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Business continuity and recovery plan: what’s the difference and how to implement them?

Find out the difference between a business continuity plan and a business recovery plan. See also how to implement them in your company.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if your business was hit by a disaster? Be it a fire, a flood, a cyber-attack or a pandemic. What would you do to keep your business running?

These are questions every manager should consider. The risks and impacts of a crisis can be huge. You can lose customers, revenue, data, and reputation. Therefore, it is essential to have a continuity plan and/or a business recovery plan.

But do you know what these plans are? What is the difference between them? How to implement them in your company?

In this post, we’ll answer these questions and explain everything you need to know about business continuity and recovery plans. We will also show how they complement each other and what are their benefits. Keep reading!

What is a business continuity plan (BCP)?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a strategy that guides the company on how to maintain its operation or resume normal activities after an adversity. A BCP considers everything that could compromise the company and what it can do to prevent or remedy it.

A BCP has the following key objectives:

  • Preserve essential activities when adversity occurs;
  • Minimize financial, operational, and reputational losses;
  • Restore normalcy as soon as possible.

What is a disaster recovery plan (DRP)?

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) shows how the company can get back to using IT infrastructure and systems after a problem. A DRP anticipates everything that could go wrong with computers, networks, servers, and data and what must be done to fix or recover them.

A DRP has the following key objectives:

  • Restore important functions of IT infrastructure and systems after a problem;
  • Protect company data and information.

What is the difference between a BCP and a DRP?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is more complete than a disaster recovery plan (DRP) and has plans for addressing processes, assets, people, and partners that could be affected by the problem.

The biggest difference between the two plans is that the BCP aims to keep the business running in case of problems with short- or long- term impact, while the DRP aims to fix or recover the IT systems in case of failures or disasters. The two plans must be integrated and combined to make the business safe and strong.

Benefits of a BCP and a DRP

Having a business continuity plan (BCP) and a disaster recovery plan (DRP) can offer several benefits to the company, both in terms of operational efficiency and social responsibility.

These benefits can be divided into two groups, depending on the plan that provides them. Let’s see them next:

Business continuity plan benefits

  • Helps to ensure the continuity of the company’s essential activities in case of adversity;
  • Prevents the stoppage of the company’s activities as well as financial or reputational damage;
  • Maintains the quality and continuity of services or products, in addition to the trust of customers and partners;
  • Protects the safety, health, and well-being of people who work or interact with the company;
  • Assists in compliance with laws, regulations, and contracts on the continuity of the company’s business;
  • Makes the company more competitive and sustainable in the market, showing excellence and social responsibility.

Disaster recovery plan benefits

  • Minimizes damage caused by loss or corruption of company data and information;
  • Enables the resumption of essential business activities after a problem;
  • Protects the company’s data and information following good management practices and standards;
  • Strengthens the security and resiliency of the company’s IT infrastructure and systems.

7 tips for creating a BCP and a DRP

To create a BCP and a DRP for a company, you must follow some steps, tips, and best practices, such as:

1. Identify critical processes and resources

Map out which activities are essential for your business to continue its operations, and which resources are needed to maintain them, including IT infrastructure and systems.

2. Analyze the risks and impacts of an outage

Assess what are the threats and potential consequences of a stoppage in critical processes, considering different scenarios and types of disasters.

3. Define goals and priorities

Establish what are acceptable service levels and recovery times for each critical process, defining the order of importance and urgency.

4. Develop continuity and recovery strategies

Prepare the measures that will be implemented to guarantee that the critical processes continue running or are restored as soon as possible, considering the available alternatives, such as backups, redundancies, high availability, cloud computing, etc.

5. Document the process

Record in a clear and accessible format all information about the BCP and DRP, including responsibilities, procedures, resources, contacts, and tests.

6. Test and update periodically

Conduct periodic tests to verify that the BCP and DRP are working correctly and update them as needed considering changes in the business and IT environment.

7. Communicate with stakeholders

Inform everyone involved in the execution of the BCP and DRP about its objectives, strategies, actions, and procedures, including employees, customers, suppliers and partners.

With these steps, you can have an efficient and dependable BCP and DRP to protect your business from any eventuality.

Meet SoftExpert GRC

Do you want to implement a BCP and a DRP in your company, but don’t know where to start? SoftExpert GRC may be the ideal solution for you.

SoftExpert GRC is a tool that helps you identify, analyze, assess, treat, and monitor the risks that may affect your business.

Do you want to learn more? Then click the button below and talk to an expert!

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    Bruna Borsalli


    Bruna Borsalli

    Business Analyst at SoftExpert Software, holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Univille. Experienced in EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) and a Quality Management specialist as well as a certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Internal Auditor for ISO 9001 | 14001 | 45001 Integrated Management Systems.

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