The disciplines of business continuity and disaster recovery are instrumental in helping a company survive, recover or even thrive after catastrophes such as natural disasters, pandemics, wildfires and cyberattacks. Both practices are proactive strategies that help a business minimize the effects of cataclysmic events by planning ahead.
While a disaster recovery plan is more oriented towards technical recovery, a business continuity plan is all about how to keep an organization operational before, during and immediately after a disaster. In other words, a business continuity plan is an organizational playbook that details the specific steps that need to be taken, by whom and in what order to keep essential business functions running.
A business continuity plan also outlines what needs to happen should a disaster occur, including the location of backup sites for data and supplies, emergency contact information and detailed plans for the chain of command that will distribute responsibilities during or after a disaster. In addition, the business continuity plan identifies critical supplies and equipment as well as what would need to be done to restore these vital components.
To build a strong business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan, organizations can turn to a variety of resources, including standards, tools ranging from templates to software products and advisory services. Specialized BCDR software, sometimes called BIA or BCM, can help a company build a plan and also provide situation assessment, risk assessment and resource allocation guidelines. Vendors that offer specialized BCDR software include Castellan Solutions, Continuity Logic, Dell Technologies, eBRP Solutions Network and Fusion Risk Management.