Business continuity plan gives competitive edge

Business continuity plan gives competitive edge
Mr Clifford Lew, director of professional services at Pantropic Online, at its secondary data centre in Science Park, which hosts replicated servers of their cloud-based disaster recovery managed services.

Being one of the small and medium-sized enterprises in the information technology industry, one major problem that Pantropic Online faced was not being a well- known "brand name".

Mr Clifford Lew, director of professional services at the IT disaster recovery company, says: "Especially when the deal size is over a quarter of a million dollars, some customers feel more comfortable with a solution provider which is bigger and a more recognised name."

Adopting the ISO 22301 standard, which helps companies establish business continuity plans, helped Pantropic overcome this problem just more than a year ago.

"The standard assures prospective customers that you have a process in place to ensure quality and availability of the product or service you're offering," he explains.

In addition, since disaster recovery is an integral part of business continuity, "it made perfect sense that we should go through the certification process ourselves", Mr Lew adds.

The process of adopting the standard was not easy.

"The first hurdle is really educating yourself about business continuity, then the ISO standard specifically... There are lots of new concepts to understand and terminology to learn," the 49-year-old says.

Another challenge was to achieve consensus on many issues, for example, deciding what products and services are the company's highest priority and identifying the critical business functions and core offerings.

Pantropic received funding support from Spring Singapore through the National Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme for its ISO certification.

Mr Lew says: "The funding support was instrumental in getting the project approved internally.

"Also, knowing there would be Spring's support to increase adoption and recognition of BCM standards, we saw the marketing and competitive advantage to being an early adopter."

"I'm happy to say that since we've been ISO certified, we've been able to partner with some very large industry players. "Since we adopted the standard in May last year, our revenue has grown by 30 per cent to 40 per cent."

ISO 22301: 2012 Societal Security-Business Continuity Management Systems standard

What it is: This standard helps companies to establish a proper business continuity plan, which will allow them to continue operations if an adverse event such as a fire or natural disaster happens.

This article was first published on August 6, 2014.
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