In today’s unpredictable world we are seeing more and more high profile disasters and other organisational challenges. It is vital nowadays that you not only have a back up plan for your data and computer systems, but also your people and critical processes. Who needs what? where? and when? are all vital questions that need to be answered incredibly quickly after any incident if you want to minimise the impact on your bottom line.

An increased scrutiny from the global media and social networking platforms also means that it doesn’t matter how well you plan to deal with a business interruption, if you are unable to control the story and ensure a positive message is sent to onlookers, all your hard work may well just be in vein.

It is therefore vital that you have reviewed your business and planned your recovery steps before any disaster hits. This will not only save you time and money in recovery but also ensure that your customers and stakeholders see a timely and effective recovery which should only act to strengthen your reputation and market share in the long run.

Why Plan?

It has been estimated that the costs of a recovery from a disastrous event may be in the vicinity of 15 times greater when there is no pre-set recovery strategy or plan in place. Research has shown that an organisation stands to lose up to 60% of its productivity within just a few days following a major disaster, often making it uncompetitive in the long run. To make matters worse, experience has shown that insurance usually covers only 30-50% of all losses in a disaster.

It takes fifteen times the amount of money to recover from a disaster than it would have taken to carry on with a properly executed recovery plan.
— US, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery

When people start on the journey to develop recovery plans to deal with a major event they are usually confronted by lots of confusing jargon. Two different terms in particular are often used during the process - Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR). These terms can often be confused and crossed over but to mean the same thing but it is generally accepted in the industry that they represent two different parts of the recovery planning activities. It is therefore important that an organisation clearly understands this difference and what sort of planning each activity will require.

BC Planning is best described as the processes and procedures that are carried out by an organisation to ensure that essential business functions continue to operate during and after a disaster. By having a BC Plan (BCP), organisations seek to protect their mission critical services and give themselves their best chance of survival. Within part of the business continuity process an organisation will often develop one or a series of DR Plans (DRP’s). These are more technical plans that are developed for specific groups within an organisation to allow them to recover a particular business application. The most well known example of a DRP is the Information Technology (IT) DRP

The Process

Business Continuity processes implemented by Standby are developed in line with internationally recognised standards such as the ISO 22301 and BS1200 standards. Our work also correlates with accepted best practice activities such as those developed the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII) and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). As BC professionals we are constantly monitoring these set standards and aligning our procedures to them.

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