With the rapid spread of COVID-19, the long term impact on the global economy is becoming apparent and now is the time to prepare for the potential effect it will have on us at a local level. Although our cities and regional centres may not feel the direct health issues of the virus, the impact is far reaching, and preparation will be key to managing the effects of any wider implications.
These are the areas we think require immediate attention in order to be prepared.
Disrupted Supply Chains
This is already being felt by the technology industry with Apple announcing a decrease in revenue in the March quarter as a direct result of COVID-19. Fiat and Hyundai have both announced the temporary suspension of some production lines due to the disruption in supply chains coming out of China.
In 2019, China represented approximately 16% of the world GDP, and with the Chinese government now demanding quarantine on almost one half of the population, the global economic impact will be enormous. Further, the supply chains are now so complex it's difficult to establish exactly which components are manufactured or sourced in China, so the long-term outlook on production is still unknown.
At Sentrian, we are seeing delays in the delivery of some technology products. Our Client Services Managers are constantly consulting with our Procurement Team and our clients in order to ensure arrival times of product is known. Should you foresee an upcoming requirement for technology products, we advise speaking with your CSM now.
Increased phishing attacks
Unfortunately this devastating global event has also seen opportunists taking advantage of a new round of email phishing scams. Security researchers have reported multiple scams with offenders posing as health authorities (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organisation) and sending emails requesting personal details in order to access information regarding the impact the virus is having on their location. Last week this prompted the WHO to release a statement advising people to be aware of scammers attempting to benefit from this epidemic.
As always, the best inhibitor of these scams is prevention! Don't click on links in any email you think is suspicious, and review our Guide to recent email security threats.
The rapid spread of the virus, combined with the Aussie love of travel, may result in a requirement for staff members to spend a quarantine period at home prior to returning to the workplace after overseas holidays. While at Sentrian we are not recommending staff to cancel their holiday travel plans, we are preparing for the event that staff will be required to work from home. This is the time to review your business' remote work plan in the event of an emergency. Similar to the floods of 2011 (although hopefully not to eventuate) we are ensuring that all staff have capability to work from home if required.
Please talk to your Client Services Manager if you require assistance in planning a remote workforce, or have any other queries relating to the technology operations of your business during this period.