The terms Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR or BC/DR) are confused quite often. Both are interrelated and its necessary for organizations to make these plans together instead of making them separately. This is a condition given that, both describe how prepared an organization is on recovering from an unforeseen event or disaster (manmade or natural).
When a disaster strikes, it’s important to know how your plans for recovering from the data loss and facilities, will help you. It’s understanding the difference between the two plans. Both Amazon and Microsoft Azure have features which facilitate in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans.
What’s the Difference?
Disaster Recovery is a subset, a small part of the overall Business Continuity. It is the process of saving data with the sole purpose of being able to recover it in the event of a disaster. Any disaster could be major or minor, but it’s your recovery process that makes a big difference.
The basis of Disaster Recovery is that data is kept in a secondary site. You should also have plans on how to recover this data so that, the business can access it again. The speed at which the data is recovered is solely dependent on the planning, infrastructure and processes that are set aside and tested. In the IT field, it may include restoring servers or mainframes with backups, setting up the local infrastructure, re-establish connections with the secondary sites to overcome the immediate crisis.
Business Continuity, on the other hand describes the processes and procedures an organization must put in place to ensure that mission-critical functions can continue during and after a disaster. It typically refers to the management foresight and planning, involved in ensuring the continuous operations of the organization in case of IT failure or disasters.
Business Continuity, also addresses the planning that focuses on long term or chronic challenges to organizational success. Some of the potential business continuity problems may include the illness or departure of key team members, supply chain breakdowns, catastrophic failures or critical malware infections.
Takeaways from Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans
One thing which organizations have realised is that, you have to put a BC/DR plan in place instead of relying on some other organization to solve your problems. You must be proactive and prepared with your BC/DR plan.
Interdependency between BC and DR plans is what makes them so interchangeable. Both plans identify many aspects such as security, infrastructure needs, personnel, communications, temporary locations. They cover all the unexpected scenarios which can and/or may happen to businesses.
Although overlapped in many areas, there are distinct places where they differ. For instance, the disaster recovery plan includes preventative strategies that the business will take, such as installing smoke alarms and conducting fire drills. The business continuity plan introduces strategies that the business will use to maintain smooth operations, such as obtaining disaster recovery loans and securing replacement equipment.
Validate and Test your plans to ensure your business operations will resume quickly and efficiently. Conduct mock drills to test the plans and your employees for adhering to the plans. Educate your employees about the various processes and procedures that should be followed in the event of an disaster. Develop resources to distribute emergency contact information, and other vital materials.
Periodic Review should be performed to keep the plans updated with respected to the changing business needs and requirements.
Similar to the business and marketing plans, the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans require periodic reviews. They should be reviewed every year for consistency. These plans should be adjusted as your business changes and expands. The emergency kits should be replenished, and the strategies should be analyzed to ensure that they still meet the anticipated needs of your business.
The underlying thought of having a BC and DR plan is to ensure your data is available and accessible for your business continuity, when a disaster or event occurs. The services should be available within an acceptable time as per the SLA agreed upon. The smart planning involved will help in reducing the pain of bringing your business back online to a great extent.
Sysfore can help you to incorporate a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan for your organization. You can write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +91-80-4110-5555.