When performing business continuity consulting we are asked often about the relationship of it and Disaster Recovery. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR or BC/DR) are closely related practices that describe and define an organisation’s preparation for unforeseen risks to continued business operations. The trend of combining business continuity and disaster recovery into a single term has resulted from a growing recognition that both business executives and technology executives need to be collaborating closely instead of developing plans in isolation. These plans often overlap and require the technical and commercial executives to collaborate and create a single, company wide plan that can be easily executed if a disaster strikes.
In general, disaster recovery refers to specific steps taken to resume operations in the aftermath of a catastrophic natural disaster, national emergency or event that has lead to the business being unable to continue day to day operations as it typically does. In information technology, such steps may include restoring servers or mainframes with backups, re-establishing private branch exchanges (PBX), or provisioning local area networks (LANs) to meet immediate business needs.
Business continuity describes the processes and procedures an organisation must put in place to ensure that mission-critical functions can continue during and after a disaster. In this sense, the concept is interchangeable with a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). Business continuity, however, also addresses more comprehensive planning that focuses on long-term or chronic challenges to organisational success. Potential business continuity problems may include the illness or departure of key team members, supply chain breakdowns, catastrophic failures or critical malware infections.
As you can see, business continuity consulting and disaster recovery very much go hand in hand, however, have their own needs and outputs.