'Singapore Well Placed To Be Business Continuity Hub

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Business Times - 16 Apr 2007 S'pore Well Placed To Be Business Continuity Hub

Standards set for industry here will gain global recognition soon By Tamara Mohanan Kuppusamy

(SINGAPORE) Singapore is well placed to become a regional business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) hub, says the executive director of Disaster Recovery Institute Asia.

The Republic has set high standards for its BC/DR industry - and these standards will soon gain worldwide recognition, Dr Goh Moh Heng told BT in a recent interview.

The DR industry - worth about US$1.3 billion in the Asia-Pacific region - was developed to help corporations keep core operations going during crises by providing and maintaining back-up operating sites and IT systems.

The BC/DR market has been expanding as more companies realise the threats posed by potential epidemics, terrorism and the like, said Dr Goh.

According to him, several factors make Singapore an excellent hub.

For a start, BC/DR service providers here follow a high standard that will soon be recognised by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO).

Singapore's SS507 standard, launched by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) in 2004, was the world's first for BC/DR. Under SS507, providers must meet stringent requirements to ensure they provide a trusted operating environment and data recovery.

For instance, a provider must have two power sources from two power stations. It must also have two telecoms providers. Its recovery sites must be away from natural hazards. And they must meet fire protection standards and have emergency circuit breakers.

'By the end of 2007, SS507 will become an ISO 27006 standard, meaning it will be internationally recognised,' said Dr Goh. Certification helps differentiate the quality of providers, he said.

Ten service providers in Singapore have so far been certified, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Singapore Computer Systems, NCS, SingTel Expan and StarHub.

Dr Goh says other factors also make Singapore ideal for BC/DR operations - its strategic location, accessibility and relative invulnerability to natural disasters, for instance.

Singapore is barely affected by disasters such as the earthquakes and monsoonal floods that have wrought destruction in nearby Indonesia and Malaysia.

Also, Singapore's world-class transport connections means company staff can get in fast should there be an emergency.

'It's very critical that a disaster recovery hub have accessibility,' Dr Goh said.

Singapore has that accessibility because it is at the heart of South-east Asia, has a thriving air hub, a strong local road network, political stability and first-class communications.

While Singapore is well positioned to capture more of the BC/DR services market, there are barriers, says Dr Goh.

Aside from cost issues that smaller companies face, multinational corporations coming here have global policies to locate their data centres in other countries.

Dr Goh will speak more on BC/DR issues at the World Continuity Congress at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel on April 17-18.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.