, and how microservices architecture and containerized applications running in Kubernetes can provide a future-proof solution with a reasonable TCO.