It’s easy to think of business continuity and disaster recovery as being the same thing, and to loosely interchange the two terms. But while they share some of the same traits, they really are two separate concepts. A business may decide to place more emphasis on one over the other, but to be truly prepared, both must be considered.
Business Continuity begins with pre-disaster planning that ensures a business may continue essential operations during and after a disaster. Specifically, a business continuity plan provides continual access to necessary operational functions and the data necessary to perform those functions. A comprehensive business continuity plan typically involves making sure that network connections, online systems, phones, network drives, servers, and business applications are allowed to run without downtime.
The quality of a business continuity plan stems from its ability to limit business downtime. Ideally, the systems that are put in place will completely prevent the company from going offline.
Disaster Recovery plans allow a business to get its operational systems up-and-running after a disaster. Unlike Business Continuity plans, which are usually put into place before any disaster-related issues crop up, Disaster Recovery involves restoring a business’ IT infrastructure and then accessing copies of data stored offsite – as per the business continuity plan – after a disaster happens.
Recovery time is a vital aspect of disaster recovery. The sooner a company’s vital business data can be restored, the quicker a business may begin operating normally again. A proper disaster recovery plan must also include the training and education of all pertinent employees, so that they understand exactly what is expected of them if the disaster recovery plan put it into effect.
A Fine Line
Business continuity is the first line defense against a disaster of any magnitude affecting business operations. Disaster recovery is just as necessary for any business that would be unable to function without its vital business data. Simply put, Business Continuity is business-centric. While Disaster Recovery is data-centric.
Whether considered completely separate functions, or two spokes on the same wheel, businesses are encouraged to employ both strategies for full protection.
For information on how Capital Business Systems can help you implement continuity and recovery plans, please contact us.