4 Differences Between Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery That Law Firms Need to Understand
November 15, 2016
According to a study from a few years ago, 43 percent of businesses that experienced a significant loss of business data never reopened. Fifty-one percent of those businesses are defunct within two years, and a scant 6 percent will survive for the long
term. Those odds don’t sound good, but what if we told you that we know exactly how your business can be among the six percent instead of the 94 percent?
The difference is that the six percent not only have disaster recovery services or backups in place, they also have a comprehensive business continuity plan in effect. Business continuity is often used to mean the same thing as disaster recovery, but it isn’t. The two are different, yet related, and it takes both to assure that your law firm is a six-percent survivor, not a 93-percent failure. Here are the differences and how to make sure your law firm has what you need to survive.
1. Disaster Recovery is Just One Part of Business Continuity
Business continuity refers to plans to keep the business running constantly and consistently in any eventuality. Disaster recovery is a small piece of business continuity that deals specifically with restoring the business, its data, and its productive operations following a disaster that interrupts the continuity of the business. Both of these services are available as an IT utility. Download the white paper, IT as a Utility to learn more on that topic.
2. Business Continuity Includes Plans for Problems That Aren’t “Disasters”
In other words, business continuity is a holistic plan that includes both safeguards for keeping the business operational, as well as contingency plans in case those plans are thwarted, which is the disaster recovery planning. It’s important to note that “disasters” come in many shapes, sizes, and forms. Most people picture headline-news-making disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, but disasters come in all scales and types, including computer viruses, a truck knocking the power lines down leading to your building, or some busted pipes that lead to some localized flooding in your facilities.
3. Disaster Recovery Focuses on the Recovery, Not Just Prevention
Business continuity is a set of plans that try to foresee any problems that could halt operations or impede productivity, which includes preventative measures. Conversely, disaster recovery assumes that some event has caused productivity to cease or slow, and sets forth plans for reestablishing the productivity of the law firm. This includes the ability to restore data and software applications, which means there has to be a dependable backup solution in place.
4. Disaster Recovery is Reactive, Business Continuity is Proactive
Already hinted at, business continuity planning is the proactive planning required to keep your law firm running at peak capacity. Disaster recovery is the part of those plans that empowers your firm to react when something offsets the continuity of productivity. The better you do at business continuity planning, the less you’ll need those disaster recovery plans. However, anything can happen to any business at any time — law firms not excluded. No matter how good you are at planning for business continuity, there’s no excuse for not having an adequate disaster recovery plan in place.
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