4 September 2010
(blog) The London Underground (affectionately, the Tube) is going down at 5 pm Monday on September 6th 2010, as The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) goes on strike, which is likely to grind trains to a halt and affect millions of commuters.
The RMT said that 45% of its 9,000 members voted, of which 76% were in favor of a strike; and 88% voting in favor of action short of a strike.
Now, you would expect to hear from the London police or the city officials or even Tube management on how to manage through this mini-crisis.
But to get tips from a Big Four firm?! Strange as that may sound, we see on PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) UK website on PwC s leader of risk and business continuity, Martin Caddick’s advice on how businesses can prepare for the disruption, and prepare for large scale remote working:
Provide employees with specific guidelines and assurance, as in general staff working remotely are more difficult to manage and supervise (Does telecommuting equate to lower control?)
Prepare IT infrastructure to accept remote access from a large number of staff; and be sure to scale and test it ahead of time – i.e. this weekend is going to be a busy one for the IT folks
Ensure security of remote data access is tight, and there is no compromise from employees accessing information from home systems and computers i.e. the IT risk folks are going to even busier
Caddick says that its more important to have the ability to carry on doing the important things should something go wrong, not just guessing what might happen. And that keeping folks home but making it easier for them to log-in does make good business sense. Its important to think through what may happen up-front and be prepared rather than face the risk of any data compromise or process disruption.
In short, get ahead of what can go wrong, and have things in place to prepare for this emergency situation. With this announcement just coming late Friday, business leaders in the UK should be at work this weekend preparing for a very light Monday.
Like we said, strange to see this, but the advice is really relevant, especially for businesses who rely on real time IT data and processes and people who make it happen. For those people are likely to be quite stuck (at home) without their beloved Tube. (blog)