With more than 70 million customers, Cambia Health Solutions puts a premium on business continuity – and Kelley Okolita, Director of Disaster Management, knows how to deliver. Under her leadership, the company was able to boast of having great plans packed with huge amounts of data, a fully-recoverable data center, and the engagement and confidence of users at all levels of the organization.
Some business continuity leaders might be content to stop there – but not Kelley Okolita. Okolita is a thought leader in the realm of business continuity, and an author of a book on building enterprise recovery programs. With more than 25 years of experience under her belt, she wanted to take Cambia Health Solutions’ business continuity program even further.
You put in place a strong business continuity program at Cambia Health Solutions. What was missing?
We had data contained within our business continuity plans, but no way to mine that data easily or to report on it. Consequently, we couldn’t answer important questions such as, “Who uses this application?” or “What would be impacted if this equipment went down?” without checking each plan individually. We also could not leverage the data we collected for other business cases in the organization.
What led you to select the Fusion Framework System?
We needed a tool that would pull it all together for us. Fusion could become the “single source of truth” for our data, and connect the dots between data, applications, business processes, sites, capabilities, and suppliers. Plus, Fusion has the advantage of being easily customizable; we could build out the structure in Fusion based on the data and plans we already had in place.
What visibility did you gain with the Fusion Framework?
All the elements of the business continuity program are now connected in such a way that it makes it easy to see the big picture. For example, we can identify points of failure that previously would have been hidden and take steps to mitigate that risk. Most importantly, we tie everything back to a business process, which allows us to instantly see who and what would be impacted by the failure of a specific site, a piece of technology, an application, a supplier, etc.
How does Fusion help drive decision-making?
We are no longer making decisions based on what people perceive or believe to be true – we are dealing with facts. For example, if we are asked a question by our executive team, we don’t say, “Well, we think this,” or, “Maybe that would do the following.” Instead, we can state, “Here’s the data that shows what would be impacted by this action.”
How does Fusion help your bottom line?
The number of risks is always increasing, but we don’t have unlimited dollars to mitigate those risks. Fusion has given us the ability to spend our mitigating dollars on the right risks.
Must-have Data to Identify Risk Intersections
You use the term “risk intersections” when you discuss business continuity. What does this mean?
A risk intersection is where business processes and the “things” – such as applications, equipment, vendors, etc. – required to execute the processes interact. If you can see how components interrelate with each other, you can understand how they can break and what would be impacted if they did break. With that knowledge, you can make a fact-based decision on what mitigation steps are appropriate. But you can’t do anything if you don’t have the data and the ability to correlate it.
How does Fusion allow you to “showcase” the value of data to the business?
As we talk about the Fusion Framework System to various parties across Cambia, we ask if they have use for the data that is contained in the system and if there is additional data we could be tracking that would be useful to them. That has led us to find new use cases for the data we have. For example, a group was trying to get their arms around business capabilities. We asked for a list of capabilities they wanted to gain insight on, and then our business continuity planners included capability information when they next updated their plans. Now, the group can pull a report that shows all the business processes that support a specific capability, such as customer service or claim management. The use cases keep coming as we continue to take the data on tour.
Cambia Health Solutions is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network of companies. How have you introduced other companies to Fusion?
Representatives from the Blues get together once a year to discuss business continuity and disaster recovery. I am a frequent speaker and give presentations on how we are using Fusion within our company. By sharing best practices, we have been able to provide a blueprint to others that they can replicate to enhance their business continuity/disaster recovery programs. A significant number of Blues companies have adopted the Fusion Framework System after hearing about the value Cambia has gained from the solution.
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