Every institution will have their own experiences of responding to lockdown and Covid-19 – from trying to source every available laptop for staff to work remotely, to providing software packages for students which had only previously been available on campus. Incident management teams were invoked (either formally or informally) to respond to the ever-changing restrictions which the country faced in light of the pandemic.
As we look forward to the “new normal”, business continuity and wider resilience considerations have changed. The impact of losing access to buildings is still important but a short-term incident can often be effectively managed through working from home.
An incident affecting access to key IT systems and applications is likely to have a significant impact on your institution, arguably more now than during pre-pandemic times, because expectations on technology are higher. The significant investment made into your infrastructure should be matched by an understanding of how quickly they would be available in the event of an IT outage. It’s not only something for the IT department to deal with in isolation – if the systems are unavailable, which processes need to be continued, which can be deferred, and what manual workarounds are in place are key questions for the entire senior management team.
Business Continuity Plans (BCPs)
This is where business continuity planning comes in. Understanding the processes undertaken across your institution, the criticality of those processes, and the resources needed to ensure that they continue within the required timescales should be documented within your business continuity plans (BCPs). Understanding and documenting how long systems may be unavailable in the event of a data centre or operating system incident will ensure process owners consider what they need to do for that period of time. You should also consider any lost data and how this would impact processes, especially during key times.
Consulting a Higher Education Technology Expert
Whether you are looking to review network infrastructure with a focus on highly resilient and highly available services, systems, and solutions, have existing BCPs that might need a refresh, are thinking of writing your plans for the first time, or are wanting to ensure that your IT estate is as resilient as it can be, 4C Strategies is uniquely positioned to assist with over two decades of experience assisting organisations with all aspects of their IT infrastructure.
Speak to one of our experts today by calling 01858 438938, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.