Continuity East Africa (CEA) plans to invest over Kshs 500 million (about $4.7 million) in the next three years to expand its Work Area Recovery facilities in the region.
According to the company, the expansion of the facilities is being driven by the appreciation and accelerated uptake of business continuity services fueled by the dynamics of business operating environment in the market.
(TOP: CEA Country Manager Edwin Kariuki – left – explains the benefits of the Work Area Recovery facilities to Wambui Kariuki).
CEA, which is a joint venture of Internet Solutions Kenya and ContinuitySA, has already invested Kshs 150 million in the first phase of the project which involved expanding its capacity from 110 to 260 seats at its work area recovery site in United States International University (USIU) complex.
The second phase will see the company grow the capacity to at least 800 seats here in Nairobi and set up similar facilities in Kampala and Dar es Salaam within the next three years. CEA offers business continuity advisory services which entails helping their clients to develop business continuity policies and plans, conducting crisis management simulations and IT disaster recovery tests among other services.
Speaking during the commissioning of the new recovery site, Richard Hechle, Internet Solutions MD, said the COVID 19 pandemic has introduced new workspace dynamics because of the social distancing requirements hence the new facilities would be of help to businesses looking to achieve that requirement by having parts of their teams working from the work area recovery space.
“Covid 19 has definitely changed the way organizations conduct their daily operations, engage with employees, partners and conduct business. In the middle of all that, business continuity is key, and CEA comes in to provide exactly that. We are helping existing clients carry out providing critical business functions whilst meeting social distancing requirements. In some instances, this saves employee commute time. This has ensured maximum productivity from such employees even in such complex situations,” he added.
The facility meets very stringent health and safety standards and is highly customizable to meet varying customer requirements and can now house up to 260 users. For enhanced redundancy, the facility is connected to two KPLC lines drawing power from different substations. Within the facility, workstations and the data center are powered from two parallel sets generators and UPS units. For comfort, employees working from this location have access to at least 3 canteens, excellent pause areas and modern office kitchenette serving quick refreshments.
Hechle noted that business continuity is of utmost importance during these unprecedented times and that the company was committed to meeting its clients’ Business Continuity and technology needs promptly, so that their businesses can continue to operate.
“We have had tremendous feedback from many of our clients as we step up to support their changing business needs. From establishing new digital event platforms and rolling out new collaboration tools to keeping their operations secure from cyber-attacks. We’ve seen the demand on collaboration platforms like WebEx, Microsoft Teams and Zoom more than double last month as more people work from home and the number of attempts of new cyberattacks is spiking. Every day, our people are supporting clients both onsite and from our service and operations centers in critical services industries such as hospitals, supply chain and food retailers,” he said.
In Kenya, many organizations grapple with the challenge of where to place Business Continuity Planning in the organization’s priorities mainly because of inability to show a clear business case. Hechle noted that one of the key risks a robust business continuity program seeks to manage is the premises. Provision of alternative workspace ensures that organizations are not only able to operate during the disruptions but also minimize negative impact on the company’s business.