Deciphering Disaster Recovery from Business Continuity Planning

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning are two related terms that organisations often confuse. And this confusion isn’t something to be taken lightly. Muddling disaster recovery and business continuity planning can, at the very least, inhibit organisations from staying competitive and, in the worst-case scenario, force organisations out of business. Talking with an IT provider experienced at developing and implementing both disaster recovery and business continuity planning will help you determine the best approach to protect your organisation from potential data loss and business risk.

Keeping technology covered with disaster recovery

Disaster recovery is basically what it sounds like — it allows your business to continue operating from a technical standpoint after a disruptive occurrence. This includes backup activities and ensuring systems can start back up offsite. Statistics from 2007 reveal that only 6 per cent of organisations that suffer catastrophic data loss remain in business. A properly followed disaster recovery plan can prevent such dire financial straits, in addition to unacceptable downtime and customer data loss.

A disaster recovery plan will involve a business impact analysis and guide the appropriate approach to systems, data and networks that are critical to the business. Some of the considerations that will go into a disaster recovery plan include how quickly businesses will need systems to be available — one hour or one day, for instance — in the event of a disaster, critical processes that must be included and backup procedures.

Focusing on people with business continuity planning

Disaster recovery covers technology and some processes essential to operations. But what about your organisation’s most valuable resources: your people and critical partners’ employees? Business continuity planning looks at the whole picture of how your enterprise will continue in the face of any minor or major change.

Consider business continuity planning the IT version of strategic succession planning, with the addition of technology and operations to people. Disaster recovery is an important component to a successful business continuity plan, but it’s only one part. You must consider all challenges in your business continuity plan, ranging from how employees communicate during a disaster or small technological hiccup to who will keep things running smoothly if a network administrator takes a sick day. This business continuity planning includes the simplest of components, such as having all employees’ contact information, to more technical aspects involving how they will be able to continue working.

Developing disaster recovery and business continuity planning approaches are, as you’ve already guessed, involved processes that will benefit from expert advice. They are considerations that you can’t afford to ignore when it comes to keeping your business going in the event of an outage or disaster.

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