When a premier medical supplies and services company, headquartered in Atlanta, needed assistance in evaluating and selecting IT Disaster Recovery solutions to protect the business and to address contractual commitments made to its hospital clients, they realized that they were ill prepared internally to effectively execute such a project. A previously internal project to produce the desired information and lead to a consensus decision was not successful and time was running out on responding to an audit finding. RES-Q™ Services was selected to provide the required assistance.
The company had previously received a less than satisfactory audit finding for not having an IT Disaster Recovery capability. Further, a follow up audit was pending, and the company management knew this would be a major factor affecting the outcome of that audit. Failure to successfully pass that audit was expected to result in loss of some major governmental contracts, plus jeopardize other contracts.
The IT staff had initiated a project to examine potential recovery options that could be implemented and tested prior to the next year’s audit. The result of that project was to move to a cloud-based or third-party provider solution (AWS, SunGard, etc.) for its Production Data Center (PDC) and to establish a similar strategy for its Recovery Data Center (RDC). That project was not successful as there was insufficient time to complete the project, so consensus and funding could not be obtained. The company then initiated a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to better understand their IT recovery requirements, and that BIA did produce a target Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for each application. The BIA also identified the most critical applications, so the company decided to focus on those applications as a first step.
Challenges were many, but two were of primary concern. First, the follow up audit was less than eight months away, so there was limited time to select a recovery strategy. Another project would follow to implement the selected solution and perform required testing. Second, the IT staff was already highly engaged in other major projects, leaving very limited capacity to take on this new project. Corus360 was selected to step into this breach and complete the project within the allotted time.
RES-Q™ Services consultants worked with the client to develop a very tight project schedule, which could also be flexible due to the fluid state of other IT related projects. Results of the BIA were used to prioritize the applications into tiers for further study, and the Tier 0 and Tier 1 applications became the project’s focus. Next, these applications were mapped to supporting servers to construct a minimum equipment configuration for further study.
Potential recovery options were identified that would meet requirements, the basic design was finalized, high level costs were determined, results were then presented to senior management for a decision. A hybrid solution was selected that utilized both a dedicated and shared infrastructure provided by a third-party vendor. This solution proved to be much more cost effective than the cloud-based solution that has been considered initially, while also not disrupting the IT staff by requiring conversion of the PDC to a new infrastructure.
Partitioning the two projects as described, coupled with the RES-Q™ Services consultants’ experience in performing many projects in similar stressful situations, met the deadline to demonstrate recovery capability with favorable audit results.
Most importantly, this company now has the capability to recover its critical applications in the event of a disaster significantly affecting its PDC, protecting their prestigious brand, and assuring that its clients can continue to receive vital and timely healthcare supplies and services.