The unfortunate reality of business is that nothing is guaranteed. Even if a company does everything right, an unexpected variable can throw everything off course and cause untold hours of downtime. Even being offline in some capacity for just a minute can result in lost business, and every moment that downtime is occurring can be another step toward closing for good. This is why companies put business continuity and disaster recovery strategies in place.
But what is the difference between these two things? Some people use the terms interchangeably, which can be confusing for those still trying to understand. While they sound similar, business continuity and disaster recovery are actually two very different things. Making sure that an organization has plans in place for both of them is important should an emergency arise.
Disaster recovery = emergency preparedness
What would you do if an office network suddenly went down, or a tornado swept through the building and destroyed the workspace? Nobody is able to anticipate when these things happen, but that doesn't mean the possibility shouldn't be acknowledged. This is the school of thought behind disaster recovery planning.
The key to a successful disaster recovery strategy is not being able to predict an event. Rather, it's important to take a more general look at what can happen to essential systems. Water damage, electrical disruption and even destruction of onsite back-ups are all possibilities that have to be accounted for. Part of the process involves testing systems to see if they hold up under stress. According to TechTarget contributor Andrew Reichman, "there is no substitute for testing."
Business continuity = operational preparedness
Downtime is one of the most detrimental things that can happen to a business. While it's important to plan for the long-term, what will occur in the interim is another strategy entirely. Things have to continue as normally as possible until permanent solutions are able to be implemented. According to Continuity Central, business continuity is still expected to be an issue for organizations throughout 2015 - and much of this has to with budget restrictions. Companies have to start investing more into these strategies if they hope to compete effectively.
It is important for companies of all kinds to make sure that they have both disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place before a problem arises. Pinnacle, an Advanced Imaging Solutions Company, is able to provide the kind of managed IT services that organizations should invest in so they may ensure their longevity.