Richard Long, Senior Advisory Consultant
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, MHA Consulting is a leading business continuity consulting and disaster recovery planning firm catering to public and private businesses across the globe. With more than two decades of experience, the company is well-recognized for its exceptional prowess and remarkable results across various industries, assisting businesses to protect trillions of dollars in global-market assets. MHA Consulting specializes in providing personalized disaster recovery recommendations that align with the client’s unique needs around their culture, people, and business needs. Instead of a standard one-size-fits-all methodology, the company delivers a sophisticated IT disaster recovery program within best practices and standards. “We are a boutique firm that offers functional and tailored recommendations for disaster recovery backed by years of experience,” begins Richard Long, Senior Advisory Consultant of MHA Consulting.
MHA takes a customer-centric approach while designing and delivering its ingenious services. Clients reach out to the company with different sets of challenges, and MHA, with utmost focus and commitment, caters to their needs. For organizations with no disaster recovery capability, the company starts from scratch and builds a comprehensive program. At the other end of the spectrum are organizations that want to check the viability and longevity of a mature program already in place. MHA also offers specific services requested by organizations with targeted needs, such asassessments, recovery strategy review and design, data center strategy, documentation, or staff augmentation.
MHA provides a current state assessment of the overall capability and maturity of existing disaster recovery programs based on industry best practices and standards, including the governance, supporting processes, data processes, training, and exercises. The in-depth assessment empowers clients to understand gaps, strengths, and opportunities. At the end of the study, MHA offers expert recommendations and a roadmap for future improvement. “We don’t just go in and ask a lot of questions, instead we collaborate with our clients to understand their requirements,” says Long. The company also facilitates threat and risk assessment in terms of location, people, and business—for instance, a single point of failure, the distance between processing locations, or cyber threats.
Following assessment, MHA can help clients with the implementation and management of the program. This includes crisis management for IT disaster recovery, documentation, development of appropriate templates, plan development, and maintenance schedules. The company then deploys a robust strategy with relevant information to guide disaster recovery decisions. It encompasses data regarding the technology utilized, recovery options, data center requirements, and relocation/migration strategy. This enables clients to understand the current and future strategic direction from technology and business perspectives to make the right decisions.
We are a boutique firm that offers functional and tailored recommendations for disaster recovery backed by years of experience
MHA also provides two or three strategy options with overall costs to give an idea about the general structure of associated costs. Further, the company supports the implementation of various technologies and efficiently coordinates with relevant vendors. Once the process is finished, the clients can implement or enhance an efficient disaster recovery program and functional capability. Through the alignment of strategic and tactical planning, MHA assists organizations in creating steps for disaster recovery and executing the process.
After the completion of successful implementation, it is imperative to maintain and update plans to keep the disaster recovery program aligned with the business requirements and objectives. To that end, MHA facilitates continuous improvement of the program through regular technology review along with developing an exercise roadmap, schedule, and maintenance. The company can provide tabletop exercises or walk throughs on top of actual recovery or in a test environment according to client requirements. MHA also assists clients in building plans defining individual roles and responsibilities as well as communication with stakeholders during a crisis. This empowers clients to take timely action towards critical issues, helping limit the impact.
At the core of these exceptional capabilities is the combined experience MHA’s experts bring to the table. The primary consultants and support team members possess deep expertise in technology and disaster recovery implementation that they leverage while executing the program. “When clients engage with me, they get the real me; not me in the background or just coming in for status meeting. We are deeply engaged with our clients and do the work personally,” affirms Long. MHA, as a company itself, has experience in multiple industries helping the team to leverage best practices and customize programs to specific client requirements. This flexibility and nimbleness in execution differentiate MHA from the peers. Also unique to the company is that they can offer a seamless transition to the online tools utilized during the assessment to clients for their future use.
Illustrating the efficiency of MHA’s services, Long highlights an instance wherein the company helped a major educational institution to create a disaster recovery program. MHA started with the current state assessment, developed a roadmap, implemented documentation, and determined the alternative site for recovery. They modified IT processes and supported that with change management, incident management, and problem management. The company also performed an initial disaster recovery exercise to demonstrate the strategy within a relatively short period of 18-24 months. The client was able to transform its low maturity score to a functional score with MHA’s efficient disaster recovery program.
The unrivaled competency and proficiency is attracting international clients to MHA with advice and assistance requests. Moving forward, the company aims to grow within the disaster recovery and business continuity space. An important area of focus includes evaluation of third-party supplier disaster recovery programs that examines the interdependency between the supplier and the needs of the client. From an industry perspective, MHA emphasizes resilience over recovery, enabling a higher ability to recover quickly and appropriately based on business needs. With its unique capabilities, MHA is the right choice to ensure protection and recoverability during a disaster for every organization.