Man looking astonished in a network data center. Should have gotten disaster recovery.

Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity – Why You Need BOTH

Disaster can happen at any time; this is a fact we’ve all experienced at least once in our lives. As a business owner, it’s the one major thing you hope your company never faces. What is a disaster in regards to your business? A disaster, or disruption, can be one of a multitude things. It can be a natural event such as a flood, tornado, fire, or other catastrophic weather events. It can also be man-made. You could have an employee strike, get hit with a contagious illness such as the flu, experience a power outage, or be the victim of a cyber-attack. It’s important that you have a plan in place to protect your business in case any of those things does happen. Business continuity and disaster recovery are often thrown around together as solutions, but did you know they are two very different things?

Business Continuity

Business continuity plans differ from disaster recovery plans in a number of ways. Business continuity is business centric and is designed specifically to help businesses keep going during and after a disruption. It’s important that your business has a comprehensive strategy to allow you to continue to operate as normal through the duration of the event as well as after to prevent losses from downtime. Business continuity usually requires a mix of hardware and software that allows data to be in two separate places – such as on site and off site – at once. As a disruption is occurring, your main system will experience a “failover”, switching over to the second location seamlessly. This allows you to move operations to a temporary location where it can be accessed with little to no downtime. The plan should outline what data is the most important for the operations of your business, as a business continuity plan gives the most important data the top priority.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity. Disaster recovery is data centric and works hand in hand with your business continuity plan. Its main job is focused on getting your essential data and systems back up and running after a disruption. A recent copy of your data is stored in another location, ensuring the ability to recover it in the future, if not right away. This plan should outline what your most important data are and the speed on which it should be recovered. The most important part of having a disaster recovery plan is continuous testing. Waiting until a disruption is the worst time to “test” your disaster recovery. Without testing it, you can’t be sure that it is working properly. If you test it regularly – say twice a month – you’ll be able to catch any fall points and correct them before you actually need to use it.

Having Both Protects Your Business Better

So which one should you choose? Disaster recovery or business continuity? The answer is both, as they work together to protect your business. While business continuity is great, it only helps you so much if you can’t recover your data to make your operations running worth while. Disaster recovery in itself is great as well but doesn’t do a lot of good if your operations aren’t able to run the data recovered. Having both in place ensures that you can continue running your business and that none of your data is lost during and after a disruption. NCGIT can help!

Unified Communications

Patriots Stay Ahead of the Game with Unified Communications

If you follow football at all, you’ll notice this is a seemingly great year for the New England Patriots. With an 10-2 overall win-to-loss ratio, the Patriots are going into Game 14 against the Houston Texans with a strong upper hand despite not having the home field advantage. How do they maintain such a strong lead on the field? Easy, they utilize unified communications blended with a perfected strategy.

Football is the Ultimate in Unified Communications

Sports in general are a very interesting concept. Whether it’s hockey, baseball, soccer, or, of course, football, numerous people from all walks of life come together to form a team, all working towards a common goal: to win the game. So how does all this great talent sync up? We all know that football teams have playbooks that outline the multiple plays a team can make during a game. They study it, practice it, and implement it over and over again in order to get it perfected. They use signals on the field to indicate their next move to the player downwind and communicate with each other via hidden ear pieces in their helmets. They have the general managers (and sometimes team owners) eyes looking over the field to get a bird’s eye view of the game, relaying information down to the head coach and ultimately into the ears of the players on the field. They have huddles to discuss their next plan of action and can call timeouts to review or change the strategy. It’s a very well oiled machine.

Gaining the Competitive Advantage

When you implement unified communications in your workplace, you suddenly gain a competitive advantage in your market. Businesses experiencing poor communication and planning are less efficient and lack the increased revenue needed to stay in the game. They often have trouble syncing up, leading to decreased quality and customer satisfaction. Instead of studying the playbook and working with their coworkers to win the game, they decide to play in the dark and ultimately lose the game. That’s bad for a business (think Cleveland Browns bad.) By having unified communications, your team mates can all be on the same page in regards to your business strategy. You’ll be able to connect with your clients on a higher level and meet their expectations more effectively, leading you to win the game!

Don’t Place Yourself in a Position to Lose

So, in terms of football, whose team would you rather play for: The Cleveland Browns, playing in the dark without any real sense of direction, or the New England Patriots, effectively communicating with each other to stay ahead of the game? The answer seems simple.