Disaster Recovery Vs. Business Continuity Planning – What’s the Difference?

All kinds of acronyms get thrown around in the business world, especially when referring to information technology systems. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are two concepts that are critically important to understand.  They can substantially affect the ultimate health of your business after a catastrophic event that separates you from your critical data and mission critical applications.

Disaster Recovery (DR)

Disaster recovery is much narrower in scope than business continuity.  Disaster Recovery focuses on getting applications and other systems back up and running, should a natural disaster or other catastrophe affect your workplace.  The goal is to get everything operating to the point it was at before the disaster happened.

Disaster Recovery does help get parts of your business operating, typically providing access to your data and applications, identifying a source of alternative power, and restoring your IT infrastructure. Disaster Recovery is a must for every business, however, it does not guarantee your business will remain operational during a crisis.

Business Continuity (BC)

Business continuity has a much larger scope. It refers to keeping overall business operations working in the event of a disaster.  Your business continuity plan should address the ability to continue normal operations including: Sales and Order Taking, Customer Support, Billing and Accounting, Employee Operations.

A complete business continuity plan includes uninterrupted access to critical data and applications.  A place for key employees to work in order to keep critical operations running.  This includes online systems, network connectivity as well as pre-configured access to your phone system, shared network drives, and applications.

Four Winds Network Engineers can review and test your current Disaster Recovery Plan during a free network assessment. Seemingly small events such as human error, hardware, or software failures can interrupt your business operations. Having a tested and proven Disaster Recovery Plan documented with communicated steps in place for your IT infrastructure is critical. The Four Winds’ Business Operations Specialists can help you develop a business continuity plan to protect your business.