March 11th, 2021

You can have a disaster recovery plan without a business continuity plan, but you can’t have a business continuity plan without a disaster recovery plan.

Did you think business continuity and disaster recovery were the same thing? You aren’t the only one. In light of a global pandemic, the topic of business continuity vs. disaster recovery has gained momentum. That’s because businesses everywhere are looking to minimize risk and protect themselves from disruption. In turn, they’re preparing for anything and everything that might come their way. Many have recognized that in order to succeed at this, business continuity and disaster recovery go hand in hand, as does moving to the cloud.

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

To clarify, just because you can have a disaster recovery plan without a business continuity plan, that doesn’t mean you should. When it comes to business continuity vs. disaster recovery, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. However, it’s important to understand that a disaster recovery plan can only ever be a subset of your business continuity plan. Therefore, you can’t have a business continuity plan without a disaster recovery plan. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t be a very good plan.

The main purpose of a disaster recovery plan is data protection in the case of—you guessed it—a disaster. This primarily involves backups (preferably in the cloud) and system restoration, as well as the personnel responsible for assuming necessary tasks. In many cases, business continuity is the result of a properly executed disaster recovery plan. Other times, business continuity has nothing to do with disaster recovery.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

If we look back at the past year, many businesses were faced with new challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation was (and often still is) a total nightmare, but for the most part, it has nothing to do with disaster recovery and everything to do with business continuity.

As mentioned above, business continuity is the outcome of a well-executed disaster recovery plan, but the onset of the pandemic wasn’t a disaster per se. Limited capabilities outside of the workplace coupled with a drastic shift in consumer demand and all of the other unfortunate run-ins that a business may have encountered could not have been solved with a disaster recovery plan in most cases. No matter how challenging it may have been to access certain data, the data wasn’t lost. It didn’t need to be recovered.

In situations like these, you need a business continuity plan. However, just as the pandemic couldn’t have been predicted, neither can a true disaster scenario. Preparation is key. That’s why business continuity and disaster recovery go hand in hand. A comprehensive business continuity plan doesn’t just offer protection against a few unexpected bumps in the road, it ensures that nothing will stand in the way of doing business as usual.

A Modern Disaster Recovery Plan

Years ago, disaster recovery was mainly associated with natural disasters and the resulting physical damage. A good disaster recovery plan involved making copies of important documents and locking them up in a storage unit far away from the office. Today, floods, earthquakes, and the like are still of concern when it comes to protecting assets. However, these natural disasters are no longer the driving force behind implementing a disaster recovery plan as part of a broader business continuity plan.

In our digital world, there’s a much higher chance that something else will initiate a disaster situation. Infrastructure failure, system hacks, malware (malicious software), and even something as simple as an installation gone wrong—all of these disaster instances occur every single day. Realistically speaking, it’s not a disaster recovery plan if there’s not a well-thought-out data restoration solution for every business critical system in use across your organization. This is nearly impossible without the help of the cloud, which is why a modern disaster recovery plan forgoes a heavy reliance on on-premise infrastructure.

Disaster Recovery Services

Disaster recovery services are nothing new, but that’s because it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. In other words, it always takes a certain event to trigger a eureka effect, or that “aha!” moment. This year, the pandemic has made business continuity a top priority. Disaster recovery quickly became the next big topic, putting cloud-based disaster recovery services in high demand.  

Historically, businesses have always relied on data. The difference between then and now is that we rely on a lot more data and we store it differently. Whether on laptops or flash drives or servers or in the cloud or any combination of the aforementioned locations, our data is stored in a virtual environment as opposed to filing cabinets.

Our new data storage method takes up much less space, but it opens us up to an entirely new set of vulnerabilities. This is especially true considering we use a lot more systems than we have in the past. Disaster recovery services guarantee data protection for individual systems and ensure minimal downtime when a bad situation inevitably occurs.

Protect Your Data

From accessing and transferring data, to analyzing, storing, and most of all using data—we live in a digital world and data is at the core. Considering data is completely interlaced with virtually all business processes, businesses know that it’s no longer an option to have the mindset that Mayhem won’t eventually come knocking—we’ve all learned to stop being so naïve.

Disaster recovery services ensure that your data will be there when you need it, and they are often vendor supported. When it comes to supply chain data and everything at stake if some or all of that information is lost, disaster recovery services are not so much a nice-to-have but rather an absolute must.  

TIE Kinetix has recently introduced a new Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) that continuously replicates all business critical data in real time and in two separate cloud locations. As far as disaster recovery plans go, it’s a surefire safety net for you EDI system—business continuity in under five minutes.