Ideagen COVID-19 Statement

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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In view of the current and rapidly changing situation with regards to coronavirus and the spread of the associated COVID-19 disease, Ideagen’s CEO, Ben Dorks, outlines the steps the company is taking to protect its people, partners and customers.

“The health of Ideagen colleagues, customers and partners is our primary concern. In light of global precautions for the COVID-19 Coronavirus and building upon recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments in the regions in which we operate, Ideagen has updated its company statement and is adopting new travel policies.

After previously providing guidance, with the speed of the ever-changing situation we are now instructing our employees to follow the relevant government advice in the jurisdiction in which they live and work.

The company has adopted new travel restrictions until further notice for the safety of its employees and clients, consistent with travel guidance by the WHO.

Ideagen has sharply curtailed all domestic and international travel for internal and customer meetings to only business-critical situations when virtual methods are insufficient. All Ideagen colleagues are encouraged to hold meetings and events virtually. There is no travel to restricted areas for work related reasons.

If an Ideagen colleague has personal travel to restricted locations for an emergency reason, they must inform their manager and must self-quarantine for 14 days after their trip is completed, per recommendations by health organizations.

The risk analysis from any sudden sickness of key staff, which considers the risk, probability, impact, priority and details the mitigations in place and the resulting post mitigation rating is low and mitigated by having enough competent staff employed in all areas to cover the loss. Staff are multi-trained to cover roles and succession planning is in place.

Over the last 14 days we have extensively tested our emergency planning, systems and infrastructure and are confident in our ability to continue to support our customers to our same high standards throughout this time.

Ideagen are keeping those directly affected by this virus in our thoughts.”

Ben Dorks – Chief Executive

 

Risk Assessment

Ideagens full COVID-19 risk assessment is available to all customers through the customer portal.

A new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which causes flu like symptoms was identified in December 2019 in China. Since then it has since spread around the world including Europe and the UK. The number of affected countries continues to expand daily. As it's a new illness, it is not known exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets, but it is very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.[1]

The virus has had an impact on the global markets and is predicted to have an impact on the global economy. However, OPEC have predicted that ‘growth prospects remain highly uncertain. On the assumption that the epidemic peaks in China in the first quarter of 2020 and outbreaks in other countries prove mild and contained, global growth could be lowered by around ½ percentage point this year relative to that expected in the November 2019 Economic Outlook’.[2]

Ideagen business continuity plans, which are audited on a regular basis, mitigates the risk associated with both a reduction in staff and key personnel as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Succession planning in the event of illness for each department has eliminated key person dependency. In many cases, team members are in geographically diverse locations and provides resilience and continuity. For example, technical support has a distributed workforce with more than 50 staff situated across 11 locations in the UK and around the world, supporting products across all four brands.

The vast majority of Ideagens infrastructure is not of a physical nature, the inherent risk in this area is very low. Ideagens’ move to virtual machines that are hosted in cloud facilities has all but eliminated any failure risk. All employees have laptops enabling working from home in the event this is required and, in most cases, permits employees to be as productive as working from the office. Ideagen has also virtualized its telecommunications. As with the IT infrastructure, it is hosted on three tier architecture, and as such, it is highly resilient. In the event of a location being shut down, normal service is resumed using our virtual private network (VPN). All technical services to clients of a business-critical nature can be performed by employees using remote access, removing the need to be present at a physical location.

Ideagen has been following a policy of rating its suppliers for many years. An assessment of key suppliers’ business continuity strategies ensures the risk to Ideagen in this area is low. Hyperscale cloud service providers, such as Microsoft and Amazon, who support Ideagens critical business systems, provide services that are free of the limitations that are inherent in legacy physical systems architectures. The combination of high reliability and extreme scalability that characterise cloud computing minimises any risk to Ideagen’s critical business systems or any of its hosted products.

Ideagen conducts regular risk assessment and business continuity assessments and have assessed the overall risk to its business from the Coronavirus to be between very low to low and have implemented a number of additional policies, such as travel visitor restrictions that further reduce any residual risk.

[1] Coronavirus (COVID-19) (nhs.uk, 2020) <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/> [last accessed 11 March 2020]

[2] OECD Interim Economic Assessment, Coronavirus: The world economy at risk 2nd March 2020

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