Which Do You Need?: a Disaster Recovery Plan vs. a Business Continuity Plan

Which Do You Need?: a Disaster Recovery Plan vs. a Business Continuity Plan

The fact is that people often use the terms “business continuity plan” and “disaster recovery plan” interchangeably, which can cause some confusion between the two. While these two types of plans are similar in how they work, they actually offer two different approaches to dealing with a business issue. So, what is the difference between the two, and why does it matter? 

A business continuity plan—also referred to as a BCP—is a selection of steps put in place to ensure that should a disruptive event occur, the business is able to continue to operate. Whereas, a disaster recovery plan—also called a DRP—is more focused on the steps and key technology that can be used to recover from a disruptive event, and looks specifically at restoring lost data, managing infrastructure failures, and dealing with other technological components. 

An easy way to differentiate between the two is to think of them like this: a BCP is about how a business can continue operating with minimal disruption after a disaster or difficult event occurs. Whereas, a DRP tends to be more specific; it’s a plan that focuses on restoring key data and repairing damaged tech. 

To provide greater insight into each of these plan types, we have discussed them further below. 

How Do These Two Plans Overlap?

Both plan types—DRP and BCP—are designed to aid a business’s preparedness for dealing with a disaster or an unexpected situation, such as a serious hacking attack. It’s also important to be aware that these two plan types overlap because a fully comprehensive BCP will naturally have a DRP built into it as part of the strategy. 

A BCP is a broad plan designed to keep the business running as a whole in the event of an unexpected situation, whereas the DRP is a more niche plan that looks at one specific section of the business. 

What does a Business Continuity Plan include?

Your BCP should act as a general plan that manages each aspect of preparing for a disaster or unexpected event and allows your business to continue running despite that. What should be included in that? 

A prevention plan should be included that focuses on steps that can be taken to mitigate certain disasters occurring in the first place. There should also be processes in place that allow you to limit the impact of a disaster, should one occur. Finally, there should be protocols in place that allow you to quickly restore operations and limit downtime. 

What does a Disaster Recovery Plan include?

Think of your DRP as the response element of your BCP. It should encompass all of the procedures and protocols required to help your business’s technology and IT systems recover quickly after a disaster. 

You need to think about how you would gain access to lost data, how damaged hardware would be fixed, how technological failures could be dealt with, and how network outages could be managed. The best source for experience in these types of plans is a managed IT services in Texas in San Angelo which can help you construct your plan, or deal with these kinds of issues. 

That’s how both DRPs and BCPs work, but how can you determine which option is best for your business? The key is to think about which option would offer the highest level of support and best the best fit for your business’s needs.

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