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UConn Part 8: Continuity of Operations Training Program

Continuity of Operations Training

Photo by Lorraine Fox Costanzo

Continuity of Operations training instructs business users how to plan for keeping their business functions operational in the event of the loss of the computer systems they depend so highly upon. At UConn, the loss of the primary data center may require 30 days or longer to fully recover system operations. The sad truth is that University Information Technology Services (UITS), the central IT group supporting over 40,000 students, faculty, and professional staff, has no viable disaster recovery plan. There are some very high level ideas of what needs to be done, but no detailed documented plan. In fact, there’s never been a Business Impact Analysis done for current production systems. Estimates run from anywhere from $4 million to $30 million to completely provide for UConn’s IT disaster recovery needs.

It’s no substitute for a viable disaster recovery plan, but a continuity of operations training program for IT’s business partners is essential. Establishing a training program became even more relevant when an audit of the Student Administration Systems found that the business had no Continuity of Operation Plan. The Student Administration business partners turned to UITS to provide guidance in developing their plan.

The first time I conducted an overview presentation for the Student Administration Directors, I was told that I scared them. I showed them the photo of the burned out data center and let them know about our water based fire suppression system. At first, they didn’t believe me until the CIO confirmed the facts with them. Before I left UConn, I facilitated a 3-hour workshop with the Graduate School Dean and his administrative staff. I provided them with template for a Facilities Resilience Plan and a Pandemic Influenza Plan.I also recruited a few trainers who can carry on the program without me. I hope UConn continues this training program and it doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Continuity of Operations Training Documents and Templates

All of these documents are in the public domain without copyright. Please feel free to download them and adapt them for your own use.

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