Building A Robust
Disaster Recovery Plan For Microfinance Platform Amartha

About the client

PT Amartha Micro Fintech is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that offers online lending, financing and administrative services. The microfinance technology company uses technology to make financial services accessible to the grassroots. They have disbursed in excess of USD 800M to over 1.6 million businesses since inception, by way of working capital loans.
Banking & FSI

Microfinance technology platform PT Amartha Micro Fintech needed a strong disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity in the face of possible natural calamities. Indonesia is prone to natural disasters and the company was highly dependent on its technology backbone to sustain seamless services to customers in the face of any calamity. This made it critical to have a robust disaster recovery plan in place for their vital IT infrastructure. And that’s where Cloud Kinetics came in.


Technology dependence in a region susceptible to natural disasters

Amartha has widespread operations with heavy reliance on technology. As a result, the company was vulnerable to disruptions should any natural disaster or other external factor impact their IT infrastructure. In the absence of a reliable and robust Disaster Recovery (DR) plan, the microfinance platform could wind up seeing service disruption that would potentially erode customer trust.

William Notowidagdo, Head of Engineering at Amartha, explains: “As a business, we know that any disruption to our services can have a ripple effect and lead to problems for our customers. We work with small- and medium-sized businesses, many at the grassroots level – their dependence on us is significant and we do not take this responsibility lightly. Unfortunately, we cannot predict when a natural disaster will strike.


Creating a robust Disaster Recovery (DR) plan

With a view to overcoming constraints of geographical vulnerability to natural disasters and fortifying their IT infrastructure and ensuring business continuity, Amartha needed a plan that included:

  • Risk assessment, including a process of identifying, assessing, and preparing for potential risks and disasters that could impact to Amartha’s operation. The goal was to minimize the negative effects of disasters and ensure a swift recovery
  • Infrastructure redundancy, creating backup systems, resources, and processes to ensure that essential services and operations can continue even if a primary infrastructure component fails due to a disaster or any other unexpected event. The goal was to minimize downtime, maintain business continuity, and reduce the impact of disruptions
  • Data backup, creating copies of Amartha’s important data and storing them in a secure location (another cloud) so that if your primary data becomes inaccessible due to a disaster or any other event, Amartha can restore the systems and continue operations using the backup data.
  • Business continuity management, a comprehensive approach that encompasses strategies, plans, and processes designed to ensure an organization’s ability to continue its critical operations and provide essential services even in the face of disruptive events, such as disasters, emergencies, or crises
  • Staff training, ensuring that Amartha can effectively respond to recover from unexpected events. Properly trained Amartha’s staff can play a significant role in minimizing downtime, data loss, and disruptions during a disaster.
  • Partnerships with relevant stakeholders, as well as collaborating with external vendors of applications, agencies, and groups. This would significantly enhance disaster preparedness and recovery efforts

The disaster recovery plan (DR) needed to include an agreed upon RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective). These factors would determine disaster recovery scenarios and database backup plans which would, in turn, guide the design of the DR plan. Following this, the strategies would be evaluated after a DR test.

“Our goal at Amartha has been to ensure seamless and continuous availability to our customer base in the event of any unforeseen circumstance or natural disaster. As our business grows and our client base runs into the millions, we need to ensure we have a robust disaster recovery plan in place to provide business continuity. Cloud Kinetics stepped in to enable and power this for us, building a reliable and scalable solution to protect Amartha’s applications and data.” William Notowidagdo, Head of Engineering, Amartha

Success Metrics

Moving forward with AWS Disaster Recovery solutions

Once the business needs were captured by Cloud Kinetics, an RPO and RTO were agreed upon. The Cloud Kinetics team combined business impact analysis with these parameters to evaluate viable strategies for disaster recovery that would align closely with the target RPO and RTO.

The team chose to leverage the AWS Disaster Recovery solutions offered by Amazon Web Services. Fitra Alim, Technology Director at Cloud Kinetics explains why this was chosen:

“AWS Disaster Recovery solutions provide a reliable and scalable solution to protect Amartha’s applications and data, ensuring business continuity in the event of a disaster. With AWS Disaster Recovery (EDR), we can replicate our source workload near real time to AWS, and we can recover quickly from a disaster with reduced complexity. It also allows us to do simple and repeatable testing more easily and more frequently. PT Amartha Micro Fintech can now minimize downtime, ensure data integrity, and quickly resume operations in the face of disasters.”

The DR exercise was conducted with verification and the desired RTO and RPO achieved for the DR environment for audit purposes from OJK, a financial services authority. Disaster recovery testing for EC2 and RDS will also be performed at least twice a year.

This regular testing by Cloud Kinetics engineers enables Amartha to assess the effectiveness of the disaster recovery plan and ensure their systems and processes are well-prepared to handle potential disruptions

Partnering for the future

Implementing the disaster recovery plan rolled out by Cloud Kinetics enables Amartha to ensure operational continuity, protect customer interests, and continue to fulfill its mission of financial inclusion, even in the face of disasters.

Backed by this assurance, Amartha will be able to confidently work towards their business goals of contributing to developing and empowering ultra-micro businesses in rural Indonesia, fostering economic progress and sustainable prosperity for local communities, as well as supporting women-led businesses and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

Tags: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Banking & FSI Business on Cloud Cloud Disaster Recovery Cloud Solutions Digital Platforms