Business Continuity at The University of Iowa

For purposes of planning at the University of Iowa, business continuity is defined as the continuity of critical functions following an incident that overwhelms normal everyday operations. Continuity planning is a separate, though complementary, activity from disaster recovery, which historically applied to information technologies related activities. Continuity planning is also distinguished from emergency preparedness, which focuses on immediate response efforts to protect human life and property. Business continuity can be thought of as the big picture, with some details, that can be documented prior to a disaster to ensure that the UI can continue to perform all operations necessary to meet its threefold mission of education, research and service. In order to assist departments in creating flexible business continuity plans, The University of Iowa has a subscription to Kuali Ready.

For purposes of planning at the UI, business continuity is defined as the continuity of critical functions following an incident that overwhelms normal everyday operations.  Continuity planning is a separate, though complementary, activity from disaster recovery, which historically applied to information technologies related activities. Disaster recovery (DR) planning efforts take place within UI Information Technology Services (ITS).  Continuity planning is also distinguished from emergency preparedness, which focuses on immediate response efforts to protect human life and property. Business continuity can be thought of as the big picture, with some details, that can be documented prior to a disaster to ensure that the UI can continue to perform all operations necessary to meet its threefold mission of education, research and service. 

Business Continuity Planning Tool, Kuali Ready

Kuali Ready is a continuity planning tool originally developed by the University of California at Berkeley specifically for use at institutions of higher learning. Kuali Ready, allows units to easily create departmental continuity of operations plans, which empower departments to continue mission-critical functions when faced with adverse events. The application incorporates planning and emergency preparedness best practices, while focusing on the unique business operations of higher education. This UI Continuity Planning Tool is accessible to The University of Iowa community through the following link:  https://uiowa.kuali.co/ready

There are some great new design features which went live on December 1st, 2016. Departments will now be able to navigate their department’s plan, add document attachments, easily create PDFs and more! To access the redesigned and more user friendly UI Continuity Planning Tool, Kuali Ready please use the following link: https://uiowa.kuali.co/ready. If you have any questions about accessing or using the UI Continuity Planning Tool, Kuali Ready, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Risk Management at risk-management@uiowa.edu

Business Continuity Goals

  1. Reduce disruption to normal operations following a disaster by conducting education and planning in advance.
  2. Increase knowledge of institutional interdependencies and reliance on shared resources.
  3. Increase rapid decision making abilities at both the departmental and institutional level during and immediately following a disaster.
  4. Reduce a variety of potential losses by identifying issues that may arise during an incident.
    • UI potential losses could be human life loss or bodily injury; short or long-term research; academic interruptions (suspended classes); or financial revenue from a multitude of sources (athletic events, performances, etc.).
  5. Identify strategies to protect operations, including:
    • Insurance
    • Cross-training of individuals to ensure personnel coverage for critical functions
    • Off-site back-ups and/or separation of risks
    • Contracting and purchasing options where other academic institutions may be able to temporarily remotely support UI functions
    • Plan to move select personnel to an alternate facility following a disaster
    • Designate who can work from home during a disaster and who must be available at assigned physical locations
  6. Protect institutional reputation by demonstrating a commitment to uphold The University of Iowa's tripartite missions of education, research and service.
  7. Discover and eliminate errors such as faulty assumptions before they cause loss of resources.
  8. Recognize the need for written documentation of policies and processes, thereby reducing reliance on key individuals who may be unavailable during or following an incident.

 

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