Navigating the Coronavirus Outbreak for Shared Services Organizations

20 Mar 2020
by Eric Simonson, H. Karthik, Parul Jain

As the world’s attention has increasingly turned towards the COVID-19 virus over the course of 2020, most shared services organizations have already triggered their business continuity plans and adjusted their operations. The uncertainty associated with a risk such as a virus – unbounded by location or other formal borders – will continue for some time and require sustained diligence and proactive efforts to adjust as new information becomes available. In this viewpoint, we offer a recap of the standard responses that most organizations have taken, some best-in-class industry practices, and a view on how the new normal, post-COVID, would look like. These perspectives are drawn from both our previous experience with organizations reacting to pandemics (such as SARS, MERS, and Zikka) and specific responses in the current COVID-19 situation. It is critical to acknowledge that the impact from COVID-19 is different from other forms of crisis such as natural disasters or civil unrest, as it can potentially disrupt multiple locations across geographies at the same time, as well as the uncertainty attached to the duration of impact.

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