Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are just as important as marketing or business plans for the success of your company. Despite their importance, many use the two terms interchangeably, confusing one for the other or thinking that just because they have one they don't need the other. Making this mistake can have drastic consequences and leave your company at risk.
In general, disaster recovery comes into play before and during an event while business continuity comes after . Here are some specifics:
Disaster recovery planning offers procedures for you and your employees to follow during and immediately following an incident. These can include exit procedures, communication instructions, access to emergency supplies and other steps to begin recovery.They also cover preventative actions that can be taken prior to disasters, like the implementation of fire suppression systems, to help mitigate the potential impact of these events.
Business continuity plans pickup right where disaster recovery plans end. They outline how businesses will continue operations after a disaster. From maintaining infrastructure to setting up alternative supply lines, they help minimize downtime to reduce losses to your company. They can also cover smaller, less disastrous occurrences, like power outages.
These two plans are interdependent, so much so that they can often be developed simultaneously to ensure cohesiveness across all planning avenues, but they each have clearly defined goals and strategies.
Just like with other business plans, these two plans require periodic review and revision. As your businesses evolves, so should these plans. Reviews on each should be done at the same time to ensure consistency.
For help with your business continuity and disaster recovery planning, consider hiring business continuity consultants.