By Daniel Hunter

With the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union today (Wednesday) announcing plans to strike for 72 hours from 4pm on the 24th of April (next Tuesday), the industrial action could have severe implications for the London transport network, affecting underground lines and potentially causing disruption to thousands of commuters.

With the strike potentially slowing up business as usual operation in the London area in particular, Keith Tilley, expert in business continuity and disaster recovery services from SunGard Availability Services, reviews what steps businesses can take to ensure minimal disruption and what could be learnt ahead of the Olympics:

“Disruption has now become a way of life for modern businesses and today’s corporate calendars are littered with obstacles to everyday operations. All manner of issues, ranging from planned disruptions such as the Olympics to unforeseeable events like the upcoming strike, can potentially cause problems for UK businesses.

"Recent research from SunGard Availability Services has found that 59 per cent of organisations now factor in more disruptions to their operational plans than ever before. In this case, it’s vital that businesses are able to keep the apace of their competitors and don’t lose any time to disruptions such as these. Forward thinking businesses should look, where possible, to enable and communicate plans to support staff to work remotely during disruptions, rather than face the inevitable loss in productivity caused by staff inability to access or use their usual offices and resources, plus the inevitable uncertainty on what action to take.

“Major disruption can have a long-reaching ripple effect throughout the supply chain, not simply due to the initial costs but in terms of reputation management, customer satisfaction and partner relationships. Years of trust can be wiped out by supply chain vulnerabilities. Clearly businesses need to understand the importance of investing in business resilience and a comprehensive continuity plan.”

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