Every organisation can experience an incident that could prevent it from continuing normal business operations at any time. As such, those responsible for the management of the entity have a duty to ensure that the organisation can recover from such instances in the minimum amount of time possible. In order to achieve this, careful planning and preparation is required.
The development, implementation and maintenance of sound Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans should therefore be taken seriously. Statistics have shown that companies that have done significant up-front work in planning have had better disaster recovery results, indicating a higher likelihood of successful recovery when a real disaster strikes.
The Business Continuity Management (BCM) program at Strate is managed by the Risk Division, which:
1. Oversees the establishment and maintenance of:
• Effective business continuity plans that are capable of supporting all core business activities of the depository;
• Identifying areas of weakness and, in conjunction with the relevant business resources,
developing and testing appropriate business continuity capabilities;
2. Provides effective co-ordination of all BCM testing to ensure that identified plans are, in fact, capable of supporting the relevant service and/or function and that the recovery time and point objectives can, indeed, be met; and
3. Promotes awareness and preparedness across the organisation and with those parties with whom Strate has direct interfaces such as its Participants, the JSE and the South African Reserve Bank.
In recognition of its role in the South African financial services industry, Strate has been particularly mindful of the obligation to ensure state-of-the-art preparedness across all of its key services. Regular enhancements to the Strate network, and the introduction of high levels of virtualisation across these services, ensure that disruptions are kept to a minimum and that recovery from disruptions can be effected with minimal delay - often without any impact on downstream users.
A fully documented business continuity plan exists to deal with potential business interruptions effectively and efficiently. Strate has a second, fully mirrored, recovery site at a separate location. The recovery site and related processes represent an integral part of the total business continuity plan.
Procedures for the backup and retention of data exist. The business continuity plan is subject to regular testing to ensure that the stated objectives are satisfactorily achieved.