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Healthcare solutions provider and manufacturer

Ensuring IT service continuity for an always-on enterprise

Headquartered in Germany, the company is a leading provider and manufacturer of healthcare solutions, providing a range of products, including anesthetics, intensive-care medicine, cardiology treatments, extra-corporal blood treatments, and surgical instruments.

After finding gaps in its IT service continuity and disaster recovery processes, the company engaged Kyndryl to define an IT service continuity management strategy and successfully set up an IT service continuity organization. With proven and tested recovery plans, the company can now take a more modern and proactive approach to service continuity and disaster recovery.

Business challenge

Since automating most of its critical business processes, IT has become essential to this healthcare solution provider’s value chain. The company needed proven IT continuity strategies to keep its operations running, even in the event of a disaster or major outage.

Transformation

Working with Kyndryl, the healthcare solutions company adopted a set of best practices to define its IT service continuity management (ITSCM) framework and the guiding principles to set up an ITSCM organization, including policies, processes, and a governance model.

Results

Enhanced awareness

Increased proactivity

Improved readiness

IT service continuity for an always-on enterprise

Business continuity is vital to all organizations, regardless of their size or industry. Heavily regulated industries like healthcare and life sciences should not underestimate the impact of a breach, which can have implications for many aspects of the business, from security and compliance management to customer experience and competitive advantage. Today, business continuity is almost entirely driven by technology — making IT service continuity the first critical step towards maintaining business continuity.

As one of the leading medical device companies in the world, it was imperative for the company to have a strong IT service continuity strategy in place. Headquartered in Germany and subject to German laws, the company is considered “critical infrastructure,” with a social responsibility to ensure its production and supply chains remain undisrupted. In other words, the company is expected to provide its customers with medical devices and equipment even in times of crisis.

Moreover, with operations around the world, the company also needed to set up a resilient IT infrastructure and build an always-on and ready-to-respond culture into the foundation of its business.

The healthcare services provider recognized an urgent need to improve and modernize its mostly outdated continuity and DR processes. Determined to be fully prepared to handle disasters or outages and avoid business disruptions, the company engaged support from a reliable partner to provide not only proven and innovative strategies but also infrastructure management services.

An IT service continuity framework based on standards and best practices

Seeking to address gaps in its business continuity and DR processes, the healthcare solutions provider worked with Kyndryl to define a robust strategy. The company was looking for a framework based on international standards with proven best practices to set up an ITSCM culture.

Drawing from extensive consulting experience, Kyndryl helped define the complete framework with the company’s goals in mind, before building any solution based on specific software or infrastructure. This framework included processes, roles and responsibilities, and test strategies, providing the company with a playbook to follow in case of major outages or disasters, well-defined strategies to proactively test DR-readiness, and a clear roadmap for setting up the ITSCM model.

Once defined, deploying the ITSCM model was key to successfully modernizing the company’s continuity processes. The company previously managed IT service continuity needs through several teams worldwide; however, none of those teams were connected.

With the ITSCM model in place, the company’s teams across the world can now follow the same principles based on the same responsibility matrix, with similar roles and responsibilities, to handle an incident wherever it occurs.  

People, processes and technology

Once Kyndryl addressed the company’s people and processes components within the defined framework, it was time to move on to the technology component.

The goal was to define, implement, and test DR plans and processes, and teams naturally had different ideas about DR and continuity concepts. Kyndryl worked with the company to ensure coherence and functionality in the plans, as required. Kyndryl consultants helped not only on resilient architecture design, but also in the definition of the end-to-end recovery strategy and alignment to continuity strategy, including application recovery.

Over six months, Kyndryl consultants helped define a response plan for coordinated and effective action in the event of a disaster and implemented DR test plans to ensure the functionality of critical IT components.

Once the DR test strategy, processes, and plans were in place, Kyndryl helped replicate the ITSCM model across the company, including training, awareness, and maintenance plans. Kyndryl also addressed IT infrastructure recoverability through a recovery automation and orchestration solution, documenting the technical scripts (runbooks) necessary to recover critical productive environments and providing enhaced monitoring and reporting capabilities to reduce recovery time objectives (RTOs), recovery point objectives (RPOs), operating costs, and dependencies on subject matter experts (SMEs).

Combining industry insights and proven methods

When Kyndryl began the engagement in 2018, the consulting team was able to demonstrate industry insights and expertise on business continuity and DR to the company’s decision-makers. Using tested methods, reliable templates, and proven assets, along with a record of references from similar projects, Kyndryl became the company’s trusted advisor.

Although it started as a consulting engagement, the healthcare solutions company considered Kyndryl a strategic partner during the assessment and design phases, as well as during implementation and ongoing phases. By the end of the engagement, Kyndryl addressed all the company’s requirements while also building a long-term relationship based on confidence and trust.

Reduced RTO and improved DR-readiness

By engaging Kyndryl to address its business continuity and DR challenges, the healthcare solutions company was able to define, implement, and manage a strategic framework within its IT and business units. Supported by an orchestrated recovery model, this framework increased awareness about IT service continuity management, risk management, resilience, and prevention. As a result, the company was able to reduce RTO, protect its business objectives, and improve overall DR readiness.

 

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