21 April 2020
Man writing in notebook with laptop open while sitting on couch in lounge room

Today's blog post focuses on the need for businesses to demonstrate operational preparedness in the face of a crisis. We look at contingency planning in .au, the key components of a crisis management plan and how your business can minimise organisational trauma by being prepared.

Contingency planning in .au

As Ian Hanke explained at the Asia Pacific Top level Domain Association Members Meeting in February, the nature of a crisis in government and other industries can vary, from a security breach, to a key member of staff stepping down, or a natural disaster such as the recent Australian Bushfires

Using the example of a country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) operator and their relationship with the government, Ian explained that the interest lies primarily in the internet’s security and constant availability. As the administrator and self-regulatory body for the .au ccTLD, .au Domain Administration also work closely with us here at Afilias Australia as the registry operator of .au, to ensure that contingency plans are in place and a stable, secure connection to the .au DNS is maintained.

Developing a crisis management plan

While larger businesses may have the capacity to invest in expert services, there are a lot of smaller organisations who may not have a plan at all. Luckily, there are Australian government resources available to assist in preparing an emergency (crisis) management plan, including the development of:

  • A continuity plan (where risks and critical areas to protect are identified)
  • An emergency action plan (that explains what to do in emergency situations); and
  • A recovery plan (guides your business to recovery after an emergency has occurred).

Operational preparedness

This article from itbrief.com.au, suggests minimising organisational trauma by preparing for it. Although the author is referring to his DevOps team, his message is relevant across all departments/industries:

“By normalising critical incidents and outages through repeated practice, organisations can demonstrate digital operational maturity, which means they become more effective at real-time work”, and can focus on areas to improve.

A workplace example that we are all familiar with is the fire drill, and the need for businesses to protect their most critical assets – their staff. In a fire drill, staff are asked to evacuate the building and meet at a designated evacuation point. Information is recorded by the Fire Wardens and improvements for the next drill are taken into account. Through continued workplace testing and training, these processes are strengthened.

As we continue to adjust to life as the new normal for the foreseeable future, with so many people working from home it is important that we are demonstrating operational preparedness. We hope this post helps you to understand the importance of implementing a comprehensive, tested crisis management plan regardless of the stage your business is at.

For more information on Coronavirus and support for Australian businesses, visit business.gov.au.