10/10/2011 12:00:00 AM | Petaling Jaya
Mall Blast Incident Puts Disaster Recovery Vendor's Business Continuity Planning to Real Test.

The recent blast incident that took place in Empire Shopping Gallery brought a major halt to businesses operating within the complex. One company recounts back its swift action in ensuring that its operations remain uninterrupted while the safety of its staffs remains as their top priority.

By 8.30am, on 28 September, barely few hours after the time the disaster was declared by Empire Shopping Gallery’s General Manager, May Woo, Infinity Consulting Technology Sdn Bhd operations were already up and running from their alternate site located in Cyberjaya and Teknologi Park Malaysia. By 12 noon, all staffs, including critical and support functions were already reporting to work at either one of the sites.

By then, all staffs were already aware of each other's safety status through mobile phones, text messages, emails and facebook. The company and its staffs' quick response is largely attributed to the management's decision to implement a Business Continuity Plan while ensuring its managers are well trained and are aware of their roles and responsibilities should situations like this require the activation of a Business Continuity Plan.

Being in the business of handling backup and data recovery of mass volumes and high criticality for its clients of various industries such as financial institutes, manufacturing, services, utilities, telcos, distributors and etc, the company is determined to ensure their resources i.e. people, processes and infrastructure resume in the event of a disaster. Infinity Consulting Technology Sdn Bhd’s Director Wilson Lam emphasized that safeguarding their clients’ and their clients' stakeholders' interest and confidence equates to safeguarding their businesses.

"Our clients rely on our services to ensure their business continuity, that is by ensuring that their data is recoverable either on site or remotely, and with that, their clients rely on their operability for to safeguard their interest. As we are entrusted to take care of that, we cannot afford to cease our operations for too long! Therefore, the management has been placing much emphasis in making sure that a Business Continuity Plan is in place."

According to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery expert, Dr Goh Moh Heng of BCM Institute, we cannot be certain when a disaster will happen, but having a Business Continuity Plan in place helps ensure that at least the critical processes can be recovered and resumed. The objective of having a Business Continuity Plan is contrary to most organizations' perception. A Business Continuity Plan is more than a part of an Emergency Response Plan or IT Disaster Recovery Plan or Crisis Management plan.

Although it is inter-related to these plans, the Business Continuity Plan is an outcome of an organizations' assessment of risks that could cripple the organizations' day to day operations physically, identification of its critical business functions and processes (called business impact analysis) and towards identifying recovery strategies and means to ensuring the Business is able to operate with minimal resoources. The plan extends its coverage by addressing what Business Continuity practitioners called as the 6 R's of Business Continuity life cycle, that is Reduce, Respond, Recover, Resume, Restore, Restore in ensuring a holistic practice of implementing Business continuity. The Business Continuity or BC life cycle consists of the 6 “Rs”. The time period where each “R” is implemented is as follows: Reduce - the period of time before the disaster. Response - the hours and days immediately following the disaster.

Recover - the period from the occurance of the disaster until temporary operations or alternative processing are executed. Resume - the time whereby business functions and operations are resumed at alternate site. Restore - the restoration of non-critical functions and damaged infrastructures. Return - the time when operations return to normal. In the case of Infinity Consulting Technology Sdn Bhd, besides making sure that a Business Continuity Plan is in place, training and awareness among it staffs with a highly competent Business Continuity Manager is crucial so that the plan can be activated anytime. Wilson Lam who successfully attained the Business Continuity Certified Expert and Disaster Recovery Certified Expert certification awarded by Asia's leading Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Training and Certification Body, BCM Institute last September testified "both the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery courses that i had attended has helped me to further enhance my practices with the transfer of BCP best practices and methodology , i feel that business continuity manager like myself should at least expose themselves to such programmes so that they able to help their organization to manage and implement an effective BCP "

About Infinity Consulting Technology Sdn Bhd Infinity Consulting Technology SdnBhd (ICT), with its headquarters in Subang Jaya, Malaysia develops AEGIS, the cloud Disaster Recovery solutions for both private and public cloud services. ICT is the only agentless cloud backup provider in Malaysia specializing in Cloud Backup. ICT develops cloud backup solutions to empower organizations to have a perfect backup solution with the most flexible and attractive plan. ICT offering Aegis cloud backup services based on the AsigraTelevaulting platform which is famous for pioneering agentless backup. Business has blossomed tremendously therefore ICT earned a title of “Sole hybrid partner of Asigra” in Malaysia.
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