Meeting this morning to discuss a report about maintaining research activity in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak affecting the University - a similar report has been drawn up looking at how we could maintain teaching and learning. What is worrying for me, is that maintaining any sort of University activity relies on systems and networks being available. And we're just as likely to be struck down with flu as anyone. Of course, the discussion digressed to discussing all sorts of disasters - including power cuts - and how widespread the effects could be. For example, the power cut at the end of last year could have had disastrous effects on research departments who have vital research material stored in freezers - cell cultures, tissue samples, cell lines etc. There are hundreds of such freezers for example in our Biology departments, and although we've recently invested considerable sums of money in a generator for our computer systems, there is no other real power protection across the University. However, there is nothing like a good disaster for making people think, and action is now being taken in a number of areas.
I have suddenly found myself Miss Business Continuity in the University, and will be chairing a group looking at the operational aspects of all of our Business Continuity plans and recommending testing and action plans. Also passing on some of the lessons learnt in our recent experiences.
I thought I would update you on my quest for an iPhone. Well I still haven't got one! Turns out that 6 months after they were launched, Apple and O2 still haven't got a corporate contract in place, and it looks like there won't be one in place for another couple of months. Talk about a wasted opportunity!