In January, CNS kicked off the college-wide Disaster Recovery Planning Project. I've had the pleasure of heading up this project along with our Project Manager Elizabeth Castillo.
While spearheaded by the CNS Office of Information Technology (CNS OIT), the project seeks to bring in all departments within CNS this year, along with various Dean's Office units. Next year, we hope to bring in some of the other business units, centers, institutes, and research labs as well. To accomplish this, we've asked each department to assign a "Point of Contact" (POC) for the project. These POC's attend a weekly meeting where we lay out the next steps of the project, then they work with their departments to compile the information needed for their plans.
At first, I must admit, I thought this project was going to be rather tedious and laborious. While I recognized it was needed, I didn't imagine it would be interesting or engaging. I was wrong!
Once I got involved in creating my own plans, and helping others create their plans, it became less tedious and burdensome and more of a hobby --- something I actually enjoy. I've found the project to be very exciting, and much progress has been made in the few months we've been running the project, and I can see even more progress coming down the line.
I've become very interested in Disaster Recovery Plans, and rather enjoy thinking about the plans, the issues involved, ways to improve them, etc. I must confess to being almost giddy sometimes when I review parts of the plans being developed and marvel at how well they did this part or that part.
I'm not sure all the POC's share my enthusiasm or joy in creating their plans --- but it is their hard work and dedication to this task that is making the project a success, and making our Disaster Recovery plans a success! We couldn't do it without them. And they couldn't do it without the help of those in their departments.
One unique thing about our project (here at UT) is the full "buy-in" at all levels of the organization. We have the full support of the UT Information Security Office, the UT Auditors, the CNS Dean, and the Executive Director of OIT. And, because the Dean and the Department Chairs support the project this means our POC's can count on support from other key contributors, and hence the support of everyone in their department. Because of this unprecedented (for UT) top-down support, I think we will really produce some great plans, and be able to support them even after the project is done. Without the support from above, I'm not sure the project would have been able to capture all the departments and units it has so far, and I'm sure the plans would be much less complete.
There have been some bumps, some lessons learned, and some delays. But over all we're making good progress. We're on track, and I'm confident we will get some really good plans out of this project this year. I feel that next year, when we kick off even more plans, we'll be in a much better place because of the hard work done and lessons learned this year by all involved.
Written by Eric Rostetter, Senior System Administrator
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