Business Continuity or Disaster Preparedness Planning?
A “hot” term, disaster recovery is wrought with misperceptions which could, in part, explain why 73% of companies today are unprepared for a disaster. The terms disaster recovery and business continuity often are used interchangeably. Generally, both refer to a predefined strategy for how a company responds to and continues to operate after a disruptive event until normalcy is restored. But disaster recovery is just one part of a complete business continuity plan.
The key is translating IT concerns for maintaining mission-critical business services into familiar terms:
Cause and Effect
Just as these impacts of IT-related disasters are a matter of perspective, so too are the IT-related disasters themselves. A disruptive event can be anything from a power failure to an act of terrorism. A system crash can have a similar devastating impact on a brokerage firm as a fire does on a retail shop. The causes of outages and data loss, though, may surprise you. The larger causes are software/network failures (54%) and human error (41%) – the latter of which can range from accidentally issuing the wrong command (read how Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted) or a lack of system maintenance to purposeful, malicious actions by disgruntled employees or cybercriminals.
The Bottom Line
Whether you call it disaster recovery or business continuity, the underlying point is preparedness. Not to be alarmist, but “nothing less than the survival of your company is at stake.” Buy-in is critical, so be sure to choose your words carefully. For implementation of your plan, the cloud and virtualization offer viable and cost-effective DR alternatives to consider if you don’t have the skills, space, or equipment onsite. And, as the DRP Council reminds us, disaster preparedness is an ongoing activity that includes the critical step of testing your plan to make sure it actually works – before a disruption occurs. Ready to upgrade your data backup strategy? Reach out for a free consultation.