Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity

What’s the difference?


Understanding the Acronyms

It’s common to see acronyms represent both disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC). These terms, when used together as DR/BC, might suggest they are synonymous. But don’t be fooled: their meanings are not the same.

People use the term DR/BC not because DR and BC share a common definition, but because they share a common goal of continued business operations. In fact, DR just a smaller portion of BC.

Always-On Business

“Both approaches are key to business continuity. The first priority of a business continuity plan is to *avoid* disaster.”

—Matt Sprauge: Manager of Infrastructure Services, CDI Managed Services

The Purpose of Disaster Recovery

The purpose of a DR plan is to recover your hardware, software and apps after a disaster. A BC plan, on the other hand, involves your finances, your personnel, your emergency plans and everything else that is a necessity to keep going and serving customers.

“With so many businesses being IT driven, often times business continuity cannot happen without IT having a solid DR plan. The biggest gap we run across is getting the business’ workforce access again. Many IT departments are prepared to recover servers and networks, but have not considered how to communicate and re-enable the staff to resume work.”

—Dustin Bolander: Chief Information Officer, Technology Pointe

For this reason, it’s best to have both DR and BC to achieve a fully functioning business. DR gives a specialized focus on the technology aspects of always-on business, while BC focuses on the broader aspects of staying available to engage customers and generate revenue. In simple terms, BC maintains overall responsibilities while a DR plan is being executed. Together, they keep business running smoothly and consistently.

What Success Depends Upon

 Quite simply, the success of your business depends heavily on both DR and BC plans working in conjunction. Most of today’s network outages don’t occur because of weather-related incidents, but because of human error. It’s crucial that companies plan for the full gamut of events that could likely, and unlikely, impact their operations. For example, a structurally-fortified datacenter might guard against damage during a tornado, but it does nothing to prevent a cyber intrusion without virtual protection as well.

“DR is a key component of Business Continuity. There are other elements, like succession planning, but none more important. Many ‘disasters’ are internal and caused by employees. They happen more frequently and can be just as severe in their effect on the business as natural disasters.”

—Carl Mazzanti: Founder and CEO, eMazzanti Technologies

InterVision named “Visionary” in Gartner Magic Quadrant, Disaster Recovery as a Service

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is widely recognized as one of the most influential benchmarks for IT leaders seeking to evaluate new solutions and vendors. We are proud to be named recognized in this essential report.

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