The City of Akron sits along the Little Cuyahoga River. Akron is Ohio’s fifth largest city with a population approaching 200,000 people. Consistent with cities across the United States, the City of Akron, with a $500 million budget, faces daily challenges regarding how to maximize taxpayer investment to ensure responsible fiscal management with regard to transportation, technology and human resources infrastructure.
With the experiences of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and with damages from tornadoes and flash flooding on the rise, the public and private sectors were faced with the constant reminder that natural disasters can quickly impact the ability to deliver services. The City of Akron was no different.
The City needed to ensure that its applications and emergency systems would be operational in the case of a natural disaster or major utility or telecommunication outage. The City’s executive leadership and information technology department had identified that disaster preparedness for their critical application infrastructure was a priority.
The project fell into the purview of Bill Fatica, Information Technology Manager for the City of Akron. Fatica’s department oversees the critical technology infrastructure, including financial, human resources, payroll and the police and fire applications.
The situation was complex. The City of Akron’s information technology department was responsible for implementing a cost-effective solution, agreeable to internal and external stakeholders, which also met the standards of the Ohio state auditors.
“Involta provided the City with a neutral, thorough analysis of the City’s information technology infrastructure. Involta delivered a business continuity assessment that identified the areas where we intuitively knew needed enhancement, but were not able to make the business case for investment.”
“While we had contracted with Involta to perform the assessment, the company was highly sensitive to remaining independent. Involta conducted the assessment they were hired to do and built a relationship based on knowledge, follow-through and integrity. In all of the years I’ve worked at the City, with vendors across all aspects of technology, I sincerely appreciated the partnership mentality that Involta brought to the project.”
The City of Akron needed help to develop a robust business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. Bill Fatica and his information technology steering committee addressed the need by working with Involta. Fatica and City officials had come to know Involta through the company’s recent announcement to construct a concurrently maintainable data center in the City of Akron. Involta was enlisted to provide an independent analysis of the current state of the City of Akron’s hardware and connectivity infrastructure throughout the region.
The integrity and knowledge that Involta demonstrated through the project also prompted the City to evaluate Involta’s capabilities for a secondary site, as the company’s Akron Data Center was within close proximity to City-owned fiber infrastructure.
Involta delivered an IT Continuity of Operations Plan that included: