Business continuity strategies include many processes and methodologies designed to protect businesses from disasters and unexpected downtime. The latest advice from several industry leaders and research institutions, however, is that to be completely sure your data is secure, a third backup location should be located on a different continent, an off-continent information safe haven.
Bradley Janse van Rensburg, solutions design manager at ContinuitySA believes this is an important component of a business continuity plan for companies that are dependent on their information to run their businesses. “When your data is your lifeblood as well as your legal responsibility, you cannot be too careful in protecting it,” says Janse van Rensburg.
He adds that international companies have a ready-made safe haven in South Africa where they can be sure their data is safe from disaster. He highlights six factors that make South Africa a good choice as a safe haven.
Natural security: “South Africa is an extremely stable area in terms of natural disasters,” says Janse van Rensburg. “We are not exposed to the earthquakes, tornadoes and other natural disasters prevalent in other areas of the world. South Africa is therefore an ideal habitat for both people and data as very little protection is needed for survival here.”
Politically safe: The country has a stable democracy and a free media, which is an important consideration when storing sensitive data. It is also on good terms politically with other countries, with no potential of a war and a minimal threat of terrorism.
Skills availability: There is a wide representation of international technology firms in the country, which will assure off-continent business continuity seekers of fast access to skills and support. South Africa’s IT market is smaller, but no less competent than the best in the world.
Good location: South Africa is located in a good time zone for doing business with the EU and UK. Our business hours are about the same as theirs and English is the language of business, making it easy for international companies to communicate with their South African representatives and partners.
Connectivity: By 2012, there will be seven undersea cables coming into South Africa, giving the country 21 terabits of international bandwidth. The result will be a world-class communications infrastructure with plenty of resilience as the cables will be installed along the east and west coasts of Africa. Moreover, the country’s internal infrastructure has proven itself of a high quality that meets the most demanding business needs.
Ease of business: Finally, the ease of doing business in South Africa, currently ranked 34th in the world, makes setting up an offshore data storage centre simple. Companies are able to set up a safe haven in short order without endless red tape.
South Africa is ideal for international companies to use as an off-continent continuity location. The success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is proof of the capabilities of the country, the skills available and the resilience and quality of its infrastructure.
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