Case Study:

Disaster Recovery Assessment and Planning


Multiple incidents in the Boston area (power outage, hurricanes, earthquake, tornado, and bombings) created a desire for IT to implement a system recovery plan and proposal for their on-campus data center.

What We Did

We began by ascertaining Tier 1 (business critical) applications. Facilitated sessions helped IT staff look beyond the purpose of the institution (i.e., education) to things like life safety, security, and internal and external communication. A discovery process allowed us to create an inventory of applications to systems and dependencies between systems. Using that inventory, we were able to properly scope a Disaster Recovery environment. In order to acquire pricing, we conducted “mini-RFQs” for cloud services, colocation services, replication tools, and necessary hardware. We created a proposal and socialized it with the CFO, President, and the Building and Finance Committees.

What We Achieved

Our work brought clarity and direction to IT management and university administration. Multiple scenarios for Disaster Recovery were evaluated, along with improvements to the university’s production data center. Discounted pricing was obtained through the mini-RFQ process, along with vendor engagement in the solution.


Industry: Higher Education
Scope: A large, metropolitan Boston university with a student population of 10,000
Impact: Fewer business interruptions with less impact
Duration: 2 months from analysis to solution

Harvard Partners Skillsets

  • Disaster recovery SME
  • Business analysis
  • Project management

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Harvard Partners brings practical solutions to strategic IT issues in a collaborative and engaging manner. We inspire excellence from IT organizations by identifying opportunities for improved performance, minimizing risk, and training and coaching staff.