The terms “disaster recovery planning” and “business continuity planning” are often used interchangeably when referring to the protection of business assets and processes. But both have key distinctions that, when fully understood, help you ensure your business can withstand a major interruption or catastrophe. Here we highlight the differences between disaster recovery and business continuity.
Business Continuity Planning
Business continuity planning is the process of documenting a broad policy that outlines the procedures an entire organization should follow during and after a business disruption. A business continuity plan is like a comprehensive set of written instructions designed to help a business function during disruptive events that may range from a localized power outage to a widespread, regional, natural disaster. It may include—but isn’t limited to:
- Key contact information
- Employee communication instructions
- Staff roles and designations
- Facility evacuation procedures
- Designation of alternate work locations
A business continuity plan defines exactly what needs to be done to keep all facets of an organization running during a disaster.
Disaster Recovery Planning
Since it’s impossible for a business to operate efficiently without access to its documents and data, a disaster recovery plan focuses on the protection and recovery of information assets. The most effective disaster recovery plans incorporate a professional solution for storing vital business documents off-site in a commercial records centre for protection from a wide range of disasters like:
Provisions are also made for the protection and preservation of electronic information and digital devices so data can quickly restored to minimize downtime and loss of revenue. An optimal off-site data recovery solution involves storing copies of backup data offsite in a media vault so it can be retrieved at a moment’s notice and safely delivered to a designated hot site during a catastrophic event.
Customizing a Plan for Your Business
There’s no one-size-fits-all disaster recovery or business continuity plan. Yours should take into consideration the risks and threats specific to your business and its geographic location. For example, if your office is located in a flood-plain, your disaster recovery plan should include water damage remediation procedures. Similarly, provisions for addressing man-made and environmental catastrophes should be considered. Make sure you maintain an accurate inventory of your vital business records and backup data. And most importantly, test each plan on a regular basis to make sure it works.
Disaster recovery and business continuity planning each have unique aspects and considerations. Understanding the specifics of each one is essential for protecting your business.
FileBank Records Centre offers information management solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information about our services, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.