Client case studies | Self-service disaster recovery

How PwC helped a utility implement a disaster recovery plan with the future in mind.

A large US public power provider, with millions of residential and business customers, needed to rethink its disaster recovery program. Due to budget constraints, the utility’s data recovery program had not been updated or tested for several years. Under the existing program, systems recovery could take up to 20 days—an unacceptable timeframe for a utility relied upon by numerous states for critical infrastructure services. Moreover, the utility was grappling with internal audit findings pertaining to unresolved disaster recovery deficiencies, which attracted the attention of board members. The board suggested that the utility modernize its disaster recovery program and keep it up to date.

The utility selected PwC to help them create a maintainable disaster recovery program. We met with key stakeholders to assess the utility’s existing program and to perform a BIA to identify critical business processes, the likelihood of service disruption, and the projected cost of loss. We then helped the utility understand the business risks of systems and technology services interruption. The team prioritized investments for disaster recovery initiatives, and helped design a tiered model highlighting recovery priorities. We also created a five-year roadmap detailing disaster recovery policies; identified system technical and functional interdependencies; and designated the availability and recoverability architecture.

The one-year disaster recovery planning initiative resulted in a robust data recovery program for the utility, and resolved the company’s internal audit findings. The failover planning enabled the utility to recover critical applications in four to six hours—compared with a 20-day average recovery cycle before. Today, the power provider’s data recovery plan includes an update schedule, a self-maintenance process, and recommendations for future improvements.

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