The Woolworths Outage Is A Lesson In Business Continuity Planning

Yesterday, Woolworths supermarkets around the country had to close their doors as the result of a massive IT outage. An IT issue resulted in point of sale systems going offline which meant products couldn’t scanned and the all important collection of money couldn’t be done. So, what can we learn from this?

There’s no doubt that Woolworths will be analysing the chain of events and the cost of their systems meltdown. And, as a result, they will add more processes and systems to reduce the risk of this happening again.

All of that is important but this is a good opportunity for all IT leaders to take stock and ask their businesses some important questions.

But there’s one I think is worth focussing on.

Can your business identify the things that, if they failed, would stop them from carrying out their primary business function? In retail, the most critical function is the ability to exchnage goods for money.

Yesterday, that function broke down for Woolworths.

So, today ask your business whether they are prepared for a similar incident. And then practice scenarios around that incident to ensure you’re ready for it.

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