There is a relationship between Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC). In fact, there is some potential overlap between the two plans. But the functions of the plans are very distinct.

For a moment, instead of thinking about the complexities of a modern organization, let’s consider a car. Your car runs reliably and gets you where you need to go. Even has power windows to let Fido enjoy the summer air. But one day, on the way to the dog park, the car sputters to a stop. There is gas in the tank. The battery is working. Everything was working just a moment ago. But now the car won’t run. The car will not get Fido to the dog park. He is not happy.

In the DR/BC world, we need to activate both plans. The first plan to be activated is the DR plan. The disaster? The car won’t run. The plan? Get the car fixed. You may call roadside assistance, a tow truck or your mechanic. It depends on where you are and the circumstance.

The next plan to be implemented is the BC plan. Fido still needs to get to the dog park. The BC plan? Public transportation, walk, ride share, get a ride from a friend, or rent a car if your car will be in the shop for an extended period.

See the difference? Repairing what is broken is the function of Disaster Recovery. Business Continuity guides how you will continue to function during and immediately after implementation of the disaster recovery plan.

If we project this to the business world, a fire in your building may shut down your on premises IT systems and displace your employees for an extended period of time.

A well designed DR plan will allow you to execute a rapid recovery from the fire. It will contain the information required to restore your IT systems, clean up after the fire, and repair the building. It will contain information about how to work with fire investigators and your insurance company. The plan will designate resources and responsibilities. It will designate the prioritization of the repairs to focus on the most impactful items first.

Your BC plan will provide the details related to continuing to operate your business while the repairs are taking place. It might contain paper forms for taking and shipping orders. It will include a communication plan for contacting employees, customers, and vendors. The plan may include an alternate warehouse location or shipping methods. The plan will include the steps for entering the manually tracked transactions into the appropriate IT systems once restored. A well designed BC plan keeps the business running, despite the disaster.

Please indulge one more metaphor, a broken leg. Disaster Recovery is the cast. Business Continuity is the crutch.

We hope this helps. Presilient Group can help you build DR and BC plans and help you put a program in place to keep them up to date.