Business continuity and disaster recovery are two terms often used interchangeably in the business world. While both share the objective of keeping a business up and running, there are some key differences. Ideally, an organization should have both a business continuity and a disaster recovery plan in place.
The main purpose of a business continuity plan is to ensure that all critical business functions continue working during a disaster or disruption while minimizing downtime. In comparison, a disaster recovery plan aims to restore key business processes as quickly as possible.
Learn more about business continuity and disaster recovery and the differences and similarities between these plans.
What Is A Business Continuity Plan?
Business continuity refers to the advanced preparation and planning performed to ensure that a company can operate its crucial business functions during disasters and other emergency events.
From natural disasters to data breaches, an unexpected interruption to a business can cause catastrophic damage to an organization’s reputation and finances. A business continuity plan can help limit the adverse impact on services and functions.
A business continuity plan should include various information and instructions to help guide a company amid chaos. It should inform employees how to communicate with vendors, customers, and third parties during an emergency to provide proper support.
It should also include information on how to continue servicing customers and relocate people and processes if needed. Business continuity plans generally include a timeline required to restore business processes and workaround processes when certain technology is unavailable.
Business continuity plans often name key personnel that will aid in the organization’s recovery. This is usually a team of business leaders from different departments responsible for managing emergency events and overlooking employees as they attempt to continue business functions and processes.
What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan is a process or policy designed to assist businesses in executing recovery processes in response to a disaster.
The processes within a disaster recovery plan may be started before, during, and after a disaster to help minimize downtime and ensure a quick and efficient recovery.
Organizations are tasked with storing and managing large amounts of data. Data loss or corruption can have a substantial impact on a business’s ability to continue normal operations. A business is better equipped to restore critical business data from backup images and minimize losses with a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place.
While disaster recovery plans can vary, the overall structure remains relatively the same. First, the plan should contain goals that dictate what the business wants to achieve during and after a disaster, such as the recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). It should also list the personnel who are responsible for executing the plan.
Including an updated list of IT equipment and technology, including hardware and software assets, can help ensure that a business’s IT systems are back up and running as quickly as possible. Include whether each asset is critical to business operations and leased, owned or used as a service. Also include detailed instructions on how to access backup resources.
Finally, a disaster recovery plan should include best practices for recovery following a disaster. Include detailed steps for recovering from a loss of data, systems and other resources. Also list IT staff that is responsible for recovering IT systems after a disaster, as well as their contact information.
What Are The Differences Between Them?
Although business continuity and disaster recovery may seem like very similar concepts, there are some distinct differences. The most significant difference between the two terms refers to when the action takes effect.
Business continuity plans are designed to keep a business operational in the event of a disruption. A company is better equipped to return to full business operations both during and after an interruption with the plan in place.
A disaster recovery plan is considered a component of a business continuity plan. Disaster recovery places a greater emphasis on returning to normal business operations after the end of a crisis.
Regardless of size or industry, most businesses can greatly benefit from having both a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
A lack of either type of plan can cause businesses to struggle to try and resolve IT and other problems during a disaster which can be catastrophic to their long-term operations.
Start Planning For Disaster With SeaGlass Technology
Keeping a business operational during and after a disaster can be challenging even under the best conditions. However, developing a comprehensive business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan can help ensure a successful outcome. For more information about the differences between business continuity and disaster recovery, contact the IT professionals at SeaGlass Technology today.