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ICT industry responds to earthquake aftermath


March 24, 2011
ICT industry responds to earthquake aftermath

The New Zealand ICT industry is showing resiliency and industriousness in order to support businesses in Christchurch.

In particular, Christchurch-based technology firms have shown real dedication following recent events, with no shortage of ongoing technical support, innovation and quick response times for customers.

“It is important to note that business is open in Christchurch, especially when it comes to technology companies,” says NZICT CEO Brett O’Riley.

“It is also important that the industry acts responsibly towards Christchurch. Now is not the time to try and tempt skilled workers out of the city, rather, now is the time to keep talented people there so that they can help with the rebuild.”

O’Riley says that it has been great to see the resiliency and determination of people from the industry from companies of all sizes. It is also great to see that companies are offering free services and advice to customers in a time of need to get them back up and running.

There have been a range of sterling examples of ensuring the supply of business critical operations such as hosting facilities, office space, data integrity, on-line collaboration tools, web mail and mobile and broadband connectivity. There has also been a generous response to the call for computer hardware, instigated by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

“We have had hundreds of personal computers, printers, routers and peripherals contributed, including the essential mobile phone chargers. Offers have come from companies both with the ICT sector and external, and also from companies based internationally.”

The distribution of hardware is being carefully managed by to ensure it gets to the greatest need, working with NGOs to also ensure it is tracked and potentially re-distributed to others in need.

The inability to access damaged office space where business data has been held in a single location has shown some weaknesses in business operations however.

“Those companies that have been using external back-up services and cloud computing as a way of protecting data have been first back up on their feet, and their business operations were not so affected by location,” says O’Riley. “It should be a wake-up call for everyone about where you are storing your data and having a back-up plan.”

It has been predicted that around 5000 small firms will need to relocate in the wake of the quake. About a third of those businesses will need a lot of assistance to get back to business.

“The ICT industry and others have a lot to contribute to these companies in terms of advice, assistance and services,” says O’Riley. “In time there will be an opportunity to discuss how we develop a new Christchurch that takes advantage of 21st century technology.”

NZICT continues to support the work done by the by Business NZ and other organisations in the ICT sector to ensure a coordinated effort to help the Christchurch recovery.

NZICT also supports the work done by Remarkit Solutions, which is accepting and distributing hardware donations for Christchurch.

For information on ICT companies’ recovery efforts for Christchurch, please refer to this link.


ENDS

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