Business Continuity & IT Disaster Recovery Project Examples
From global corporations to local non-profits, Avalution has served the unique needs of organizations in nearly all levels of government and across every industry sector. This experience not only provides us with a deep understanding of the unique characteristics, requirements and drivers associated with each industry, but also positions our consulting teams to effectively deliver recommendations aligned to professional best practices. Leveraging our knowledge and experience saves our clients time and money and results in credible, high-performing solutions. The following examples highlight industry-specific projects completed by the Avalution team:
AEROSPACE & DEFENSE
Global Security Products Company/Defense Contractor
Integrated siloed preparedness approaches (business continuity, IT disaster recovery, crisis management, and pandemic preparedness) into a comprehensive, Corporate-wide governance and planning structure; worked with involved stakeholders to receive buy in for a strategic approach; and provided training and awareness accordingly. In addition, created a preparedness service catalog and toolkit to offer support to business units to meet Corporate expectations. Result – A long term, all-inclusive preparedness program that ensured consistency of execution throughout the organization.
Designed a corporate-wide Business Continuity program for a military technology developer and its lines of business, assessing various risks that could interrupt business operations and developing creative strategies to both mitigate operational risks (including assessing supplier risks and capabilities) and expedite recovery following interruptions; established management system-based design to ensure the program changes as the organization does. Result – A robust program that integrates all levels of site and corporate leadership, enabling them to appropriately escalate and respond to disruptive events.
Identified business processes with a higher likelihood of interruption due to single points of failure – as well as significant business impact should an interruption occur. Defined risk mitigation strategies, as well as recovery strategies using internal, business partner and government resources. Consistent with FPC 65 requirements - marketable to government stakeholders.
US Financial Institution
Performed a comprehensive gap analysis between current business continuity program capabilities and industry regulations such as FFIEC. Provided updated and compliant program documentation and developed guidance on facilities hardening, alternate work area assignments, human capital management planning, and pandemic planning. Result – Beyond just regulatory compliance, the organization was more knowledgeable and better prepared to respond to and recovery from a wide variety of resources losses through pragmatic enhancements to policies, standard operating procedures and plan documentation.
Teamed with internal business continuity personnel to develop and facilitate crisis management and department-level business continuity exercises resulting in documented strategies for improvement. Created a comprehensive exercise planning and facilitation toolkit for internal personnel to advance and strengthen a repeatable organization-wide exercise program aligned with FFIEC recommendations. Result – Developed a business case for continuity planning and transferred knowledge to key personnel, leaving the organization well-prepared to continue key business continuity activities and increase organizational resiliency.
Assisted with the design of a comprehensive on-line awareness program designed to measure employee knowledge of the business continuity program and deliver information to close any gaps where knowledge deficiencies were noted – real-time.
Regional Financial Institution
Performed a comprehensive risk assessment designed to confirm the viability of response and recovery strategies, both now and as the bank grows. Recommended strategy enhancements – many with cost-savings opportunities – and triggers for implementation (aligned with growth projections).
Assisted the director of business continuity with strategies to meet regulatory requirements – charted a three-year “path-forward” to enable internal business continuity professionals to spend more time helping business clients become more efficient and effective; delivered world-class solutions designed to create business continuity awareness using online training concepts.
Developed and facilitated a University-wide crisis management exercise incorporating emergency response, crisis management, crisis communications, business continuity, and IT disaster recovery, all aligned to the Incident Command System (ICS). Enhanced by multimedia injects, the scenario-based tabletop exercise socialized the University’s preparedness efforts to participants from all areas of the institution. Result – Updated and realistic recovery objectives, informed and knowledgeable crisis response personnel, and actionable plans for future University-wide program improvement.
Developed and delivered processes designed to protect students, faculty and staff, as well as respond to an array of events threatening all personnel and the school system itself. Deployed crisis management and crisis communications students, and implemented awareness solutions extending to the student’s family members. Result – Family comfort and confidence in the school system.
Federal Government Agency
Teamed with internal continuity of operations professionals to close preparedness gaps, focusing on improvements to the agency’s governance structure, business impact analysis/risk assessment process, plan documentation, testing and training/awareness program. Result – Improved alignment between organizational requirements and capabilities, as well as the efficient execution of long-term oriented maintenance and continuous improvement efforts.
County Public Health Department
Assisted with the identification of critical processes in a public health crisis (e.g., pandemic), including those processes that would experience a surge in public demand (and expectations); continuity of operations plans were developed to meet stakeholder expectations.
Hospital System and Health Department
Performed an IT-specific business impact analysis aimed at understanding clinical and support process’ dependencies on IT systems and identifying existing downtime procedures/controls, in order to determine recovery objectives. Designed a complex IT operation strategy that resulted in alignment with recovery requirements, and ultimately protecting the delivery of patient care. Result – A robust IT disaster recovery strategy, enabling IT to meet the business’ recovery requirements.
Regional Hospital Chain
Created a technology strategy designed to avoid situations where manual workarounds would be unable to sustain world-class patient healthcare delivery. A few months later, provided hands-on assistance with the response to a major business interruption – supporting in-house personnel assigned to the incident management team.
Property and Casualty Insurance Provider
Performed a program assessment, culminating in a comprehensive table-top exercise designed to increase executive management awareness and identify crisis management strategy enhancements. Followed up with a project designed to address the risk of personnel loss due to a public health event (e.g. pandemic). Developed and deployed risk mitigation, crisis management and service continuity strategies – all based on a staff analysis process customized for this client’s needs. Result – A focused, balanced strategy that aligned with existing business continuity program capabilities.
Health Insurance Provider
Performed a program assessment designed to increase management’s ability to meet the most stringent response and recovery objectives; delivered a two-year plan to meet business objectives. Result – Focused limited resources on the most significant risks facing the organization – aligned business continuity with IT availability programs, as well as enterprise risk management.
Life Insurance Provider
Executed a risk assessment focused on identifying high probability and high impact events where controls were either unavailable or failing to operate effectively. Rallied C-suite executives around the need to make strategic, enterprise risk management improvements, which included strengthening (and adding repeatability to) business continuity processes.
Pharmaceutical Supply Company
Executed an Application Impact Analysis to understand the business’ use of technology critical to the enterprise resource planning process of a large pharmaceutical supply company. Worked closely with key internal stakeholders to identify manual / alternate workarounds and establish application specific recovery objectives. Created a comprehensive report including a graphical model of dependencies and DR requirements. Result – A comprehensive assessment of the risks and dependencies within critical IT assets of a highly complex organization to add resilience to the organization’s cash flow, supply chain and procurement process.
Performed a BS 25999 readiness review and delivered remediation actions designed to meet the aggressive business objectives of the company’s most strategic customer. Result – Market share protection and expansion.
MANUFACTURING & DISTRIBUTION
Consumer Products Distribution and Health Services Company
Provided long term governance and program management assistance in support of corporate service continuity efforts for a company serving the pharmaceutical and health services market. Developed a service catalog and established unique yet consistent methodologies to deliver analytic and planning projects across multiple business units. Developed business cases and assisted senior management in establishing appropriate recovery strategies for critical technology in a complex, multi-site environment. Result – An effective and visible service continuity organization consistent with ITIL principles with the ability to drive consistent program growth and maturity across a diverse portfolio of business units.
Industrial Manufacturing and Distribution Company
Established a multi-tiered crisis management, infrastructure recovery, and business continuity program for an international manufacturer of industrial and consumer steel products. Developed manufacturing, logistics and business recovery plans to ensure continued delivery of critical products in the event of facility outages or supply interruptions. Advised on recovery strategy revisions during multiple acquisitions. Result – A comprehensive program providing flexible recovery strategies for multiple manufacturing and office facilities guided by a single crisis management capability.
Transportation and Logistics Provider
Developed a business case for implementing an Enterprise-wide business continuity program (inclusive of IT disaster recovery), which ensured all decentralized business units had appropriate levels of preparedness in place. This included creating and socializing the organization’s business continuity governance structure and documentation, integrating existing business continuity and IT disaster recovery processes and expectations, and identifying the organization’s business continuity priorities (which led to a focused enterprise-wide business impact analysis). Result – An integrated, comprehensive business continuity program that ensured consistency of execution throughout the organization and alignment with executive management’s expectations.
Global Outdoor Power Equipment Manufacturer
Evaluated the current IT disaster recovery strategy’s effectiveness including determining high-level business unit requirements for IT systems, conducting a risk assessment and assessing the ability of current IT operations to recover from a potential disaster based on identified risks. Result –A complete assessment of the resilience of current IT disaster recovery and data center hardening efforts and the identification of business risks that were previously not documented.
Digital Display Manufacturer
Assisted management in establishing business tolerances for technology downtime to form recovery objectives for a manufacturer of highly customized digital displays. Integrated proactive and reactive strategies into the crisis management process in line with recovery objectives and established team structures / communications strategies to best fit the organization. Validated the development of the program through a tabletop exercise focusing on the crisis management process. Result – A corporate wide business continuity program carefully tailored to address highly specific short-term technology recovery requirements and overall long-term business needs.
Consumer Products Manufacturer
Designed and delivered a comprehensive internal and external crisis communications strategy designed to ensure all stakeholders are fully aware of key information during a crisis event. Assessed current-state crisis management capabilities and delivered enhancements designed to increase the timeliness of the response effort.
Not-For-Profit Managed Healthcare Provider
Performed table top exercises to gain executive management’s support, necessary to expand the business continuity and disaster recovery program. Enhanced the existing program to align to management’s recovery expectations and tolerances, including redesigning the IT disaster recovery strategy to ensure IT assets were recoverable within management’s expectations. Result – An integrated business continuity and IT disaster recovery program, which met executive management’s expectations regarding downtime tolerances and recovery capabilities.
Not-For-Profit Metropolitan Housing Authority
Performed a business continuity and crisis management capability assessment with senior leadership in order to develop and provide recommendations on strengthening organizational preparedness. Created a crisis management plan and department business continuity plan templates to coordinate organizational response and recovery activities. Result – Comprehensive yet easy-to-use plan documentation that enables communication, response and recovery across more than 100 sites throughout a large metropolitan city.
Global Non-Profit Services Provider to Constituents in Developing Nations
Created an organization policy to plan for and respond to a crisis at an overseas location that was used to integrate current local emergency response plans with a coordinated global response. Generated a structured plan for organizational leaders to implement during a crisis to ensure personnel safety and provide resources to project personnel executing the response. In addition, evaluation of the policy and plan were tested through a table-top exercise which familiarized the organization’s crisis management team members with their roles and the decisions which would need to be made in a crisis. Result – A centralized, coordinated plan to respond to emergencies in overseas operations to protect personnel, the organization’s reputation and ensure operational resiliency.
Global, Non-profit Education Support Entity
Collaborated with internal business continuity personnel to assess the current-state program, develop an improvement road map, align program activities to the BS 25999 standard, and achieve certification (one of the first to do so in the United States). Maintained an on-going partnership with business continuity personnel to provide annual exercise and disaster recovery testing support, provide crisis management training to executive management and facilitate the improvement of crisis management documentation. Result – Certified to BS 25999 with a best in class business continuity program, the organization was not only better prepared to respond to and recover from a loss of key resources, but also positioned as an industry leader with resiliency and continuity as a competitive advantage.
Global Health and Fitness Nutritional Products Retailer
Generated and evaluated IT disaster recovery strategy options to meet changing business needs and the dynamic IT environment of the company. Analyzed strategy options for cost, availability of service providers and ability to meet recovery objectives required by the business leadership. Result – A new IT disaster recovery strategy that meets current business needs and can scale to meet the future needs of the business.
SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY
Data Center Technology and Service Provider
Executed a business impact analysis focusing on the unique customer-facing and business-critical needs of a rapidly expanding, state-of-the-art enterprise cloud computing provider. Created a full business continuity program to respond to a customer inquiry within a fast-paced timeline including leading strategy development, establishing program governance, as well as developing crisis management plans, business function recovery plans and technology recovery plans. Result – A complete BC/DR program, in line with customer expectations, built from the ground up for a fast-evolving, innovative organization that will be able to scale as the organization grows.
Established a coalition between private sector organizations, public sector agencies, and NGOs to enable cross-sector preparedness and response, aimed at protecting a critical infrastructure segment availability and performance, as well as communicating barriers to operations and resolution requests, during a national crisis event. Result – a “first of its kind” program that enables all aspects of a supply chain to work with government to provide valuable, potentially life-saving information before, during and after a crisis.
Independent Electric System Operator
Performed a comprehensive assessment of business continuity activities against industry regulations (i.e. NERC CIP) and best practices (i.e. ICS, ISO) in order to develop a road map for future enhancement activities. Established a Business Continuity Program and Steering Committee through charter, policy and standard operating procedures in order to communicate future business continuity expectations to the organization. Performed a BIA and risk assessment of critical departments, improved or developed plan documentation, provided awareness and training to personnel, exercised plan documentation, and provided recommendations for the Program’s continual execution, maintenance and improvement. Result – Regulatory compliance and the implementation of a best-in-class Business Continuity Program, anchored by policy and standard operating procedures, that enable the continuous execution, maintenance and improvement of critical activities that strengthen organizational resiliency.
Performed a third party (supplier) business continuity and IT disaster recovery program assessment on behalf of the client. The assessment documented the outsource partner’s recovery capabilities, enabled the parties to clarify business continuity expectations, and provided a road map to improve performance. Result – Clarified and mutually agreed to business continuity expectations and a road map for how to achieve expected capabilities.
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