Three decades of business resilience excellence

Three decades of business resilience excellence

Since it was founded in 1989, ContinuitySA has been driven by a mission to equip clients to manage risk effectively—and resilient enough to recover from any disaster.

By Michael Davies, CEO, ContinuitySA

Thirty years ago, when we began this business, we had a relatively simple business model: to provide disaster recovery for ICL mainframes. In those days, too, business hours were kept, and weekends were basically for golf and family. Over the years, of course, everything changed. Massive advances in technology put computing at centre stage, and today you would be hard-pressed to separate a company’s operations from its systems. Technology allowed companies to trade globally more easily, and the concept of the always-on business was born.

In tandem with technology’s greater role, the business continuity industry had to move from providing disaster recovery to a much more integrated set of services designed to keep the business running—business continuity. It was no longer possible just to focus on technology, but had also to encompass people and process because the three are entwined.

Nowadays, we even provide state-of-the-art facilities into which clients can move their staff in the event that their primary site cannot be used.

Another big trend has been the rapid darkening of the threat landscape. We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. No amount of planning and forethought can hope to identify all the risks, so we try to help clients become more resilient. A resilient company can respond to, and recover from, even unplanned-for disasters.

Another big development for the company has been the growth of its African business. Its network of data and recovery centres in South Africa (Midrand, Randburg, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal) has expanded and now includes facilities in Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius and Botswana. Africa is truly open for business and we think we have a real contribution to make in this regard: Business continuity has become key to ensuring sustainability, and thus to attracting investment and capital, and retaining customers and staff.  We are helping Africa realise its economic potential and take its rightful place on the global economic stage.

Over the course of the past 30 years, we have acted as an advocate for business continuity management, and the need to align our local industry with international developments. We are a Gold Partner of the Business Continuity Institute, and many of our people are members. A lot of the credit for the growing realisation of the value of business continuity management can be attributed to ContinuitySA.

Along the way, the company and its people have been fortunate to receive recognition for the excellent work they have done for clients—most notably our induction into the Business Continuity Institute’s Hall of Fame as a Service Provider. But perhaps we are most proud of the role we have played, and continue to play, in deepening awareness of business continuity and its role in building sustainable organisations across the continent. It’s a journey that is far from over.