Differentiating between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning

business continuity vs disaster planningIt is easy to confuse planning for disaster recovery vs business continuity. Both have a similar goal: to ensure the business can bounce back from a disaster whether man-made or by mother nature. To help clarify, one must look at the task from two different perspectives.

Disaster Recovery (DR) planning takes into account the time, tasks, and resources needed for an organization’s users, communications systems, computer systems, and working environment to be brought back online and running in a productive manner, during and immediately after a disastrous event.  A Business Continuity (BC) plan consists of even more detailed information about an organization’s business processes, operations, and implemented technologies, which includes a company’s DR plan among other content.

A DR plan should not be outlined prior to first having created and taken into account the company’s BC plan.  The BC plan will help the DR planner understand the unique requirements from each business unit, rather than making assumptions which may or may not deliver in a time of need.

To avoid gaping holes in DR planning, create or review a BC plan first; you’ll find the DR plan will come together much easier once the BC is in place and you have a better understanding of your organizations overall requirements.

In cases of either DR or BC planning, it’s imperative to seek the input and participation from all levels of the company, to ensure every critical detail has been addressed and that a trained and informed team will be available to help carry out either plan, if and/or when needed.

Jim Thomas, Director of Technical Services at Paragon Software Group


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