Significance of BCP in dealing with the inevitable
The Harvard Business School identifies Business Continuity as one of the Five basics of Corporate Sustainability, where focus remains upon the management of operational, regulatory and reputational risk, in the face of unexpected events inclusive of natural as well as manmade calamities.
In other words, BCP is the strategy that every organization should have in place for keeping the lights on in the face of storm. BCP is ever more important for data and technology intensive businesses, for reasons to preserve data security and prevent loss or leakage of strategic business information.
How CAMS leveraged its BCP during an emergency
Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 16 Mutual Funds, which basically means handling a great deal of public information. As a custodian of information sensitized to the requirements of data security, it strongly believes in managing and keeping IT in-house and not outsourced.
As a trusted Technology Enabled Services partner to the Indian Financial Sector, CAMS has in place a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan, focused not only on Hardware and Software infrastructure, but also on people, ensuring that all staffing requirements are adequately met with, in times of emergency.
CAMS is one of the very few businesses that were able to sustain their operations and functions amidst that extreme flooding that paralyzed the city of Chennai in November-December, 2015.
Mr. N. Ramakrishnan, Chief Information Officer, CAMS, in his recent interview featured on ET CIO, elaborates how the company’s business operations and services managed to remain undisrupted, owing to staffs’ tremendous commitment, high quality of BCP (Business Continuity Plan) and its governance mechanism and lastly, the technology infrastructure.
Excerpts from the ET CIO Story –
“Even during the Chennai floods CAMS was able to work, deliver services and meet our SLA (service level agreement) commitments on time,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said.
Certainly, to achieve such feat, organizations need to put huge combined efforts with precise planning, regular practice and flawless execution. It is interesting to know and understand CAMS’ core IT infrastructure planning and its management.
CAMS has three data-centers – two within Chennai city and one in Coimbatore. One of the Chennai data-centers is a standby in-city data-center.
This allows data replication from the primary data-center to the other two data-centers on a real-time basis. This leads to generation of two extra copies of same data at any point in time, which according to Ramakrishnan, is backed by a well-defined recovery point (RP) and recovery point objectives (RPOs).
From BCP perspective, this mechanism makes CAMS well-equipped to switch over from primary to standby or secondary data-center in case of any disasters, but without causing any sort of impact on company’s business operations and services.
But having BCP alone would not be enough to save organizations against any disasters unless BCP drills are practiced regularly, tested and are considered as an integral part of their business operations. In fact, that’s what The CIO has been doing continuously at CAMS during its close to three decades’ existence.
“We do periodic BCP drills and it is part of our smart business processes. We simulate the BCP drills by completely shutting down our data-centers and then try to ensure that we are able to operate and service our clients on production basis using our BCP through our Coimbatore data-center,” he pointed out.
Conducting BCP drills regularly, according to Ramakrishnan, has helped the organization to find out those gaps and fix them and then accordingly improve on every factor of BCP drills. “And this is how we can actually respond to disasters and natural calamities,” he said.
Besides, CAMS has a well-defined call tree structure that ensures each staff knows whom to call and how to act at the time of calamity. “Along with staffs, top management is also committed to call tree invocation like grouping, identifying and responding to any kind of situation. This is part of our culture and also a part of our BCP elements,” concluded Ramakrishnan.
To read the entire story as published, please visit: http://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/strategy-and-management/how-bcp-drills-helped-cams-keep-business-operations-afloat-during-chennai-floods-reveals-cio-Mr. Ramakrishnan/53750364
Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 16 Mutual Funds. Leveraging superior technology, CAMS brings several innovative services to Mutual Fund investors and distributors. CAMS is also a service partner to leading Insurance Companies, Banks, NBFCs and Alternate Investment Funds. To know more visit http://www.camsonline.com