All businesses need data backup systems. These are called ‘Data Backup Plans’ but did you know this is not the same thing as a ‘Backup/Disaster Recovery Plan’ (BDR)? Unfortunately, most people think they are.

It’s critical for your business that you know – they are NOT the same. Here’s the difference:

A Backup Plan is the term used to describe the process and systems a business uses to make periodic copies of its data in order to recover information after it has been lost or to restore information from an earlier time period. Many people get confused because backup planning is a component of disaster recovery, however, it’s not a total Disaster Recovery Plan.

A Backup/Disaster Recovery Plan (BDR) is the term used to describe all the processes, procedures, policies, etc. used to ensure that a business can continue after suffering from a disaster.

Disaster Recovery is focused on business continuity components and how to best maintain business continuity in the event of a disaster. These continuity components can consist of temporary or permanent physical relocation with telephone and internet access, employee communication policies, managerial responsibilities, continuing IT Operations, insurance coverage, financing during recovery, etc. A full BDR plan is concerned with the total business and calls for a more robust backup solution than merely copying data locally or to the Cloud.

What many people also don’t know is that simply backing up your data does not ensure that you’ll be able to quickly restore it and be up and running after experiencing a disaster. Time is your main enemy while trying to recover from a disaster. The risk is that you never know what will happen, what if the servers in your office completely failed and cant be repaired or all of your equipment was destroyed during a disaster? Merely backing up your data does not fully protect your business from a catastrophic event or natural disaster. (Read more about why in the next post: ‘3 Reasons Merely backing up your data is not a comprehensive Backup/Disaster Recovery Plan’)

Backing up data is only one component of Disaster Recovery and is not a replacement for a proper Disaster Recovery plan. The focus of any Disaster Recovery Plan should be business continuity, not just saving data. This is the most important lesson to take away from this today.

Here’s why: the length of time it takes a business to recover is directly related to their ultimate survival. If it takes too long, clients will lose confidence and simply go elsewhere and the company will eventually fail. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes, or maybe you’ve been in those shoes before. How long would you wait around for a product or service before moving on to someone who can deliver? The answer is probably not very long.

Don’t put your business at risk. The focus of EVERY company’s Disaster/Recovery Plan should be business continuity. Just having a backup of your data is not sufficient and if this is all you have, your business is at risk.