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Difference Between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

The inability of businesses to function and thrive as a result of threats is often unavoidable. According to research carried out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 90% of organizations fail within the first year after experiencing a disaster. As such, organizations need to stay ready and prepared for any disasters and threats. In this process, the terms business continuity and disaster management are not only common but also vital. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires as well as man-made threats including workplace violence, cyber-attacks and industrial sabotage require a disaster recovery business continuity plan.

\What is Business Continuity?

This is the tactical and strategic capability of organizations and businesses to respond to disruptions that may occur in the course of business operations. An effective business continuity plan should consider all aspects of the business including employees, consumers, communication strategies, third party contacts natural disasters and technology, just to name a few. It should also contain vital information to get the business up and running after a disruptive event, including a disaster. 

A business continuity plan should contain 

  • Preventive measures- These are systems put in place to prevent the occurrence of disruptive events
  • Mitigation measures- These are measures put in place to limit the negative impact of business disruptions
  • Recovery measures- These are measures to ensure the restoration of normal business operations as fast as possible hence avoiding adverse effects

Businesses, however, have different needs and structures. Business continuity plans will, therefore, differ in different organizations. 

What is Disaster Recovery?

This is the process, procedures and policies involved in the preparation for the continuation and recovery of technology systems, applications and infrastructure which an organization needs to operate after an outage or disaster. 

Disaster recovery is a subject of business continuity and focuses on technology or information systems including data recovery. As such, disaster recovery planning involves ensuring data is stored and backed up such that employees can access any plans, servers, mail, files and presentations when working from an off-site location.  

While data recovery does not guarantee business continuity, business continuity cannot be effective without disaster recovery. 

Similarities between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

  • Both involve the mitigation of risks involved in business operations

Differences between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Definition

Business continuity refers to the tactical and strategic capability of organizations and businesses to respond to disruptions that may occur in the course of business operations. On the other hand, disaster recovery refers to the process, procedures and policies involved in the preparation for the continuation and recovery of technology systems, applications and infrastructure which an organization needs to operate after an outage or disaster.

Business aspects

While business continuity focuses on all aspects of the business including employees, consumers, communication strategies, third party contacts and technology, disaster recovery focuses on technology or information systems including involves ensuring data is stored and backed up such that employees can access any plans, servers, mail, files and presentations when working from an off-site location.  

Examples of risks considered

Examples of risks considered in a business continuity plan include employees, consumers, communication strategies, third party contacts, natural disasters and technology. On the other hand, examples of risks considered in a disaster recovery plan include the disruption of technology systems, applications and infrastructure.

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

Summary of Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

Business continuity refers to the tactical and strategic capability of organizations and businesses to respond to disruptions that may occur in the course of business operations. It focuses on all aspects of the business including employees, consumers, communication strategies, third party contacts and technology.

On the other hand, disaster recovery refers to the process, procedures and policies involved in the preparation for the continuation and recovery of technology systems, applications and infrastructure which an organization needs to operate after an outage or disaster. focuses on technology or information systems including involves ensuring data is stored and backed up such that employees can access any plans, servers, mail, files and presentations when working from an off-site location.

Despite the differences, business continuity cannot be effective without disaster recovery. Businesses should, therefore, employ both strategies for smooth business operations and a faster recovery in case of a disruption. 

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References :


[0]Michelle Sollicito. Business Survival: A Guide to Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery. Michelle Sollicito, 2002.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=DEunCAAAQBAJ&dq=Difference+between+business+continuity+and+disaster+recovery&source=gbs_navlinks_s

[1]Susan Snedaker. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning for IT Professionals. Newnes Publishers, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=vT8TAAAAQBAJ&dq=Difference+between+business+continuity+and+disaster+recovery&source=gbs_navlinks_s

[2]EC-Council. Disaster Recovery. Cengage Learning Publishers, 2010. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=yRsIAAAAQBAJ&dq=Difference+between+business+continuity+and+disaster+recovery&source=gbs_navlinks_s

[3]Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BCPLifecycle.gif

[4]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/1177/1484495808_95aa6cc94e_b.jpg

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