Sungard Availability Services: Redefining Business Resilience

CIO Vendor Immense growth in the adoption of technology and heavy reliance on the digital has amplified the impact of disruption on modern businesses. This has driven increased effort on disaster recovery capabilities to maintain continuity of critical business processes in the face of deliberate or accidental system failures. Many businesses are setting-up in-house disaster recovery systems to reduce downtime and address a wide range of threats like infrastructure failures, data security issues and natural disasters etc. However, in-house disaster recovery systems are not always feasible as they incur high costs to install the hardware and require a lot of investment to maintain.

However, companies with extensive disaster recovery systems often fail when needed due to continuously evolving nature of any organisation. As changes to production environments and processes are often not accounted for, the business continuity plans start to diverge from reality increasing the possibility of the failure in the recovery of business processes. Another factor making disaster recovery process ineffective is the lack of validation of the recovery plans. Moreover, business continuity is not just about recovering the data and getting the IT systems up and running, but it also involves ensuring overall stability and embedding resiliency into the business environment to ensure business and IT operations are safe, agile and available. This is where Sungard Availability Services comes into the picture with a unique and holistic approach for business resilience by providing cost-effective cloud based disaster recovery solutions to help organisations maintain business continuity and mitigate risks.

Beyond Data Backup, Towards Business Resilience
With more than 40 years as the world leader in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, Sungard Availability Services helps organisations achieve business resilience and transform their IT environment to ensure that processes are fully recoverable. The portfolio of services provided by Sungard AS includes Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Cloud Based Recovery Systems, Business Continuity Management Consulting and Workplace Recovery Services which help businesses anticipate risk, mitigate its impact and maintain continuity of the critical processes. “We leverage our experience across various cloud platforms and legacy systems to integrate both environments and help businesses move beyond data backup to achieve business resilience and keep the operations moving forward regardless of their circumstances. Our approach encompasses managing, maintaining and enhancing the disaster recovery capabilities with significant focus on the systems and applications that are essential to support critical business functions,” informs Vineet Srivastava, Director & Head-Sales, India.

Available, Safe, and Agile
The company brings to the table years of expertise providing the best practices in IT recovery services including fully managed recovery programs and data protection to enable complete recovery of an organisation’s IT environment.

Sungard AS’s extensively tested and proven business continuity systems provide a fully managed recovery solution for the enterprise applications and data, while lowering the costs. “Our cloud recovery services maximize availability to ensure that core processes, applications and infrastructures are resilient and recoverable for continuous business operations. We help businesses meet compliance and security requirements to fortify their data protection and minimize the disruptions. Our scalable solutions empower clients to adapt to sudden changes and align the right applications with the right platforms to minimize complexity and maximize efficiency, ultimately making them ready for the modification,” affirms Vineet Srivastava.

Holistic Approach to Improve Business Continuity
In this well-connected world, businesses are very much aware of the uncertainties and threats that are almost inevitable. But more often than not, organisations fail to reduce the system downtime and maintain continuity in the wake of a disruption due to unpreparedness for the situation. The cost of the system downtime associated with waiting for applications and processes to be recovered is no less than a significant loss in revenue and productivity. So, it is crucial for any organization to have a business continuity plan to reduce the RTO and restore the data quickly. A business continuity plan requires regular updates to reflect changes in the production environment and the threat landscape.

Sungard Availability Services uses proven methodologies to assess existing business continuity plans and identify potential gaps or vulnerabilities in the process to assist businesses in the face of a disaster to protect the systems and restore operations quickly. All too often business whose
preparations for a crisis or disaster are insufficient never recover. With increasing stakeholder and even consumer demand for businesses to be resilient having the extensive and evolving continuity plans in place are vital.

“We help our clients assess their resilience thoroughly through a three step process. Firstly, we examine the most critical business processes and functions to determine the resources required to maintain them, including premises, people, suppliers and technology. With those identified making them as reliable as possible is paramount. The Second step is about strategy and planning, in which we help clients go beyond addressing compliance requirements. Our disciplined and documented approach enables businesses to engage with board-level executives, equip the teams to recognize threats and take assured action even before the occurrence of an event. Finally, we provide business continuity services specific to individual business needs and look at what is needed to make accurate decisions during a crisis to ensure that the team leading the situation is well equipped to resolve the issues. Clients can also outsource their entire Business Continuity Management program to Sungard AS for longer term, larger-scale managed business resilience,” elaborates Vineet Srivastava about their unique approach to increase business resilience.

Our approach encompasses managing, maintaining and enhancing the disaster recovery capabilities with significant focus on the systems and applications that are essential to support critical business functions

Sungard Availability Services, one of the global leaders in disaster management operating in 12 countries including USA, UK, France and India offers resilient, hardened data and recovery centres in over 40 locations around the world. It has been operating in India for more than eight years with offices in four sites across the country. The company has been doubling its customer base in India annually since its set up here eight years ago. The state-of-the-art delivery center located in Pune and Bangalore operate with more than 900 staff members to cater to the needs of customers worldwide. They have already invoked 45 times, six of which in last two months due to the monsoon rains.”

Preparing for the Inevitable
The industry today is focusing beyond the specific requirements of business continuity and disaster recovery and is aiming to achieve greater resilience. In order to survive in this competitive environment and deliver on the objectives, organizations need to enhance their ability to absorb the change and adapt to the sudden disruptions. In order to achieve this, right kind of business continuity and disaster recovery mechanism is very important for the businesses as they are vulnerable to disruptions. “Many companies still believe that disaster recovery and business continuity plans are essential to prepare them for the most unlikely and very rare events. But this simply isn’t the case with ransomware attacks exponentially increasing and very rapidly causing havoc on a daily basis. Disruption is no longer unlikely but has become expected. So, companies need to develop their disaster recovery and business continuity strategies keeping the inevitable disruptions in mind. Being resilient has become a vital element of success,” concludes Vineet Srivastava.

News Uk’s Uninterrupted Publishing Despite Massive Terrorist Attacks
The London Bridge attack in 2017 was one of the most brutal incidents of the decade. Staff at News UK’s London Bridge office were in the middle of that terror attack which was taking place on their doorstep. The publisher of News UK was under obligation to continue reporting the news despite the massive business interruptions due to the terrorist attack. Even though News UK’s London Bridge headquarters was in lock-down and inaccessible, Sungard Availability Services with its business continuity solutions helped News UK publish all editions and all formats of the newspapers in full and on time. News UK moved vital parts of its team to a Sungard AS Workplace Recovery centre in central London which was quickly set up to the publishers predefined specification. News UK’s staff members operated within the Sungard AS facility and continued publishing the newspaper, which is round-the-clock procedure involving many interdependent processes and critical timings. The recovery was so effective that despite the huge disruptions, News UK was able to publish all its newspapers and was able to honour the print and distribution agreements, thereby avoiding the loss of reputation and additional costs incurred by delays. The business continuity plan and strategy of News UK provided by Sungard Availability Services has been validated and is absolutely critical to the daily operations of any kind of company to maintain business continuity and handle sudden and massive disruptions effectively.