Information Services

Business continuity and disaster plan review for Archibus marks milestone for Estates management project

A project to ensure that the University of Edinburgh’s Estates department can continue to function in case of major unplanned disruption to its Archibus system has hit a major milestone.

Estates is heavily reliant on a computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) system, Archibus, which is used by around 800 people across the University and impacts many more.

However, the University’s version of Archibus ran out of software supplier support in May 2021, meaning the system could suffer a critical failure that could only be resolved by a software upgrade.

As part of a wider, longer-term project to carry out this upgrade, a review of the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans for Archibus and Estates has now been completed by Information Services (IS) and Estates.

This has been done to reduce the impact of any system failure or downtime before the upgrade, through manual procedures and workarounds.

During the review, the IS and Estates team identified how the department and wider University would continue to operate during unplanned disruption to Archibus or a total system failure.

This included every aspect of University business which could be affected by such disruption, such as business processes, assets, partners and Human Resources.

The review found that disaster recovery could be achieved within three to five days and acceptable downtime limits for all business areas, meaning no action is required.

Additionally, no disaster recovery scenario was found with a significant risk of non-recovery.

Overall, the team behind the project confirmed business continuity planning can protect Estates’ critical activities for an unplanned outage of up to four weeks.

Aerial view of The University of Edinburgh Central Area. Photo by Chris Close
Aerial view of The University of Edinburgh Central Area. Photo by Chris Close

Rod Hanchard-Goodwin, senior project manager for Estates, said that after reaching this milestone the Estates department team feel they are now in a much better position and have the scope for short term workarounds.

He added: “The completion of both the Archibus Business Continuity Plans and Disaster Recovery Plan has provided Estates confidence that should they encounter an outage they have the necessary procedures in place to reduce the impact on Estates business operations which will ensure that the Estates building portfolio can continued to be maintained.”

An upgrade of Archibus is due to get underway following the implementation of the People and Money system and is estimated to be completed later this year. This will ensure that Archibus is fully supported by the software supplier.