The terms “business continuity” and “disaster recovery” are tossed around a lot in the business world, and they’re often used interchangeably. However, while these two terms have some overlap in their meanings, they’re not exactly the same thing. The truth is that businesses should have both a disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan. But what are the main differences that exist between these two terms, and what do these types of plans entail? Keep reading to learn more from our top managed service providers in Orlando.

What Is a Business Continuity Plan?

The primary purpose of a business continuity plan is to help keep critical business functions running during a disaster or other disruption in your business’s normal operations. Your business continuity plan requires advanced preparation and planning to ensure that you can operate the core functions of your business under emergency or disaster circumstances. This includes everything from data breaches to natural disasters and can help to limit the negative impact of that event on your business’s services—and, therefore, your bottom line.

A business continuity plan includes information and instructions to help guide your employees through the chaos of these events. It helps them understand how to communicate with customers and vendors and how to continue serving customers as much as possible with workaround processes.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan focuses on restoring key business processes as quickly as possible after a disaster occurs to minimize downtime of operations. These plans include recovering lost data, relocating any necessary functions or services, best practices for recovery, and an anticipated timeline for recovering each process. Essentially, a disaster recovery plan is your business’s outline for how to get back to normal after a disaster.

What Are Their Differences?

As you can see, both business continuity and disaster recovery plans have a similar purpose: keeping your business up and running in the wake of a disaster. However, a business continuity plan focuses on maintaining core processes up and running immediately. In contrast, a disaster recovery plan aims to get you back to full operations as soon as possible. With these differences in mind, you can see why having both business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place are essential to helping your company recover from a disaster.

While a business continuity plan will allow you to continue to operate on a “skeleton crew” basis immediately after a disaster, your disaster recovery plan helps you get the full scale of your business operational again more quickly. Lacking either of these plans can cause your business to struggle in the wake of a data breach, natural disaster, or other major disruption to your normal business operations.

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The Role of IT in Both Plans

Technology plays a central role in both of these types of plans due to modern businesses’ reliance on hardware, software, and virtual networks. Because most business data is stored virtually, data recovery is always a key element of both disaster recovery and business continuity plans. IT also plays a role in relocating services when necessary by establishing VPNs and proper equipment for remote workers. Restoring damaged equipment is also a key role for IT support to play in the wake of a disaster.

Ultimately, technology is going to be a main focus and concern when addressing both of these types of plans. If you need guidance and support to ensure that your disaster recovery and business continuity plans are addressing all of your IT needs, contact Millennium Technology Group to get support from our MSP for small business in Orlando, FL.