ContinuitySA https://www.continuitysa.com Disaster Recovery Solution in South Africa Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:06:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 More reasons to outsource business continuity https://www.continuitysa.com/more-reasons-to-outsource-business-continuity/ Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:19:12 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8876 Completing my top reasons for working alongside a specialised business continuity service provider. By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA In my previous blog, I began to offer Reasons to outsource business continuity. Let me conclude with the remaining reasons to consider working with a specialist provider to ensure that this critical—but non-core—capability is fit for...

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Completing my top reasons for working alongside a specialised business continuity service provider.

By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA

In my previous blog, I began to offer Reasons to outsource business continuity. Let me conclude with the remaining reasons to consider working with a specialist provider to ensure that this critical—but non-core—capability is fit for purpose.

  • Spec the recovery site correctly. It is common for inexperienced people to get this wrong. For example, an important consideration would be to ensure that the recovery site does not share the same telecommunications, power and water infrastructure as the production site, and is accessibly by the transport choice of all staff. However this may be all relative in a small country such as Seychelles or a remote location where you do not have the luxury of dual utilities. Remember it is all relative, 10 kilometres in one country could mean something totally different in another when selecting the appropriate site.
  • Access the right business continuity skills. Deciding to go it alone on the business continuity front is not just about putting the infrastructure in place; it is necessary also to ensure you have people with the right skills on your payroll. Finding and keeping these professionals, who are increasingly in demand, can add an unwanted dimension to the existing war for talent.
  • Optimise your cost base. Building your own facilities means that you are bearing the full capital and operational costs, whereas a specialist provider can offer you syndicated recovery infrastructure to optimise the cost-risk equation. This will also avoid the trap of using redundant IT equipment and substandard furniture in recovery facilities. There are many hidden costs in going it alone. Having an outsourced Opex solution versus an insourced Capex solution may be what your CFO wants.
  • Protect critical recovery equipment. It can be hard for an internal unit to resist urgent requests to use IT and other equipment set aside for business continuity when the business needs it. I have personally seen data centres missing servers and recovery centres with no desks or chairs because of this—rendering them effectively useless when a disaster is invoked.

Even in the most developed economies, putting together a recovery plan that works when disaster strikes is a specialist’s job. Here in Africa we have more challenges in this regard, and we face an uphill battle in competing globally: outsourcing business continuity to the right partner is just smart business.

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Reasons to outsource business continuity and avoid the iceberg https://www.continuitysa.com/reasons-to-outsource-business-continuity-and-avoid-the-iceberg/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 05:47:53 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8808 Business continuity is a critical but non-core capability that can help African companies position themselves for global competitiveness. BCM outsourcing makes good business sense. By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA As I argued in my previous post, Business continuity is too important not to oursource. Insourcing’s apparent attractiveness disguises a great number of hidden disadvantages....

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Business continuity is a critical but non-core capability that can help African companies position themselves for global competitiveness. BCM outsourcing makes good business sense.

By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA

As I argued in my previous post, Business continuity is too important not to oursource. Insourcing’s apparent attractiveness disguises a great number of hidden disadvantages. Now I would like to look at the positive benefits of outsourcing this critical function, particularly within the context of Africa’s drive to enhance its competitiveness.

  • Ensure appropriate sponsorship attention. For most African companies, business continuity is relatively new. The danger is that it is often assigned to relatively junior employees, and it lacks the executive-level sponsorship that driving mindset change requires. It may also not be seen as a key performance indicator for that individual. If it is handled by outside specialists, its effectiveness becomes the key performance indicator.
  • Test, test, test. When disaster strikes, it is no time to discover the holes in a recovery plan or capabilities—that’s why continuous testing is critical. But how to run meaningful tests that are invariably seen as an irritating interruption in the busy business day, and how to embed the lessons learned into a process of continuous improvement, are all things that a specialist business continuity provider can do.
  • Get the practicalities right. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing business continuity as a technical problem with technical solutions. Technology is certainly a necessary and useful tool, but there is so much more to business continuity than this. For example, when staff arrive at a recovery site, they will also need a whole kaleidoscope of practical information and aids, such as Web shortcuts, passwords and stationery, not to mention toilet facilities, food and drink.

Next time, I conclude this blog series on why it makes sense to outsource business continuity management.

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Beware the iceberg: Business continuity is too important not to outsource it https://www.continuitysa.com/beware-iceberg-business-continuity-important-not-outsource/ Thu, 08 Mar 2018 06:02:33 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8767 By outsourcing business continuity, African companies can position themselves for success in the global business environment. By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA One often hears the argument that it is cheaper to insource business continuity than to outsource it. On a first glance, it can seem as though costs are lower but, like the proverbial...

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By outsourcing business continuity, African companies can position themselves for success in the global business environment.

By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA

One often hears the argument that it is cheaper to insource business continuity than to outsource it. On a first glance, it can seem as though costs are lower but, like the proverbial iceberg, this is because many costs, including staff time, are hidden below the surface.

We estimate that only 18 percent of the true costs of insourcing are recognised—they would include equipment and furniture purchase, and development costs. The rest of the costs, which include planning and design; installation and development; rental of premises; rates, taxes and utilities; insurance; maintenance; supplier management; electricity and diesel; operations personnel; security and clearing; and administration, among others.

The truth is, though, is that business continuity is one of those critical but non-core functions that is best outsourced

It is mandated by all governance codes and investors will look out for it. At the same time, though, it requires specialist knowledge to develop an effective business continuity management plan, keep it current and, critically, to ensure it works through regular, thorough testing.

There has been a lot of hype about Africa as an investment destination and new growth frontier but it is underpinned by real opportunity. However, if African countries are to maximise the benefits to their economies, their companies need to be able to compete with foreign competitors. To do this, they must be able to attract investment by demonstrating to investors that they are safe.

However, some companies will opt to implement it alone for a variety of reasons. However they quickly find that business continuity is a difficult job, not to mention expensive both in terms of capital and management costs but also in terms of a loss of executive focus. All too often, I have found, in-sourced business continuity is a casualty of the daily pressures of running a business: processes are not tested, and equipment is “borrowed” for production, and when a disaster strikes, the company finds its recovery capability is not adequate.

Next time: more detail on why outsourcing business continuity makes good business sense.

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Become a Business Continuity Practitioner https://www.continuitysa.com/become-business-continuity-practitioner/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:34:34 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8586 Take the five-day, in-depth ContinuitySA Complete Continuity® Practitioner training programme in 2018 to enhance your business continuity skills. The growing emphasis on building business resilience is being driven by concerns about enhancing corporate sustainability in an increasingly risky world. Codes like King III and IV are rightly putting sustainability generally, and business continuity in particular,...

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Take the five-day, in-depth ContinuitySA Complete Continuity® Practitioner training programme in 2018 to enhance your business continuity skills.

The growing emphasis on building business resilience is being driven by concerns about enhancing corporate sustainability in an increasingly risky world. Codes like King III and IV are rightly putting sustainability generally, and business continuity in particular, on the board agenda.

“All of this focus on business resilience means there is a burgeoning need for a new breed of business continuity professional, somebody who is able to design a business continuity management plan that is aligned with organisational strategies and risks, and that is managed and tested rigorously,” says Cindy Bodenstein, Marketing Manager at ContinuitySA.

“The ContinuitySA Complete Continuity® Practitioner Programme equips individuals with all the essential skills needed to design, implement and monitor a comprehensive and credible business continuity programme.”

The course runs over five days, and offers attendees a good mix of theory and practice to ensure they can put what they have learned into practice. It will be offered on 12-16 February, 16-20 April, 23-27 July and 15-19 October.

For more details and to register, visit http://www.continuitysa.com/training/register-here/ .

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Padma Naidoo honoured as Africa’s Business Continuity and Resilience Consultant of the Year https://www.continuitysa.com/padma-naidoo-honoured-africas-business-continuity-resilience-consultant-year/ https://www.continuitysa.com/padma-naidoo-honoured-africas-business-continuity-resilience-consultant-year/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:11:31 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8231 ContinuitySA makes it a hat trick at the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Africa awards night. Padma Naidoo switched from engineering to business continuity in 2006, and since then has gone from strength to strength in her chosen career. She joined ContinuitySA in 2015 after stints as a freelance consultant with Marsh and Deloitte. It has...

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ContinuitySA makes it a hat trick at the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Africa awards night.

Padma Naidoo switched from engineering to business continuity in 2006, and since then has gone from strength to strength in her chosen career. She joined ContinuitySA in 2015 after stints as a freelance consultant with Marsh and Deloitte.

It has been a long road, but 12 September was something of milestone when Padma was named Business Continuity and Resilience Consultant for 2017 at the BCI Africa Awards ceremony.

“To be recognised as the consultant of the year in Africa is a huge honour for me,” said a jubilant Padma later.

The award aims to recognise the achievement of business continuity professionals with  “exceptional all-round skills and broad experience in the continuity and resilience space”. Her boss, Jeremy Capell, who was named Industry Personality of the Year at the same function, was warm in his praise of Padma’s achievement: “Since joining us, Padma has built a solid reputation for professionalism and innovation, along with a deep commitment to delivering what her clients need. Nobody is more deserving of this award.”

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ContinuitySA’s GM Advisory Services named African Industry Personality of the year https://www.continuitysa.com/continuitysas-gm-advisory-services-named-african-industry-personality-year/ https://www.continuitysa.com/continuitysas-gm-advisory-services-named-african-industry-personality-year/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:40:49 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8185 Jeremy Capell honoured at BCI Africa Awards ceremony in Johannesburg The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Industry Personality of the Year is intended to highlight an individual who has “added value to the continuity and resilience industry over the past year”. Unlike the other awards which are adjudicated by a panel of experts, this one is...

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Jeremy Capell honoured at BCI Africa Awards ceremony in Johannesburg

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Industry Personality of the Year is intended to highlight an individual who has “added value to the continuity and resilience industry over the past year”. Unlike the other awards which are adjudicated by a panel of experts, this one is awarded by a public vote.

Jeremy Capell, GM, Advisory Services at ContinuitySA, received the largest share of the popular vote, and was named Africa’s Industry Personality of the Year for 2017 at the awards banquet in Johannesburg on 12 September.

The person who put Jeremy forward for the award cited the important role he played in the development of the development of the expanded Dimension Data Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery portfolio, especially the Central Delivery Organisation, a global service delivery centre based in South Africa and operated by ContinuitySA.

The latter received the Team award at the same ceremony, doubly validating the quality of Jeremy’s leadership.

Jeremy’s win also reflects the work he is putting into growing the business continuity industry in Africa, and his mentorship of the new generation of professionals.

“Acknowledgement by one’s peers is always the sweetest, and I am very honoured—and surprised, I must add—to receive this award,” Jeremy said after the presentation. “I am extremely grateful to my fellows in the industry for this mark of their esteem, and count myself fortunate to be one of their number.”

 

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Continuity and Resilience Team award goes to ContinuitySA Global Centre of Excellence https://www.continuitysa.com/continuity-resilience-team-award-goes-continuitysa-global-centre-excellence/ https://www.continuitysa.com/continuity-resilience-team-award-goes-continuitysa-global-centre-excellence/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:37:22 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8182 It’s second time around for this great team. Individuals can be high performers, but only if they are backed by great teams—and that’s particularly true in business continuity. When the chips are down, and a big job needs to be done, it’s all down to the team. It was thus a particular pleasure to hear...

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It’s second time around for this great team.

Individuals can be high performers, but only if they are backed by great teams—and that’s particularly true in business continuity. When the chips are down, and a big job needs to be done, it’s all down to the team. It was thus a particular pleasure to hear that the ContinuitySA Global Centre of Excellence scooped this award for Africa for the second time running.

The team is based in South Africa and uses the power of the network to provide specialist business continuity and disaster recovery services to clients of Dimension Data, its holding company, across the globe. These services include consulting, as well as the development and management of products. The Global Centre of Excellence also provides sales training to Dimension Data teams, and monitors service delivery.

As important, the Global Centre of Excellence acts as the go-to place for everything to do with business continuity and resilience across the Dimension Data group—a great resource that creates an institutional memory relating to this specialty field of knowledge.

Jeremy Capell, who heads up the Centre of Excellence team and is also General Manager of Advisory Services for ContinuitySA, was understandably very happy about the award. He said: “The ContinuitySA’s Global Centre of Excellence team is delighted and honoured by this recognition from the industry organisation. Setting up and running a global capability like this is challenging but also hugely rewarding because it enables us truly to leverage the specialist intellectual capital and experience of ContinuitySA to the benefit of clients across the world.”

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Three awards consolidate ContinuitySA as African leader in business continuity https://www.continuitysa.com/three-awards-consolidate-continuitysa-african-leader-business-continuity/ https://www.continuitysa.com/three-awards-consolidate-continuitysa-african-leader-business-continuity/#respond Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:06:39 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8179 Our position as Africa’s leading provider of business continuity and resilience services was cemented at the recent BCI Africa Awards ceremony. The BCI is the leading professional body in our industry, and has been the driving force in the development of industry standards and the creation of a cadre of professionals with credible skills. More...

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Our position as Africa’s leading provider of business continuity and resilience services was cemented at the recent BCI Africa Awards ceremony.

The BCI is the leading professional body in our industry, and has been the driving force in the development of industry standards and the creation of a cadre of professionals with credible skills. More generally, it has played a big role in taking business continuity to where it belongs: in the boardroom.

Here on the African continent, ContinuitySA worked alongside the BCI to ensure that we develop an indigenous business continuity culture with the skilled resources to make it viable.

For us, the BCI Africa awards are always something of a big deal because of our commitment to building an African industry. Because we cannot compete as a company for the three years following our induction into the Hall of Fame in 2016, we were particularly keen to do well in this year in other categories, and it was thus hugely pleasing that three of our entries received awards on the night:

  • Continuity and Resilience Team: ContinuitySA’s Global Centre of Excellence.
  • African BCI Industry Personality 2017: Jeremy Capell. GM, Advisory Services.
  • Business Continuity and Resilience Consultant of the Year: Padma Naidoo, Senior Manager, Advisory Services.

We are very proud of the individuals and teams in question, and echo the sentiments of our CEO, Michael Davies: “As an organisation, we are only as good as our people, and we can best be judged by the work we do for our clients. These awards demonstrate again that the ContinuitySA team is made of exceptional individuals. These awards are a testimony to the leading position of ContinuitySA within the African business continuity and resilience industry, and my heartfelt congratulations to the winners.”

Our next three blogs will look a little more deeply at each of the three winners.

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11 key points when assessing your business continuity provider’s infrastructure https://www.continuitysa.com/11-key-points-assessing-business-continuity-providers-infrastructure/ https://www.continuitysa.com/11-key-points-assessing-business-continuity-providers-infrastructure/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 07:51:05 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8135 11 key points when assessing your business continuity provider’s infrastructure For true peace of mind, you need to be sure your business continuity provider has the right quality of infrastructure and technology to ensure resilience. Our checklist will help ensure your business continuity provider has the right stuff. By Collet Dunne, Client Manager, ContinuitySA When...

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11 key points when assessing your business continuity provider’s infrastructure

For true peace of mind, you need to be sure your business continuity provider has the right quality of infrastructure and technology to ensure resilience. Our checklist will help ensure your business continuity provider has the right stuff.

By Collet Dunne, Client Manager, ContinuitySA

When choosing a specialist business continuity provider, it is critical to ensure that its basic technology and facilities infrastructure is properly designed and commissioned to ensure it provides the foundation for resilience. This is particularly true when it comes to technology, given the critical role that cyber resilience plays in the organisation’s resilience to disaster.

Based on ContinuitySA’s decades of experience as a leading provider of quality business continuity and resilience services, these are some key points to cover when interviewing a prospective business continuity provider about its technology and facilities:

  • Reputation. What experience does the provider have, and can it provide any references?
  • Core Business. Is the CORE business of the provider that of business continuity? What is its portfolio and scope of services? Does the provider offer an end-to-end portfolio of services, not limited to physical and technological recovery, but inclusive of advisory services speaking to the full BC life cycle?
  • Premises and building management. Are its premises located in a safe and convenient area? Do they comply with relevant safety, health, environment and quality regulations and standards? Does the work-area recovery facility provide a suitable and pleasant environment for your staff?
  • Accessibility. Are the data centres close to public transport, and do they offer proper access to the disabled? Can emergency services reach them easily at need?
  • Parking. Is there secure parking?
  • Security. Is there enough security staff on the premises 24/7? Are the premises monitored by CCTV, and is there adequate access control?
  • Connectivity. Does the provider provide access to all the major network providers?
  • Technology. Is there on-site technical desktop support? Is there a centralised service desk providing change and incident management? Is the data appropriately secured?
  • Telephony. Is there a fully customisable PBX system? Does the facility provide for specialist call centre capabilities, including headsets and call flow capabilities? Does it offer reporting and management?
  • Hospitality. Do the premises provide pleasant pause areas and kitchen/ canteen facilities?
  • Flexibility. Are the premises designed to accommodate varying requirements in terms of seats?
  • Data centre. Is the data centre N-rated, i.e. where “N” is the minimum components without redundancy, what additional back-up is available for the different data centre components (generator, UPS, air conditioning)? Does it have adequate cooling and power—as well as standby power (including generators and UPSs) and fire suppression? Is the data centre itself secured via access control and CCTV monitoring, and are individual racks/vaults secured? Is the technology and hardware of the correct standard, and does the data centre adhere to ISO standards and best practice guidelines? Are regular maintenance checks performed on the UPSs and generator?
  • Vendor Agnostic. Is the provider limited in their connectivity, hardware, software and other infrastructure use of providers? Are clients able to make use of their own providers as part of their continuity solution?
  • Standards/Benchmarks/Process. Does the provider subscribe to industry standards/benchmarks? Are the provider’s processes documented and regularly tested?

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The power of the business resilience plan https://www.continuitysa.com/power-business-resilience-plan/ https://www.continuitysa.com/power-business-resilience-plan/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:52:21 +0000 https://www.continuitysa.com/?p=8122 In this final case study, we explore how ContinuitySA helped the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) overcome what has been described as the worst disaster in its history: a true example of business resilience in action. A burst sewage pipe in the basement of the Pretoria building housing the GPAA’s call centre and walk-in centre...

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In this final case study, we explore how ContinuitySA helped the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) overcome what has been described as the worst disaster in its history: a true example of business resilience in action.

A burst sewage pipe in the basement of the Pretoria building housing the GPAA’s call centre and walk-in centre set in train a complex series of events that tested the organisation’s business continuity and resilience plan to the utmost. The call centre is the fulcrum of its communication platform for members and pensioners, while the regional walk-in centre plays a similarly important role within the region.

The GPAA responded quickly, eager to protect its own reputation and those of the funds it represents—while inconveniencing its members as little as possible. Within hours, it had invoked the highest level of disaster with ContinuitySA, which provides GPAA with 120 work-area recovery seats at its Midrand recovery centre.

Over the course of the 58 days that it took to get the damaged facility repaired, the GPAA team had to manage a bewildering set of shifting priorities and unexpected complications, coordinated via a mix of channels, from teleconferencing to What’s App and SMS. Staff complements were juggled between space made available at the head office site and the ContinuitySA recovery centre in order to cobble together the best working arrangement. Thanks in part to the partnership with ContinuitySA, and in large measure to the well-thought-out business resilience plan, the all-important call centre suffered only minimal disruption.

The GPAA’s disaster-response strategy received recognition as the Most Effective Recovery at the 2016 Business Continuity Institute Africa Awards. To learn more about the key success factors, read the full case study.

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