Gartner Research

Overcoming COVID-19 Through Pandemic Preparedness

A pandemic is an operational risk

Analyst(s): Roberta Witty, Joshua Allen, Venecia Liu

The new coronavirus strain (COVID-19), which emerged in Wuhan, China, is the latest reminder that companies need to plan and prepare for large-scale outbreaks of the dangerous disease. Such a dynamic situation, which could span months and expand well beyond the Asia/Pacific region, has the potential to be as or more disruptive to an organization’s continuity of operations as a cyber intrusion or natural disaster.

Pandemics aren’t your usual business disruption. Unfolding over months, these events require an extra set of activities that include consultations with epidemiologists, critical role identification and third-party evaluations. We consider a pandemic to be an operational risk that must be managed at the highest levels of the organization because it cuts across every department and location in which the organization operates.

This Special Report describes considerations and planning that leaders can undertake as the coronavirus outbreak continues.