Why Business Continuity is About More than Disaster Recovery

Written by Chad Robbins
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Disaster recovery is an important component of business continuity, but it is not synonymous with business continuity.

Disaster recovery is a frequently used phrase when companies think about the importance of protection of critical corporate assets. However, all too often, disaster recovery and business continuity are used interchangeably.

As seen in the recent post, Achieving Resilience with an Integrated Risk Management Solution, business continuity is a complex series of analyses, plans, and practices that guide companies through the identification and prevention of threats. It also includes the responses companies develop when those threats materialize. Additionally, business continuity at its best involves growing the resilience of an organization over time.

Disaster recovery as a subset of the broader business continuity management is a key step for companies planning to invest in these areas. Here is why business continuity is about more than disaster recovery.  

Disaster Recovery Defined

Disaster recovery refers to the ability of an organization to restore applications and data in case infrastructure is damaged or destroyed. These structural elements include servers, data centers, and other technologies critical to business operations.

Given the demands of today’s customers and consumers, the speed at which this recovery occurs is an important factor in assessing the strength of a disaster recovery plan.

While natural disasters are a common risk associated with disaster recovery, there are other risks associated with the notion. Physical damage, cyber attacks, and equipment failure are all other considerations that go into the issue of disaster recovery.

IT disasters can vary in scope and impact, from the minor loss of a data set to extensive damage or lack of access to a complete data center.

This is why many companies invest in cloud computing solutions that provide for physical and cyber security, the use of redundant data backups in multiple locations (and varied geographical locations in case of a natural disaster), and tools that monitor system performance.


Cloud infrastructure

Business continuity solutions provide enterprise-wide approaches to identifying and addressing risks.

Business Continuity Differences

Business continuity is a different, broader approach to recoverability. Continuity plans instead take a holistic approach, by examining a broad array of enterprise components. While data is a key consideration, business continuity also looks at the people, buildings, operations, functionality, communications, and finances.

Business continuity planning begins with comprehensive risk analysis that identifies potential threats across the total enterprise. Each threat is defined and evaluated for its potential impacts (both positive and negative) on the organization.

Once risks are articulated, business continuity planning creates the right plans to prevent or minimize each risk and prioritizes the implementation of those preventative measures.

Business continuity looks at big-picture impacts of those risks, assessing what needs to be done to ensure that businesses can continue to be operational – not just from a data perspective. Continuity work also considers the impact of risks on customer and consumer confidence, financial impacts, and the relationships with vendors and suppliers that are necessary to maintain operations.

Disaster recovery is an important part of those solutions, coming about as a consequence of risks related to data access, security, and usability. For companies seeking an enterprise-wide approach to business stability, investing in a business continuity solution – which will factor in the role of disaster recovery – is key.

Continuity Logic helps companies assess threats and develop plans to address them. Book a demo to learn more about our solutions that enable your organization to move towards resilience maturity.