How Is a Business Continuity Plan Different than a Disaster Recovery Plan?
When important systems become unavailable due to infrastructure failure, human error, or a security breach, it can lead to unaffordable business interruption and downtime. The best way to ensure your organization is prepared for any scenario is to have business continuity and disaster recovery plans on hand.
While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are notable differences between the two, which is why it’s critical to have both plans in place to help mitigate the impact to business operations.
A business continuity plan refers to how a business continues to operate when key systems are down or an outage occurs. A disaster recovery plan, on the other hand, refers to how specific platforms, data, and applications are restored following a cyber attack, disaster, or other failure. At Thrive, we understand the needs of businesses and stress the importance of having actionable business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place.
Business Continuity Plan: A Must-Have for Every Organization
A March 2020 study from Mercer concluded that 51% of businesses did not have a business continuity plan in place to combat a global emergency, such as Covid-19. For many organizations, this lack of planning meant loss of revenue, unexpected expenditures to support a remote workforce, or loss of market share as better prepared competitors took advantage of their ability to adapt. Business continuity plans keep a business running effectively, even when faced with an unexpected disaster, and they’re a must-have for organizations across nearly every industry.
The goal of a business continuity plan is to know what processes can be kept in place when a disaster occurs, and which ones must be adapted. At Thrive, we stress two important terms when helping our customers to hone and craft a business continuity plan:
- Recovery Timeline Objective (RTO) – The time it takes systems to fully recover
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – The amount of data loss acceptable to a business
It must be plainly understood across departments within an organization where data is stored, what applications are in use, who stores the data, and who has access to it.
With a proper plan in place, it’s easier for everyone to know how to react should disaster strike. A plan allows you to prioritize what’s important – for instance, not being able to access email isn’t as critical as losing customer data that allows you to finalize an order or payment.
And, as our CIO Michael Gray outlined in a previous blog post, it’s worth the time to perform a tabletop exercise, which can help organizations identify and prepare for various scenarios, when it comes to business continuity planning.
Putting a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place
A disaster recovery plan refers to the specific part of the business continuity plan to be followed during and after data loss. It’s most important to get systems back up and running following a data loss event, in an effort to minimize downtime and business disruption.
As Thrive works with organizations, we tend to find there are on-premises and Cloud systems, along with SaaS applications, carrying various backup platforms. Our team can assist in testing these backup systems to see if they match what is laid out in the business continuity plan.
We understand that designing and executing a disaster recovery plan can be limited by budget, technology, resources, and staff on site, which is why our Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a strong solution for many businesses. We will partner with your IT team to create a comprehensive plan allowing for backup of data and the IT infrastructure in a third-party Cloud environment. This makes it easier to access IT infrastructure following a disaster.
At Thrive, we will partner with you to create a comprehensive business continuity plan that extends to include disaster recovery planning. Get in touch with our experienced team to explore Thrive’s targeted solutions for your organization.