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Data back-up centres to the rescue of financial sector

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Bangalore , July 31

THE torrential rain, which paralysed life in Mumbai last week, could have wrought havoc on business continuity had it not been for the alternative data back-up centres established by financial organisations in other cities.

Though in some parts of the city, electronic transactions were disrupted for sometime, timely action saved the organisations in protecting the data by transferring it to alternate centres in the country.

A bank data centre in Mumbai could affect millions of people in India. Fortunately, many customers in India had built continuity centres and operations that are geographically dispersed, said Mr Srinivas Pothapragada, CEO of Sanovi Technologies Corporation.

The Boston-based continuity management solutions firm with its large sales and support centre in Bangalore, came to the rescue of its customers with its solutions to ensure that its Mumbai-based customers could `failover' their data centre systems and operations to other parts of India.

"We protected over Rs 10,000 cores of business," said Mr Pothapragada.

Though seasonal rains normally do not get factored very high into the disaster recovery management scheme, it has since been reckoned as one of the critical components of the `Severity Weather Category' having crept up in the priority ranking from 19 to 9.

Normally categories such as terrorism, theft and sabotage, national weather such as earthquake were the parameters that govern the necessity for setting up alternate data centres to overcome any loss due to calamities.

Mr Pothapragada said the `failsafe' business continuity programme has been adopted by only 20 per cent of the business establishments who have IT systems and of this 50 per cent were from the financial sector.

In view of the growing complexity of financial products and increasing leveraging of technology and its heightened sophistication, the RBI has also stressed the imperativeness of business continuity planning (BCP) as a pre-requisite for minimising the adverse effects of business disruption and system failures. It said the onus of generating the details of the components of BCP in the light of individual organisations was on the board and the top management and said evaluation of the adequacy of contingency planning and their periodic testing by service providers whenever critical operations are outsourced were equally important.

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