CASE STUDY

Diabetes charity finds Sungard Availability Services consultancy services boost preparedness

Diabetes UK is the leading charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of people affected by and at risk of diabetes. The charity’s business continuity plan had developed piecemeal over several years and the end result was an unwieldy 83 page tome that was no longer fit for purpose.

Deirdre Kehoe, Head of Planning and Performance, admits, “In all those pages, there was nothing in that document that said ‘This is what you do, day one, hour one’ in the event of a fire, flood, protest or any other kind of disaster. We would really have struggled to know what to do.” Aware that disruption to the charity’s operations would be devastating for those who rely on it for support, the charity recognised that it needed to tear up the existing plan and make a fresh start. Acting on a recommendation, Diabetes UK turned to Sungard AS for help.

Deirdre Kehoe explains, “The London Olympics were just weeks away and we realised we were not well enough prepared for any disruption that might arise. Our Sungard Consultant pulled out all the stops to complete a lot of work in a very short period of time. We asked a lot of Sungard and they absolutely stepped up to the mark.” With 2.9 million people in the UK living with diabetes, the charity was aware that disruption to its services would have a far-reaching impact: unable to support those who needed the charity’s help, donations would fall, and it would be unable to communicate with donors, healthcare professionals and its supporters.

Diabetes UK briefed Sungard AS to review its incident management framework and existing business continuity (BC) arrangements before developing a plan that would ensure the charity could continue business as usual, regardless of the nature of the incident. The Sungard AS Consultant conducted a thorough Business Impact Analysis (BIA), co-ordinating the entire process. This was the first step in developing the charity’s BC policy, which would in turn, inform its revised BC strategy. The BIA also provided a number of specific actions to take to reduce the likelihood and mitigate the effects of disruptive events.

“Our Sungard Consultant pulled out all the stops to complete a lot of work in a very short period of time. We asked a lot of Sungard and they absolutely stepped up to the mark.” Deirdre Kehoe, Head of Planning and Performance, Diabetes UK

Deirdre Kehoe, Head of Planning and Performance, said, “We wanted something very user-friendly and practical yet that would still be fit for purpose and represent best practice.”

Happily she reports, “We are very pleased with the outcome and got exactly what we were promised. We appreciate that Sungard took on board our charitable status and was determined to give us good value for money. That came across in our dealings with them: I just briefed them and they went away and got on with it.”

Understanding Diabetes UK could not afford to pay for its plans to be updated annually, the Sungard AS Consultants helped make the charity self-sufficient by keeping the documentation simple and sharing their knowledge of the planning process. This will stand Diabetes UK in good stead as it rolls out the business continuity plan to its regional and national offices. Deirdre Kehoe notes, “The Sungard Consultant gave us the skills and knowhow to pick it up from here on in.” While each member of Diabetes UK’s 200-strong head office team is able to work remotely should the London office be unavailable, the charity decided that part of its BC strategy should include a central location where key personnel, such as Incident Management Team members, could work together as a team to coordinate activities and communication. Consequently, it has contracted positions at one of Sungard AS’s fully-equipped workplace recovery centres nearby.
Deirdre Kehoe comments, “I certainly feel reassured by having Sungard working with us. Even with our limited resources, I can see the sense and value in the work provided for us and that’s particularly important for us as a charity.”

“We are very pleased with the outcome and got exactly what we were promised. We appreciate that Sungard took on board our charitable status and was determined to give us good value for money. That came across in our dealings with them.” Deirdre Kehoe, Head of Planning

Business problem

Diabetes UK recognised the need to make its business continuity plans fit for purpose but, as a lean charity almost entirely dependent on donations, did not have the resources or specialist expertise in-house. It found Sungard AS’s consultants provided a much-needed helping hand.

Solution
  • Business Continuity Consultancy – Business Impact Assessment, Avoidance & Mitigation Recommendations, BC Policy & BC Strategy Development, Incident Management Framework, Business Recovery Plans.
  • Workplace Recovery

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Business benefits
  • Ensures vital services to the public are maintained in the event of disruption
  • Knowledge transfer to the charity has made them self-sufficient
  • Embeds resilience as an on-going issue.

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