Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Natural Disasters could cripple logistics hub

Published:Wednesday | November 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

As Jamaica looks to develop its potential to become the major logistics hub in the Caribbean region and the fourth global node after Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam, discussions are now focused on what could happen in the event of a natural disaster.

At least one business technology company has indicated that it is ready to ensure that all investors can be provided with

business continuity and disaster-recovery capability.

Columbus Business Solutions (CBS) said, given Jamaica's propensity for natural disasters, and the need for 24-hour delivery 365 days per year, it has the technology to ensure nothing disrupts the services of any company grounding, its operations in the Jamaica Logistics Hub.

"As we are in the hurricane belt, we have no option but to look at business continuity and disaster recovery," said Delroy McLean, director of presales at CBS.

"In Jamaica, we tend to focus on disaster recovery and our ability to recover after a disaster but, for the Jamaica Logistics Hub, we will need to focus on business continuity and our ability to maintain operations during a disaster," he continued.

McLean encouraged potential operators

in the hub to carefully consider their

disaster-recovery and business-continuity plans.

He advised that they should "base their recovery centre off-island, outside the

hurricane belt, away from regions prone

to earthquakes, in a location that has a stable government and low crime rates".

He added that CBS, with its tier-three centre in CuraÁao and redundancies in Miami and Bogota, is poised to be the provider of choice for this.


In addition to CuraÁao, Miami and Bogota, CBS reported that more disaster-recovery locations are scheduled to come on stream in 2015.

"CBS connects to its data centres through a web of fibre-optic cables that run 'under the sea' and are designed to provide multiple routing options to getting your data to the centre," McLean said.

He explained that this approach to building a telecommunications network is expensive and contrary to the approach taken by other telecommunications firms.

"At Columbus, our aim is to ensure

continued service and so this method of construction was the only option, given the greater security it affords. Essentially, once you do it, you're good to go," McLean noted.

Another service connected to business continuity is Desktop as a Service (DAAS), which allows users to securely access the same information and applications they would get from their company location, right down to accessing the on-site cameras linked to their desktops.

According to McLean, "this allows CBS clients access to their data, whether they are at the their office, at home or abroad," adding that business continuity is also about ensuring that people needed to run the business can do so effectively.

Effective continuity should be at the forefront for all businesses looking to invest in the Jamaica Logistics Hub, and McLean said CBS has been looking ahead and striving to ensure they have the technology and infrastructure that can "get data to everyone who needs it, when they need it."