Understanding the differences between business continuity vs disaster recovery aids in creating an emergency management plan. What should a business continuity plan include, and what are the critical disaster recovery components to have?
Though they both provide safeguards for companies, business continuity and disaster recovery are not interchangeable terms. Understanding business continuity vs disaster recovery is crucial when creating data protection strategies.
Business continuity is the overarching process of preparing a company to continue business operations and perform critical business functions in emergency or disaster times. Business continuity plans are plotted in advance of disaster situations; they are not a break-fix solution. They consider worst-case scenarios that could completely shut down business operations or adversely impact the functions and services provided by your business.
Disaster recovery is a portion of a business continuity plan focusing on emergency management. Disaster recovery is the specific plan of action to get a network up and running following a disaster. Disasters cover a wide range of events, from a power outage to catastrophic events, like a natural disaster wiping out an office building.
In the modern business world, disaster opportunities are an ever-growing threat. Natural disasters, human error, and security breaches can happen at any time, requiring your business to be ready should it happen to you. A high-quality business continuity plan should include the following:
- Team creation
- Detailed planning
- Business resource access
- Continued IT operations
When an emergency occurs, your business needs to know who is in charge. A business continuity plan will clearly define the role of each team member. Team members knowing what they should do in volatile times will help prevent panic and confusion.
Your continuity team must prepare themselves with a detailed plan. Business continuity is not a reactive process; it needs to be proactive. The team needs to plan what to do in various situations, taking into consideration many possible variables. Your plan should identify the top priorities of continued operations and recovery. Knowing the most critical functions allows the continuity plan to streamline the recovery process towards these aspects.
After creating a well thought-out and detailed plan, the plan needs testing. Testing your plan identifies weak network points and helps you take better security measures. Creating a plan and testing it once is not a practical solution. Disasters can happen in many different ways at any time. Testing and updating your plan regularly is the proactive approach that can make all the difference between success and failure.
Keeping employees in contact with each other and those responsible for the recovery is essential. Having measures to keep communication lines open when a network is down supports your recovery process from stalling.
Other than your employees, your data is your most essential resource. Having data securely backed up and quickly accessed is critical. Cloud-based services aid in recovering data and continuing business operations. The planning step of your continuity solutions should focus on this vital step.
Minimizing downtime is the ultimate goal of a continuity plan. System downtime is incredibly costly. Some businesses are unable to recover after even moderate downtime.
An effective plan helps protect the bottom line of a company. As part of the business continuity plan, disaster recovery follows many of the same steps. There are specific disaster recovery solutions a business should have in place to ensure a successful recovery.
No matter where your office is located, there are certain disaster risks. Seasonal weather events, flooding, fire risks, or other natural disasters need to be considered. Your physical hardware needs to be protected as best as possible. Taking steps to have a backup power source is highly recommended.
Taking an inventory of your data storage locations is a critical disaster and recovery component. You need to know where your data is stored, who has access, and what data should be prioritized in the recovery process.
Keeping internet communications up and running is essential to business continuity. Web hosting services keep your website up while other facets of your business are still being recovered. Proper mobile device management can also keep your employees connected and performing vital duties if your internet connection is lost.
CTMS is ready to help your business prepare for the unknown. We understand each business faces different threats and have the expertise to create a recovery plan that will protect you when disaster strikes.
CTMS is a technology management provider based in Akron, Ohio. For years, our team has offered a variety of technical solutions for our partners in a wide range of industries. Our primary services are IT security, data backup, disaster recovery, and cloud computing, among a host of other IT consulting solutions.