The Lift and Shift Proposition

For some global brands, local rules and regulations require them to have websites in every territory, in relevant languages where they have a presence, or sell/licence their products and services. That can require significant investment both in terms of cost into domain registrations, monitoring and enforcement in case of infringements and resources to manage complex domain name portfolios.

Even the most comprehensive of domain names strategies cannot legislate for real world events impacting on domain names.  A hurricane damaging critical infrastructure, a cable damaged, a change in governance or a conflict can all impact the business continuity of a Top-Level Domain.  Sounds farfetched?  Think again.

The tech buzz phrase at the moment is Artificial Intelligence, but the .AI registry has been impacted twice.  Once back in 2017 when artificial intelligence was still a concept like The Terminator’s Skynet prophecy and Hurricane Irma hit registry operations then again in February 2023 when internet connectivity to Anguilla was interrupted by damage caused to an undersea cable by a ship’s anchor.  Not only did everyone on the Caribbean Island go offline but so too did the .AI registry.

In January 2022 around 48,000 dotEU domains registered by United Kingdom registrants were taken offline, as a result of the Brexit, including the domain name, having been given 2 years to provide their eligibility to retain a European Union domain name.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has brought significant hardship, suffering and disruption to the citizens of Europe’s second biggest country.  The target of some of the physical and digital attacks has naturally been on utilities and critical infrastructure, including the Ukrainian Top-Level Domain although the efforts of the registry have so far been resolute and resilient in keeping the ccTLD up and running.

There’s many other TLD registries who have suffered service disruption for a wide range of people, process and PPP issues (an acronym to look up), with each one impacting every registered and resolving domain name.  For global organisations who need to have stability of local domains to host critical operations and generate online revenues, a domain strategy based on ccTLDs may not provide the business continuity measures that protects revenues and reputation.

One solution that has been adopted by a number of dotBrand applicants from the first round is that of a “lift and shift” strategy.  Because the dotBrand holder has complete control over the registration and delegation of domain names, they can react rapidly to changes in local and global conditions, deploying new web addresses and URLs that can mitigate against unexpected disruptions in service.  The concept of being able to “lift” the traffic to a website from one non-resolving domain name, and “shift” it to a new dotBrand domain is a fundamental advantage of using a dotBrand.

If the ccTLD is disrupted in any way, traffic can be diverted to the dotBrand URL quickly and without impacting the customer experience.  For organisations that have localised websites, whether to address specific geographic markets or for compliance purposes, having web pages built under the dotBrand (for instance BE.ABC, DE.ABC etc) as well as on the ccTLDs (ABC.BE, ABC.DE) is a simple, but effective way not only to provide continuity but also over time, provide the platform to migrate content across to the dotBrand.

Whilst a dotBrand strategy based around business continuity may not be seen by potential applicants as a critical user scenario, it is one that is low-cost and resource, but high value, and therefore should be considered as one of the foundations of any appraisal into the benefit of an application.

Com Laude Intelligence: and the client-shaped provider asks “What do our clients think so far?”

It has been fantastic to witness clients’ responses, when our domain strategist team show them the domain security and portfolio insights and portfolio visualisations in Intelligence.

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