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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

BCDR stands for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solutions which are the practices that businesses must implement to tackle unforeseen risks and keep their operations running smoothly. The main reason why disaster recovery and business continuity solutions need to go hand in hand is simply because there is a need for closer collaboration amongst technology and business personnel. When these plans are devised and implemented in isolation, they never work. At the same time, business continuity and disaster recovery is not one and the same thing.

How are business continuity and disaster recovery distinct?

While business continuity is proactive, disaster recovery is more reactive. When you are thinking of business continuity, you will consider processes which a business can deploy to make sure that its mission-critical data and operations are not affected because of a disaster. So, business continuity will focus on planning for long term challenges. Disaster recovery on the other hand, will include specific measures which businesses take to resume their functions following a disaster. So DR will typically occur after a disaster has already taken place. Response times may take up to several days on certain occasions. While BC will focus on the enterprise mainly, DR will focus on the technical infrastructure. So, disaster recovery is basically a part of the BC process. It is performed to ensure that data remains accessible even after a disaster. But business continuity solutions will also take into account risks and plans which a business must implement to sustain itself during the crisis.

How are business continuity and disaster recovery similar to one another?

Although both BC and DR are not synonymous, there is indeed some likeness between these two types of solutions. Both these solutions will take into account events which have not yet occurred, whether it is due to calamities, human errors or cyber crimes. The main purpose of BCDR is to ensure that the business continues to run as it did before. So, in most organizations, it is very often the same team members which look after both the disaster recovery and business continuity initiatives.

Why is the BCDR important for any business to survive?

With the gradual increase in the numbers of cyber crimes and frequency of downtimes, it has become very important to deploy BCDR solutions. With BCDR solutions a buisness can easily resume its operations even after a crisis. It can also cut down risks of data loss or damage and damage of business reputation. It can also prevent the occurrence of similar emergency situations in the future and help to cut down on business expenses.

  • To begin with, BCDR experts will help businesses and their workers achieve resiliency. Creating a BCDR plan is not an easy task; it will involve a lot of research and analysis. The experts will need to carry out a BIA or Business Impact Analysis, risk analysis and accordingly draft BCDR strategies and tests.
  • Once the experts have made the BCDR plans, you can access information about the employee contact lists, vendor lists and emergency contact lists, equipment lists, instructions to carry out the tests and technical images of networks and important systems.
  • The Business Impact Analysis is very useful because data contained in these plans will help them identify scope for process improvements. Plans will offer alternate sources of documents, key contact information, and they work as reference documents to be used for product planning processes and product designing purposes.

What the BCDR plans should ideally provide

These plans must have key contact lists of both the stakeholders and workers and also an account of processes which can help a business react to a specific crisis situation. The plan will have a step-by-step guide, a review schedule and schedules for tests and updates. Likewise, a DR plan will include a summary of the important action steps, contact details, responsibilities for DR team personnel, guidelines on using the plan, goals of the plan, recovery steps, geographical risks and authentication tools, plan history etc.

The BCDR plan is a rather important step for dealing with a disaster because its sets up the base for the whole process. The plan formulation starts by getting together all the BCDR members to do a risk analysis and Business Impact Analysis. Here, the most critical aspects of organization are highlighted and steps to resume these are debated upon. Some of these processes will involve only a few selected people; however, everyone must know the plan because they will all have a part to play in the process some time or the other. The plan is then tested to make sure everyone is involved in BCDR solutions.

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