Business continuity and disaster recovery share many of the same priorities – but there are key differences. The term “disaster recovery” typically refers to re-establishing the IT infrastructure and IT services to support the continuity of critical applications following a disruptive event. “Business continuity” goes beyond that to include the people and processes who work with the IT infrastructure, applications, and services.
Specifically, IT disaster recovery priorities include:
Business continuity’s information foundation can be very helpful to disaster recovery with regard to the third priority. For example, assume that the disaster recovery team is preparing a component recovery validation of a Linux server. The validation of the active-passive recovery strategy involves moving workload from the production server to the recovery server. As with any activity involving production data, there is a risk of unanticipated impacts.
Using the information foundation, the disaster recovery team can quickly see all related components and applications. Since the information foundation is based on process data gathered during the BIA, data concerning process criticality and the critical processing time periods are readily available. For instance, the information foundation might show that the server supports the revenue capture process, and that the most critical time of the year for this process coincides with the targeted fail-over validation schedule. Based on this insight, disaster recovery might choose to reschedule the component exercise to reduce risk to the production critical process during its most critical processing period. This reduction in operational risk via a better understanding of business processes is an example of increased resilience supported by the information foundation.