The name of our company is perhaps apt given the duration we’ve been in business. For over three decades, ContinuitySA has provided the tools, techniques, technologies and expertise to keep businesses running, no matter what. We’ve recently made a video to celebrate the fact.
Thirty years is a pretty thorough demonstration of continuity, and across that time we’ve grown to become not only South Africa’s biggest provider of services to help make organisations resilient, but also the biggest in Africa. We couldn’t have done it without our customers, of course, some of whom have been with us since those early days.
In the Digital Age, anticipating the future is incredibly difficult. Cast your mind back to the 1980s; very few people had any idea of the extent to which we’d become dependent on computers and the internet in our daily lives. However, two who had an inkling are our founders, Allen Smith and Alan Heath.
Recognising back then that mere computer systems weren’t enough, they set about building a company which would help harden not only the computers, but the entire environment in which people work. We were among the first to recognise that IT disaster recovery had to be undertaken within the context of the whole business—business continuity management, in fact.
One thing which has remained somewhat constant, whether in the 80s or right here, right now, is the potential for the unexpected to happen. We saw it recently in Kenya, with the terrorist attack on the DusitD2 hotel (see this interview ).
That’s why, as the business environment has steadily become more VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), we have begun to emphasise the need for business resilience. While the detailed planning and risk mitigation inherent in business continuity management remains critical, it must also be designed to deal with events like this which strike out of the blue: accidents, attacks, floods, earthquakes, fires. The company needs to have the ability to respond and recover literally baked into its DNA.
In addition, we have never forgotten the importance of workplace recovery, somewhere people can go if their workplace is destroyed or inaccessible for any reason—and keep the company operating with minimal disruption. After all, a machine which is running ‘just fine’ is no good if people can’t get to it!
The growth we’ve experienced as ContinuitySA has seen the establishment of premises and facilities in Botswana and of course Kenya, and it’s been driven by the great work our consultants and experts do in safeguarding the technology people depend on to get their jobs done. It’s also thanks to growing awareness from individuals and businesses regarding the necessity to have a ‘Plan B’.
And with ContinuitySA now a part of Dimension Data group, we have truly global reach and the ability to deliver quality resilience solutions across Africa, and potentially further abroad. It’s an exciting time for the company; we’ve come a long way and the journey has just begun.