Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Disruption isn’t just an inconvenience for customers. A fire, flood, ransomware attack or other malady can rack up financial losses, damage the corporate brand, and, in the worst-case scenario, shutter a business permanently. About a third of the respondents to Uptime Institute’s 2019 Global Data Center Survey reported having “business impacts” linked to some form of infrastructure in the past year. A bit more than 10% of the respondents said their most recent outage resulted in $1 million-plus in direct and indirect costs.
Disasters can strike at any time, and at any level of severity. From the deletion of a critical file to your business being destroyed in a fire, you should be taking steps to prepare for potential disaster. In order to be prepared for a disaster, and to make it out the other side, many companies have been integrating their plans, with the two most popular being Disaster Recovery (DR) or a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). The question is how these two plans, that look at the same problem, differ.
BCDR is divided into two different phases/components:
Business Continuity (BC): BC deals with the business operations side of BCDR. It involves designing and creating policies and procedures that ensure that essential business functions/processes are available during and after a disaster. BC can include the replacement of staff, service availability issues, business impact analysis and change management.
Disaster Recovery (DR): DR is primarily focused on the IT side of BCDR. It defines how an organization’s IT department will recover from a natural or artificial disaster. The processes within this phase can include server and network restoration, copying backup data and provisioning backup systems.
Typically, most medium and large enterprises have an integrated BCDR plan or separate BC and DR plans for dealing with unforeseen natural or man-made disasters.
Bottom Line: Recovery and Business Continuity
The difference between business continuity and disaster recovery is quite specific. Balancing two planning strategies is a matter of priorities. If the majority of your business transactions are online, you need to make data protection your number one concern. Losing all or some of your data could halt your operations. You could not bill customers, pay vendors, or access your inventory information. Your competitive intelligence would disappear.
You need to know how long you can wait to get back to full operation before the pain starts. You also must weigh that delay against the costs of planning and execution. Fortunately, reliable managed services providers and consultants know how to do that. They can address your concerns in a cost-effective and compliant manner.