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Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity? What's more important?

By Sarika Vatner on 21/07/15 10:00 AM

There is no truer saying than ‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail’ when it comes to Disaster recovery and your business. Disaster Recovery is the Insurance of the IT world. IT is investing in something you hope you will never need.

What is the difference between Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity? 

The following article will discuss the difference between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity and also explain the equal importance of each and best methods of implementation.

business continuity disaster recovery Disaster recovery (DR) refers to your company’s ability to restore the data and applications that run your business, should a data centre, server or infrastructure become damaged/ destroyed or terminate.

Arguably one of the most important points when discussing disaster recovery is ‘How quickly, can we recover and restore the data?’

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) takes into consideration a broader scope of contributing factors, such as technology, people and processers to a business’s functionality. BCP is about getting your business up and running with minimal (if any downtime) should disaster strike.

Now that you know the difference between the two, it is important to put in place a holistic strategy that encompasses both DR and BCP.

The algorithm to align both your DR policy and your BCP policy should be the sum of:  Your Company’s urgency for time to restore full function against your company’s budget available to fund protection.

In almost all cases, outsourcing to  managed service providers to accomplish DR and BCP result in lower costs and usually higher performance –simply put : less waiting time for a lower cost.

IT disaster recover planning (and Business Continuity) is no longer an optional extra, having reliable IT is a fundamental component of any business strategy.

If you decide your organisations does not need third party Disaster Recovery insurance- you should ensure your plan has these vital dimensions.

Disaster Identification and Notification

- Detection
- Warning
- Communication

Disaster Preparation

- DR team : Responsibilities in the event of disaster
- Non-DR Team: Training of procedures in event of disaster

IT Service Analysis and Reactivation

-  Service Identification
- Service Priority
- Service Risks


- Procedures

Offsite Storage

- Portability
- Offsite backup and locations


- Testing and Updating Plan
- Synchronization: Making sure business continuity and Disaster Recovery plan are in synergy.

Management have overall responsibility for the creation of a Business Continuity plan. Managers need to fund, manage, review and maintain this critical business planning and functionality tool.

Best practice to keep these plans relevant include – Adoption, Regular Risk assessment checks on current IT infrastructure and review of plan with testing and evaluation.

When contemplating recovery strategies Managers will (should) be looking to strategize and implement the best options for efficient recovery from an event. (Hint: It is a good idea to get some strong ideas from Disaster Recovery vendors or other companies that specialise or have specific DR tools.)

Recovery plans should thoroughly document the businesses plans for relocating and recovering its critical business processes and data recovery based on your recovery time objectives (identified during the business impact analysis process.)

While all of this sounds very difficult and time consuming, Disaster recovery, Business continuity and Data Backup planning is done by many outsourced IT companies (and at a lower cost than trying to do it yourself)..

Remember 'a good plan implemented today is BETTER than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow.'

Do you want to calculate the cost a disaster may have on your business? Download our Free Disaster Recovery Calculator.

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