Botched change management

By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2004-04-09 Print this article Print

"What Im finding is when firms go to recover, they generally [havent factored] change management on a daily basis, so they have mixed applications, mixed levels of hardware, network infrastructure, and theyre not on the same page when they go to recover," said Michael Croy, director of Business Continuity for Forsythe, an IT services company based in Skokie, Ill. "When you look at the bottom line of what happened with FirstEnergy, I think thats a prime example of how [business continuity] is not an IT issue; its a business issue." Some companies understand just how devastating unexpected disaster can be for their customers. Skip Skivington, national director for Healthcare Continuity Management for the nonprofit Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., said the Aug. 14 power failure in Ohio led to a water plant shutdown— which could have potentially affected the delivery of quality medical care at Kaiser medical buildings in the region without adequate water resources. "Power and water are big things to the healthcare industry, so weve always looked at that" aspect in architecting business-continuity plans, Skivington said. "Were a community asset. Were not an island, so we have to look at it through two prisms: One is, How do we substantiate our operation internally? And secondly, How do we fit in with regional community plans?"
Skivington said his organization drills its disaster-recovery plans at least twice a year in all its 30 medical centers, accounting for any type of procedural or technology changes that may have been implemented since the last run-through.
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Brian Fonseca is a senior writer at eWEEK who covers database, data management and storage management software, as well as storage hardware. He works out of eWEEK's Woburn, Mass., office. Prior to joining eWEEK, Brian spent four years at InfoWorld as the publication's security reporter. He also covered services, and systems management. Before becoming an IT journalist, Brian worked as a beat reporter for The Herald News in Fall River, Mass., and cut his teeth in the news business as a sports and news producer for Channel 12-WPRI/Fox 64-WNAC in Providence, RI. Brian holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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