The problem: Difficulty with regulatory reporting for IT disaster recovery
A major financial services company was using an internally-built tracking tool that was over ten years old for its recovery processes including IT disaster recovery (IT DR) planning and execution. Although it worked fairly well internally, regulators did not feel it was sufficient and opened up a Matter Requiring Attention (MRA) requiring the bank to improve its processes.
The problem was that the existing system did not enable the bank to standardize plans and there was no visibility of every application having a recovery plan in place. A major concern for regulators was that Recovery Time Actuals (RTAs) could be input manually up to seven days after an incident so there was no way to verify if the recorded timings were accurate. Regulators required a more robust recovery process that included observability, metadata, and metrics that were automated and verifiable, not input manually.
It was determined that the Cutover Collaborative Automation platform would provide better functionality both internally and when reporting to regulators and was brought in with the plan of gradually displacing the existing internally-built system.
The solution: Collaborative Automation for recovery
After a few events of migrating and standardizing the recovery plans the team ran its biggest recovery test to date using Cutover. In just 16 months, the bank had got to a point of maturity that can take years.
They ran an enterprise-wide IT DR simulation spanning all their lines of business. The event consisted of more than a thousand recovery plans and several thousand participants. Thanks to the orchestration capabilities of the Cutover platform, the client was able to execute over 16,000 individual tasks and successfully recover over a thousand applications during the 48-hour event.
Stakeholders used Cutover’s real-time dashboards to view progress throughout the event, which provided live updates and showed the actual timings as they happened rather than needing to rely on manual inputs to track RTAs vs Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs).
The outcome: Cutover drastically improved IT disaster recovery processes and reporting
The event was extremely successful and the bank is now mandating the use of Cutover for recovery testing and completely replacing the previous internally-built tool. The plan is for them to migrate their entire IT DR strategies, processes, and execution onto Cutover and make using Cutover the new norm.
Currently, 95% of application recovery plans have been turned into Cutover runbooks, which provide real-time visibility via multi-runbook dashboards for all stakeholders. Cutover’s communications, built-in dependency management, and automated audit trail are all making a huge impact on how they manage and report on disaster recoveries.
The advantages of using Cutover for IT DR planning and execution over an internally-built and maintained tool:
- Speed to value: For a big organization like this one, replacing an entire IT DR strategy with a new tool in a sub-two-year window is an extremely quick change. Furthermore, Cutover began providing value instantly once everyone was onboarded, and those gains only continue to grow as adoption and usage increase. In contrast, the previous tool had taken four to five years to roll out, and the system before that had taken six years. This time, there was a 16-month window to fully migrate onto Cutover and the first successful event took place in the first month of active usage.
- Reduced risk and cost: Prior to the adoption of Cutover, the company’s internally-built tracker stopped working during a major incident so there was no way to record what was happening during the recovery incident, creating huge problems with regulatory reporting. With Cutover, they can ensure that all timings are correct and they don’t have to worry about having an internal team to manage and maintain their system.
- Core functionality provides value: Although Cutover is able to integrate with many other tools, the bank was able to achieve this level of change using just Cutover’s core functionality, with no additional integrations or customization.