This case study details how CERA used innovative IT tools and systems to en...Read more
This checklist outlines things to consider when setting up an information services and technology function in a new disaster recovery agency.
Checklist: Setting up recovery information services and technology
First, look to existing agencies and networks to provide basic IS&T infrastructure such as phones, computers and laptops, so that an IS&T function can get off the ground. Consideration also needs to be given to standard back-office systems such as a website, payroll and a finance system.
At some stage there will be a need to review arrangements used to set up the IS&T infrastructure, services and systems, to ensure the IS&T model is still fit for purpose.
Arrange for an IS&T specialist and/or expert to design an IS&T strategy and framework as soon as is viable, to immediately guide and direct the workload. The IS&T guidelines and processes should be flexible and easy to adapt.
Identify and resource a team with the appropriate skills to deliver the IS&T strategy or framework. If relevant, recruit or second staff with relevant skills from existing relationships to prevent any delays in delivery.
Appoint an experienced Records Manager early to release and implement an electronic document records management system (EDRMS), or an interim system and process to manage documents created, across the organisation.
Document and record everything important – decisions, agreements, issues and so on – in keeping with requirements for best-practice record management.
Be open to explore new technologies like the cloud hosting environment. Also make the most of common technologies needed to deliver the business such as video-conferencing facilities, iPads and tablets.
In a disaster recovery environment, real-time reporting is particularly important. Be prepared to purchase the right systems, software or people to deliver it.
Communicate regularly. Be sure the organisation is aware of who its IS&T team is, what the team can do and where they can add value. In this way, the IS&T team will have a presence across the organisation.
Know where to source IS&T equipment before a disaster happens. Identify the equipment and resource required and have a plan to have it readied to deploy when needed.
Think about how to transition any custom-made IS&T systems developed early on, if relevant. CERA found this difficult as inheriting agencies didn’t have the capability needed to take over these systems.
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