What is IT Disaster Recovery?
IT disaster recovery ensures that if your business loses access to data critical to its operations, the data access can be successfully restored to a pre-disaster state.
What is IT Business Continuity?
Business continuity (BC) is keeping a business running when a disaster occurs, by defining the business backup location, communication and critical processes.
The ideal is that if the IT network goes down, customers never know, because business operations are immediately switched to a backup server that can handle the workload. Once the systems are completely recovered onsite, the business process servers take over again without a hitch. But a solution this seamless can be costly, and each organization must define its own goals for:
- A recovery point objective(RPO): the amount of acceptable data loss, or between backups, since data is restored to the last backup point;
- A recovery time objective (RTO), or the length of time to recover business-critical processes;
- The technologies to be used to achieve these objectives.
Balancing Disaster Recovery vs Business Continuity
The more Internet-dependent and/or regulated by industry reporting policies your business is, the more impact an IT disaster can have. ESG research found that over half (53%) of companies they surveyed can tolerate only one hour or less of downtime for critical applications before their business suffers adverse effects1 .
This is why disaster recovery (DR) is critical to business continuity (BC). A BC/DR plan specifies specific steps to recovering as quickly as possible from a disruption in the IT network. With proper IT disaster recovery planning, business continuity can be maintained if a machine or application fails.