Disaster-proof your operations, firms told-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
ERRATIC weather has affected operations of the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry, an official said.
Rather than rely much on government’s effort to address the impact of natural disasters, Rick Pusag, chief information officer of JP Morgan Chase Philippines, advised the IT-BPM companies to create more comprehensive business continuity and disaster risk management plans.
“Our industry cannot afford downtime. So we’d better be prepared and create back-up plans,” said Pusag in one of the breakout sessions of the International Contact Center Conference and Expo (ICCCE).
Pusag noted that bad weather is among the primary reasons for employee absenteeism, particularly in flood-prone areas of Metro Manila.
While safety of employees is their top priority, Pusag shared that part of Aegis’ disaster risk management plan is to anticipate their employees’ needs during a disaster. They see to it that they have sufficient food, gasoline, blankets and pillows for their employees.
When strong typhoons hit, they advise their employees not to go home, for their safety. They also solicit volunteers who can render overtime.
DOST: Better forecasting
“This measure is not just about maintaining safety but at the same time still providing service to the organization,” said Pusag.
In a separate presentation, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo told the IT-BPM players that they are now putting in place an advanced weather forecasting that is area-specific. The department, he added, is also in close coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways.
While the Philippines is more of a “prepaid mobile culture”, one way to keep track of employees’ location and contact numbers during disasters is the use of social networks.
“Social media is another platform to communicate with your staff if and when disaster happens. Companies can use this to keep track of employees’ location and come up with an estimate headcount of employees that will be affected with the disaster,” he explained.
“It is really a plus factor if you can get information ahead of time.”
Given erratic weather brought about by climate change, Pusag also added that most IT-BPM companies are now open to explore different technology solutions to make sure that business operations are not hampered.
He said that companies are now making sure that locations of their infrastructure are flood- and earthquake-free.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 31, 2013.