Business continuity and disaster recovery are two concepts that are often confused. The terminology used to describe these plans is interchangeable, but the concepts behind them are actually very different.

In this post, we’ll highlight the main differences between business continuity and disaster recovery in terms of IT services.

What Is Business Continuity?

With today’s technological advancements, including advanced cyber-crime tactics, businesses must make continuing investments in technologies to stay competitive and keep business continuity high.

In order to ensure that a company can recover from adversity, a business continuity plan must include a disaster recovery plan as one of its components. Failure to do so could result in major losses for a company.

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is defined as the act of protecting an organization against any significant disruption in normal operations. It ensures that the company’s business continuity is maintained so that it may continue to function efficiently, despite adversity.

However, disaster recovery does not necessarily mean a fast-paced effort to get a business back up and running after a disaster strikes. The process of disaster recovery consists of five distinct phases, which include

  1. Initial mitigation
  2. Business impact analysis
  3. Development and testing of the business continuity plan (BCP)
  4. Implementation of the BCP
  5. BCP review

Need help creating a high-quality BCP? Talk to a specialist today.

What are the Differences Between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity?

The majority of business continuity and disaster recovery plans overlap because many threats cause both small and large problems for companies. The key difference between these two ideas lies in the goal of each plan, who is in charge of it, and what resources are necessary to make the plan work.

Key Difference #1: Goals

Disaster recovery is more of a long-term process, while business continuity takes place simultaneously throughout the process of disaster recovery. Both plans work together to ensure that a company can get back on track following a disruption in normal operations.

Disaster recovery ensures that a company can quickly resume its primary business functions after a substantial incident has occurred, while business continuity ensures that these functions can be maintained.

Key Difference #2: Who’s in Charge?

Business continuity focuses on maintaining company operations while disaster recovery focuses on restoring damaged systems to full functionality, including data backup and restoration. This means that the personnel involved in these two plans may possess different skills.

Because disaster recovery focuses on restoring damaged systems, it often entails some level of training or experience with them.

Business continuity, on the other hand, tends to require a great deal of training and preparation. To ensure that a company can recover from adversity as quickly as possible, this training should include members from all departments of the company.

Key Difference #3: Incident Size

Finally, business continuity is focused on smaller incidents while disaster recovery is focused on larger ones. In many instances, a company can often recover from a breach of security or a minor outage without outside assistance. If the damage is potentially catastrophic, however, it will need to call in an IT service provider.

How Does Business Continuity Relate To Disaster Recovery?

Business continuity planning is one-third of the overall disaster recovery plan. This portion includes establishing a data backup plan, which will allow the company to quickly get back up and running in an emergency situation. The next step in business continuity planning is to test this data backup plan to ensure that it will work when the time comes.

Developing a business continuity strategy requires knowledge of a company’s risk tolerance, key areas of focus, and other important factors. In order to be successful, this plan must include four main components:

  1. An awareness component that collects information on what customers expect from the company should a disaster occur.
  2. A business impact analysis that defines key functions of the organization, including which are critical to the company’s success.
  3. A detailed plan for how the company will maintain its ability to complete critical tasks in spite of adversity.
  4. An evaluation component that ensures that the plan is working.

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning do not have to be difficult. If you are looking for a simple way to get started, consider getting in touch with an expert IT service provider such as TrinWare.

If you are interested, set up a consultation, or call us today.