After Mumbai: Outsourcing and disaster recovery


We have seen, heard and read horrific accounts of the tragic occurrences in Mumbai recently.

I would first like to say that my heart felt sympathies are with all those affected by the atrocities, working in outsourcing has meant that I have a particular fondness of India and its people and so, like many others, am appalled by the recent problems.

As a result of recent events we have had quite a few inquires here at the NOA into how the outsourcing market in India will be affected. The simple answer is, it won’t.

Disasters both natural and man made can occur anywhere around the world. We have experienced terrorist attacks ourselves in the UK and other tragic events. Yet business still continues. However, enterprises without adequate disaster recovery processes in place are particularly vulnerable.

When businesses consider offshoring aspects of their organisation they must include extensive geographic and political analysis of potential locations as part of the procurement process. A risk assessment of political stability, natural disasters, crime etc. is a vital aspect of any procurement phase. When looking at potential suppliers it is imperative that a vendor’s disaster recovery process is thoroughly examined and even tested.

The chances are that, in areas where there might be a certain amount of concern about terrorism or earthquakes or crime, vendors have in place already excellent counter measures and disaster recovery processes that will ensure minimum disruption to their customer’s services. In fact it is likely that these vendors are able to implement sophisticated disaster recovery procedures far more effectively (cost and service wise) than all but the largest end users could set up if they built their own offshore captive.

One of the appeals of outsourcing to a known offshore vendor is that they have the responsibility to provide adequate procedures during unforeseen events. These procedures can be examined and SLAs developed to ensure that the vendor provides suitably reliable services to the end user. This is undoubtedly standard procedure for many businesses offshoring to India.

Events, such as those over the past week, can occur any time, anywhere . They are of course shocking to see and utterly deplorable, however, they will not change a thriving global industry that has had many years experience of facing these events and coming through largely undamaged.

Outsourcing in India will continue. It is not necessary to worry about that. We should however be concerned with ensuring that all those that have been affected receive the support they need and deserve.

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