Disaster Recovery Vs Business Continuity: Are They The Same?
Disaster Recovery Vs Business Continuity: Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) are often thought of as pretty much the same thing, but in reality there are significant differences between the two. Both are key elements of a company’s ability to continue functioning after an emergency.
Yet it’s possible for a business to have in place an effective disaster recovery plan, but still find itself unable to resume operations after a disruption because business continuity issues were not adequately addressed.
How Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Differ
The key difference between disaster recovery and business continuity is in the scope each covers. There is, of course, some overlap. But the focus of DR is more on reestablishing an organization’s IT functionality, while BC aims at insuring that the company can resume carrying out its actual business operations as soon as possible after a disruption.
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) will be concerned with issues such as how and where the company’s critical data is backed up, and how soon and completely that data can be recovered after some kind of outtage. What happens if, for example, the company’s data center burns down? A good DRP will specify off-site backup locations for data, how it will be recovered, and how alternate servers, networks, and other equipment will be brought online as soon as possible.
A business continuity plan (BCP), on the other hand, will not only encompass all the areas addressed in the DRP, but it will also focus on issues such as specifying how and by whom essential business functions will be carried out. For example, who will be the company’s authorized point of contact for both internal and external communications? Where will employees gather if the organization’s main site is no longer usable? What are the steps each business unit or staff team must take to ensure its own operations are reestablished quickly and effectively?
Disaster Recover and Business Continuity Go Together!
In effect, disaster recovery is an integral part, but only a part, of business continuity. A business’s IT department may have a great disaster recovery plan in place, but if the organization’s executive management doesn’t put an equal focus on business continuity planning that encompasses all aspects of the company’s operations, the company may well join the 80 percent of businesses that fail within 18 months of experiencing a major disruption.
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