Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Disaster Recovery - Is that the same as Business Continuity?

IT departments across the globe discuss Disaster Recovery all the time.  What happens when a system goes down, how fast can we get it back up and running, and how do we handle the data.

Technology - is that all we need to worry about?

The answer is no, there is a lot more.  What about the other aspects of recovering the business?  As of recent, it appears that Business Continuity Planning is getting the spotlight, especially since IT systems are getting more resilient and the ability for workers to access systems outside of the office is becoming commonplace – IT is no longer the biggest problem when it comes to planning for contingencies.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Planning

The way I approach Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning is to look closely at the following:
  •          People
  •          Process
  •          Data
  •          Technology
  •          Facility

As you can probably guess, “Data” and “Technology” are likely covered in the DR plan that the technical folks are writing, but what about the rest? Those are part of the Business Continuity Plan.

Typically, DR and Business Continuity typically fall on the shoulders of the IT department, which is not necessarily appropriate.  If we dissect the remaining categories from above, let’s look at why this is really a business problem:

  • People – What individuals are necessary to keep the business running?  This isn’t referring to the technical staff that keeps the systems up and running, it has to do with the folks actually doing the work to process payroll, input payables, service the customers, etc.
  • Process – What are the employees going to do? Do they know how to do their job when operating remotely? Or with limited resources?
  • Facility – Where are our employees going to go?  Can you fit all the employees required to perform a job function at the location you picked out?  Do you have a location picked out??  Can people work from home?

This is just a little insight on how I approach Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning.

<as published on LinkedIn>