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.