Deloitte opens Disaster Recovery Centre

Deloitte officially launched its improved Disaster Recovery Centre Tuesday at Citrus Grove.

The purpose-built facility offers companies such disaster recovery services as data storage, document storage, hosting of IT equipment and even ‘recovery suites’ that provide office space after a disaster.

The Centre actually opened last year, but never had an official launching, said Jeremy Smith, Deloitte’s senior manager of its Enterprise Risk Services.

Mr. Smith said interest in disaster recovery services has grown since Hurricane Ivan struck in September.

In addition, he said businesses globally are paying more attention to disaster recover plans, partially because of the risks of business disruption.

‘A recent study showed that 40 per cent of corporations said their very survival was at risk if their business was disrupted more than 72 hours,’ Mr. Smith said. ’15 per cent said their survival was at risk with a 24-hour disruption.’

More chilling was the finding of another business disruption study.

‘Ninety-three per cent of companies that lost their data servers for 10 days or more because of a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster.’

Beyond the risk to individual companies, the country also faces a risk from business disruption.

‘Any disruption can have a ripple effect that will have an impact on our reputation as a whole,’ said Mr. Smith.

With the experiences of Hurricane Ivan fresh on the minds of Cayman’s corporate executives, Deloitte partner Taron Jackman said many of the firm’s clients were looking at Disaster Recovery Plans more closely.

‘Hurricane Ivan helped us identify areas of exposure,’ he said.

Mr. Jackman said his own firm almost sustained a severe loss of 6,000 to 7,000 boxes of liquidation documentation stored in a warehouse in the Industrial Park.

‘As liquidators, we have the responsibility to protect those documents,’ he said. ‘Had they remained there, they would have been flooded.’

Luckily for Deloitte, the firm had space at Citrus Grove to move the documents, and did so before the hurricane hit.

Many businesses, however, did not have that option, he said.

‘We recognized that there was no place for most business to go to with their documents and data,’ said Mr. Jackman.

Opened just last year, Citrus Grove was designed to withstand winds up to 200 mph and sustained virtually no wind damage during Hurricane Ivan.

The building also sits on a high point.

‘It’s approximately 14 feet above sea level,’ said

Deloitte Disaster Recovery Centre manager Mike Edge. ‘That’s marginally higher than everywhere else around the building, which means the water tends to run off from around it.’

As a result, Citrus Grove did not experience any storm surge or rain flooding during Hurricane Ivan, Mr. Edge said.

Deloitte’s Disaster Recover Services start with documentation storage in the safe building, and data tape storage in small drawers that look like post office boxes.

The company also offers four-seat or six-seat recovery suites, where companies can send staff to work after a disaster.

Citrus Grove has a generator that could power the whole building for one week on a single tank of fuel, Mr. Edge said, which means suite tenants would have electricity to service their IT needs.

Mr. Edge said some companies have only thought about off-island solutions with their disaster recovery plans.

‘We don’t think that is adequate,’ he said. ‘We think companies need an on-island command centre after a disaster.’

The cost of disaster recovery plans is something individual companies will have to consider.

‘Some companies won’t have the budget to take the suites,’ said Mr. Edge. ‘But most could, and should, take their media storage off-site.’

Besides its operations at Citrus Grove, Deloitte also offers out-of-jurisdiction disaster recovery services in Cayman Brac, through Brac Informatics, and in Bermuda and the Channel Islands.

Deloitte’s Disaster Recovery Centre will roll out in five phases, Mr. Edge said, noting that the first phase is already fully subscribed, and that a single client is slated to take the entire second phase.

One of the subscribers in the first phase is HSBC Financial Services (Cayman) Limited, Mr. Edge said.

As part of the Disaster Recovery Centre’s launch events, Deloitte will begin hosting receptions for some 50 clients this week to familiarise them with the facility.

Chris Carpenter, Deloitte’s senior manager of marketing services said the company is expecting very significant interest in the Disaster Recovery Centre from Cayman’s business community.

‘Eighty per cent of those we invited to the receptions have accepted the invitation,’ he said. ‘People are thinking far more seriously about recovery planning now.’

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