What is the importance of a disaster recovery plan?
Unplanned downtime can significantly impact business operations, not to mention an organization’s bottom line. A study by Deloitte, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, revealed that some companies that experienced a cyberattack saw, on average, a full-level downgrade in their credit rating.
Getting ahead of disasters like cyberattacks — as well as recovering quickly when one occurs — is the primary goal of a disaster recovery plan. The importance of a disaster recovery plan cannot be understated. With recovery protocols in place, your business can:
- Maintain mission-critical continuity during and after disruptive situations
- Provide superior customer-service experiences
- Prepare cybersecurity professionals to react quickly to hardware, software and network failures
- Minimize the impact of interruptions on operations
- Reduce the economic impact of the interruption on your business’s financial health
- Establish and test alternative ways to conduct business during a crisis
- Train employees on emergency procedures, empowering them to keep calm during tense times
- Create a plan for quick and efficient service restoration
How does a disaster recovery plan differ from a contingency plan?
Many businesses debate which is more important — a contingency plan or a disaster recovery plan. The truth is both are necessary for an overall business continuity plan.
Both involve proactive strategies that reduce negative impact of a disaster before, during and after one happens. Both are crucial for businesses that must survive during inclement weather, pandemics and cybersecurity threats. The differences, however, are key.
While similar, business continuity and disaster recovery plans serve different purposes. In short, the goal of a contingency plan is to keep everything running during a disaster. A disaster recovery plan, however, works to get operations back to normal after one occurs.
Contingency plans guide overall operations, while a disaster recovery plan focuses on IT-related issues, like recovering data and restoring critical systems after cyberattacks. In addition, while contingency plans help reduce downtime across the entire company, disaster recovery plans primarily focus on the functionality of IT systems.
Do I need a contingency plan and a disaster recovery plan?
Many companies include a disaster recovery plan within their overall contingency plan. The two plans complement each other. A business needs a contingency plan to remain operational when issues arise and a disaster recovery plan to implement the crucial IT elements of that plan.