There is a good business continuity story here of course. But also an interesting sustainability perspective (I’ve always said the cloud would be good for sustainability).
ICT remote collaboration tools will never replace travel, but it can certainly reduce the need for it significantly. You can be sure that a lot of those people grounded and unable to travel will be making extensive use of everything from the trusty phone, through personal video conferencing, telepresence, desktop sharing applications and every other remote collaboration tool you’d care to think of.
Hopefully this won’t last for long, but there is a great opportunity here to familiarise people with the power and richness of the remote collaboration tools that are available. Don’t waste this opportunity to get some of the road warriors in your organization to use these tools, particularly the ones that would rather get on a plane than step into a video conference suite.
If you have responsibility for tracking usage make sure you capture this data during this period and report it. And very importantly talk to those affected, get their stories, find out what they thought, how might it change their future behaviour, how could it be made better. Were they disappointed at how little they could get done, or impressed by how much they were able to get done.
Good opportunity, don’t lose it.