When the unexpected happens, business needs to adapt and overcome quickly to prevent a reduction of productivity, reputation damage and financial loss. That’s where business continuity and disaster recovery planning comes in. It is something every business, regardless of size should undertake. Yet few actually do.
What would happen to your daily operations if your server room flooded? What if your building caught fire or the power went out? What if you were hacked overnight and your databases were gone when you arrived first thing in the morning?
Nobody likes to think about what could happen. We don’t like highlighting threats or concentrating on negatives like this. However, it’s our job to ensure you can do your job and protecting you from disaster comes with the territory.
Business continuity and disaster recovery are different things. Business continuity is a high level proactive process by which a business identifies and mitigates against as many negative circumstances as possible. This can be everything from backing everything up to the cloud to maintaining a second emergency location for staff.
Disaster recovery is mainly based around IT. It concentrates on how a company can recover access to systems, software and databases after an event. It is more detail oriented and technical than the high level view of business continuity.
The two are not mutually exclusive. A good business continuity plan has DR elements within it. Very few businesses can cope without their IT, so disaster recovery is often viewed as a subset of business continuity.
Business continuity and disaster recovery planning
There are a multitude of threats a business may face and you have to be ready for all of them. A robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan should include how employees will remain productive, where they will work, how they will access the systems, how you will coordinate everything and how you will ensure business continues.
The details will obviously differ depending on your industry, but the intent is the same.
Now all this talk about business continuity and disaster recovery planning sounds expensive right? Not so. It does require an investment of time to effectively plan. It also requires continue investment of that time to regularly revisit those plans as your business evolves. Yes there may be financial investments to be made, but they won’t be as expensive as you might think.
For example, an effective business continuity and disaster recovery plan can include moving essential productivity platforms to the cloud so employees can work from home