Is your business ready for disaster?

Too many regional organisations are still taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to business continuity

Tags: Business ContinuityBusiness continuity managementCloud computingCommVault Systems IncorporatedEmirates Integrated Telecommunications Company StorIT Distribution FZCO (www.storit.ae)Symantec Corporationhelp AG (www.helpag.com/)
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Is your business ready for disaster? Many organisations in the region have taken a wait and see approach to disaster recovery, but the market is gradually maturing.
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By  Keri Allan Published  July 18, 2013

In an always-on era, business continuity has become more critical than ever – companies simply cannot afford downtime from their IT systems. Threats to business continuity still exist though, such as security incidents, IT outages, physical disasters, power outages, and extreme weather events. As far as possible, companies need to be prepared for the unexpected, with resilient and thorough business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) planning and solutions.

“At eHDF we see DR and BC as top priorities for organisations in this particular region. IT managers and CIOs allocate separate budgets due to the increasing pressure to maintain smooth business functioning for an enterprise. It is essential to plan accordingly for the potential likelihood of a disaster situation,” says Yasser Zeineldin, CEO of eHosting DataFort.

Even though the need is clear and understood, enterprises in the Middle East still have a long way to go.

“On a scale of one to ten, regional awareness of the need for DR is around six or seven, but actual levels of competence and maturity are still around three or four,” highlights Anthony Harrison, senior principal technical specialist, Information Availability Group, Symantec EMEA. “This can be attributed to the fact that there is a lot of turnover in terms of staff and job roles, and too many people see DR/BC as a medium to long-term job that they do not want to invest their time and effort in as they will have moved on by the time any programme is properly implemented.”

“The region is still less advanced than the UK and US on its focus on the wider issues of BC,” continues Lydon Bird, technical director and board member of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). “It is a normal pattern for countries/regions/industries to concentrate mainly on technology recovery before expanding their horizons to crisis management, human aspects of BC and external continuity problems like supply chain management.

“The Middle East is following the same pattern but moving ahead much quicker than we experienced elsewhere — using learning from more mature regions in a very positive manner. Certain unique problems do exist in the Middle East, however, which make conventional resilience solutions more difficult to apply. These are often of a geo-political nature, which requires response solutions to be kept within countries, whilst because of the relative small size of some countries the causes might be from problems which are beyond their domestic geographical boundaries and political control.”

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