If Ebola's a problem here, just imagine it in India


The only reason consideration is being given to travel bans of West African nations, is "because they are not seen as terribly significant to the world economy," said Schroeder. "But you couldn't say the same thing about India or Indonesia."

India-based development teams are now an essential part of U.S. companies and provide all manner of IT services and support. The Everest Group, a research and analysis firm that covers the outsourcing market, is recommending that U.S. firms give some thought to global Ebola planning.

"IT managers should definitely be thinking about their response to an Ebola outbreak in India and similar markets where they have service delivery teams," said Marvin Newell, a partner at Everest Group. Firms need to "broaden their assumptions" around disaster recovery.

With Ebola, a big difference is the high quarantine potential, which would severely limit travel, said Newell. In India, IT organizations often make bus transportation available to team members. It's easy to imagine an Ebola-related scenario in which bus transportation is shut down. That means the office may be open, but team members can't get there, he said.

Working from home may not be an option, since lack of connectivity and security concerns "often make working remotely from homes not possible," said Newell. Many response plans stipulate that a team would fly to another location, but during a pandemic, flights might be restricted or grounded, he said.

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