How is a business continuity plan different from a disaster recovery plan? A business continuity plan is a big-picture plan of action that includes processes and procedures for returning your business to full strength after a disaster. A disaster recovery plan is one piece of those business continuity processes, and it focuses on getting the most critical pieces of your network infrastructure up and running after the disaster occurs. Disaster recovery (DR) focuses on short-term recovery solutions that help achieve the main goal of business continuity (BC): restoring your business’s full operational capabilities as quickly as possible.
Business Continuity Steps
Prioritizing Your Business Operations
When you begin devising your BC plan, you should first prioritize your business’s operations. Determine which are most critical for running your business, and which operations you can do without until the recovery is fully underway. Work those critical operations into your DR plan, and plan to suspend the less-critical operations until your business is beginning to recover. You can make a priority list and save it in a place where your business’s key stakeholders can access it so all the decision makers understand your BC operations priorities.
Consider Your Resources
Your resources support your most important functions and operations. For example, your network data backups are a resource for your business’s network services. Without network backup software, you’ll have no way of retrieving your network’s data, so you have little data protection. Make incremental backups of your server and your network as often as you can. When you consider your resources this way, you should come up with plans to keep them protected in the face of disaster, whether that means increasing security for your cloud storage or revamping your data center.
Other Business Continuity Factors
In addition to those two major factors, you should also consider and implement the following BC factors:
- Comply with federal disaster planning requirements for your industry.
- Identify key staff members and assign them tasks to perform when a disaster occurs.
- Focus on developing procedures that will restore your supply chain and handle customers’ orders during the recovery period.
- Develop processes and procedures for replacing damaged IT systems and equipment.
Where Your Disaster Recovery Plan Fits
Where does your DR plan fit into the larger business continuity process? Disaster recovery focuses on getting your most critical operations up and running as quickly as possible after a disaster happens. You should begin developing your disaster recovery plan after your prioritize your operations and identify your resources. You should also perform a business impact analysis to determine exactly how different disasters will impact your business. Then you should begin putting network disaster recovery policies in place so you can recover your IT systems. This is when data backup and recovery services become extremely important.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning for Your Calgary-Area Business
Pure IT offers disaster recovery and data protection services as part of our managed IT services. Whether you face a cyberattack or a natural disaster, we’ll work with you to develop disaster recovery and business continuity plans and processes so your business can return to full strength as quickly as possible. If you’re interested in these services or if you have any questions about them, contact us today.