Many companies see Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery as one and the same. Both enable a business to survive a natural or man-made calamity and continue as a viable business. While indeed the aim of both is to ensure your company survives, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are separate processes that should work in tandem to accomplish that goal.

So what are Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery and how are they different? Business Continuity focuses on keeping your business activities and staff functional through a disaster while Disaster Recovery concentrates on preserving your data infrastructure so that your workers can continue operations with customers, suppliers, etc. To give your business a fighting chance of survival in the event of a catastrophic event, you need plans for both Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery that work in tandem to keep your company afloat.

Business Continuity Plan: 6 tips to build your Plan

As mentioned above, Business Continuity focuses on keeping your business activities and staff functional through a disaster. In many cases, recent natural disasters and new industry and government-driven regulations increase executive awareness and internal pressure to create a Business Continuity Plan. Here are tips when you start building your Business Continuity Plan:

Tip 1.

Focus on implementing a structured and repeatable process that can be applied to one business unit at a time to avoid Business Continuity Plan from becoming an overwhelming project.

Tip 2.

Enable business leaders to own the Business Continuity Plan going forward by establishing a template that the rest of the organization can follow.

Tip 3.

Leverage Business Continuity Plan outcomes to refine IT Disaster Recovery Plan objectives and achieve their alignment. This ensures that your Disaster Recovery Plan will work in tandem with your Business Continuity Plan.

Tip 4.

Start your Business Continuity Plan with a high-level company-wide roadmap that can guide you through the project. Here are six recommended steps to follow to build the roadmap:

  1. Establish the specific objectives for a BCP Program (management, policies, etc.).
  2. Determine the risks your business faces.
  3. Analyze your business to determine your recovery objectives.
  4. Create solutions to meet your recovery objects.
  5. Validate company-wide incident responses and contingency plans.
  6. Involve your users to establish continuity awareness in your staff through day-to-day practices.

Tip 5.

Take the roadmap and implement within one of your business units. Analyze the results to see what effort is needed to extend the Business Continuity Plan to all of your business operations. Repeat the pilot methodology one business unit at a time until your entire business is covered. Align your BCP with your DRP – Once a Disaster Recovery is in place, align the two to work in tandem.

Tip 6.

Stress the importance of why Business Continuity Plan is needed throughout the project.

Disaster Recovery – common misunderstandings and tips

Data is a critical asset to any organization, but few organizations are confident in their approach to backup and recovery. 55% of organizations polled reported feeling “very confident” or “completely confident” in their ability to meet their backup window, but only 44% felt “very confident” or “completely confident” in their ability to restore lost data within the recovery time objective. Just 14% of respondents felt “completely confident” in their restore capabilities, compared with 22% for ability to meet backup windows.

With many different disasters facing a business today, you should implement a DR solution that satisfies your business needs and is cost effective. Also, it is important to align your DR solution to your BCP so that they can work as a two-faceted business protection approach.

2 common misunderstandings about Disaster Recovery

Misunderstanding 1. Backup is only for major disasters.

Backup is more often used to respond to mundane incidents, rather than disaster. Businesses that focus on disaster recovery when sizing their backup plan neglect the primary cause of incidents that necessitate backup: simple human error. When creating your Disaster Recovery Plan consider: the cost of continuing without crucial data, the time and cost of recreating lost data, potential for litigation, compliance-related penalties and loss of consumer confidence in the organization.

Misunderstanding 2. Disaster Recovery is very expensive.

Developing an effective Disaster Recovery strategy does not always require a costly investment in new technology. Backup procedure maturity is a far more significant driver of backup confidence than technology. Examine your current solution to assess if it works well. Documenting and refining existing procedures can save a significant expenditure to build a backup environment that you can rely on when you need it.

4 Tips to Create Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Tip 1.

Communicate the Value of Backups – The value of doing backups is often misunderstood when it comes time to set the budget. Make sure your stakeholders understand the value and the effective worth of having a backup system, and how it works in tandem with a BCP.

Tip 2.

Determine Recovery Requirements – Backups must be driven by your recovery requirements, not the capabilities of your backup solution. Determine your business’s real recovery needs and set meaningful recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs)

Tip 3.

Evaluate the Impact of Backup Technology – Assess your current backup solution and determine if any serious gaps exist. Research other backup solutions to see if any would help you achieve your goals more completely and with less cost.

Tip 4.

Treat backup and recovery as a service you provide to your users – Clearly communicate everyone’s roles and responsibilities in making sure backups are effective. Have clear processes to ensure your DR Plan can be effectively carried out.

Let Us Help You with your Business Continuity Plan and a Disaster Recovery Plan!

Having both a complete Business Continuity Plan and a Disaster Recovery Plan that work in tandem is a key element in surviving disasters, whether big or small. Our team of experts have worked with many organizations to help them with their Plans. Contact us today and we will be happy to discuss how you can improve your organization’s disaster survival both from a business and infrastructure point of view.