Business Continuity VS Disaster Recovery
Do you know how much an hour of downtime costs your business?
Most business owners don’t.
Studies show that for small to mid-sized businesses, an hour of downtime averages around $12,500 per hour.
Now, for most non-IT gurus, 99.99% uptime sounds like a pretty good deal, but over the course of a year, that 0.01% equals almost nine hours of downtown or $109,500 a year in costs.
This is where business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans come into play.
But wait – aren’t they the same?
No, but they are closely related practices that work together to ensure that your business operates even in the midst of a disaster.
Disaster recovery is the technical side of things.
Disaster recovery plans refer to specific steps the business must take to resume technical operations, retrieve and replace lost data, and generally restart normal working processes as fast as possible after a failure. Disaster recovery plans cover the technical aspects of business operations – servers, cloud hosting, programs, computers, Internet, etc.
These plans will likely instruct team members for how to initiate failovers, restore backups, or provision local area networks (LANs) to handle immediate business needs while the problem is located and fixed. These technical processes can be interrupted by small things like an unexpected software update or big things like a natural disaster. Unfortunately, 80% of small to mid-sized businesses rely on tape backups as their disaster recovery plan, which does help these organisations to get their services back up and running – only to recover their data eventually.
Macquarie Cloud Services offers zero-downtime hosting along with an easy-to-use disaster recovery plan powered by our partner, Zerto. If you’re looking for more information about disaster recovery plans in virtual environments, please check out our (free) white paper here.
Business continuity is everything.
Business continuity, on the other hand, is the ability to maintain business operations in the event of a disaster, failure, or interruption. Business continuity plans are broader than disaster recovery plans in that they should cover the entire business as a whole. Business continuity plans should not only encompass disaster recovery, but also ask questions like, “What happens when the CEO leaves the organisation?”
In addition to IT, these plans should encompass longer-term problems like knowledge loss from departure of key team members, illness, breakdowns in the supply chain, catastrophic failures, natural disaster, destruction of the business premises, and more. This plan will essentially try to ensure that no matter what happens, the business can continue on in the same manner without disruption.
Creating a business continuity plan is critical before a disaster strikes.
The problem is that since disaster could strike in myriad of different ways, a business continuity plan is going to be broad and complex, which takes time and attention to detail. Business continuity plans usually include these steps:
- Project initiation,
- Risk assessment,
- Business impact analysis,
- Strategy development,
- Plan development,
- Plan exercising and maintenance,
- Emergency communications,
- Awareness and training,
- And finally, coordination with public authorities.
85% of Australian businesses do not have a business continuity plan in place.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s okay. Macquarie Cloud Services can help. Read our blog post on building a business continuity plan for your organisation.
Ready to protect your business?
Just call us on 1 800 004 943 or submit an online enquiry. We’re here to help.