Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning Isn’t the Same Thing

In IT circles, some executives use Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) interchangeably. They aren’t the same thing.

What is Disaster Recovery?

DR plans help you resume business after a disruptive event like an earthquake, a tornado, a fire, or any other catastrophic event. It might even include getting back online after a networking glitch or massive security breach.

What is Business Continuity?

BC means IT management must develop a more comprehensive approach to maintaining business operations on a day-to-day basis in case of a serious disaster or a series of small business or technological disruptions. These small events could include new partnerships, the addition or departure of key management or staff, supply chain management issues or and price/tax policy changes that impact sales and inventory management. BC is not implemented at the time of a disaster. Rather, BC should be put in place in advance of a disaster or disruptions.

Common ground

What all BC/DR plans have in common is communications. Specifically how the company communicates internally with management and staff, and how they communicate with customers, providers, suppliers and the public.


With issues of BC/DR, information technology can focus on systems recovery, role swapping data, and attention towards a return to business operations. Maxava has been helping clients around the world understand the critical differences and commonalities between DR and BC plans.  These plans can’t be developed in isolation but must have a degree of integration and constant communication. Maxava advises test runs of both plans and measuring results of what worked and what needs improvement.


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