The difference between backup and business continuity and why you should care – Part III

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Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

Welcome to the third installment of our “There’s Much More to Backups than Just Backing Up” 4 part series on computer system backup.

Last week we focused on building a proper working backup system. This week we are focusing on the difference between backup and business continuity and why this should be of concern to you.

Let’s face it. Downtime is depressing, frustrating and downright dumb since it can so easily be avoided. You can’t afford to lose business and customers because of failed computer systems. That’s why you need to know the difference between disaster recovery and business continuity.

Many business owners erroneously believe that because they have a copy of their data somewhere that they must already HAVE a business continuity plan in place.  With this thinking they also assume that they can be back up and running again fast after an being struck with unexpected disaster. This simply NOT true.

First of all, the word “disaster” indicates a situation where business systems are no longer functioning, or where data has been corrupted, lost or otherwise made inaccessible. That could be something as simple as a server experiencing a non-recoverable failure, an office building being destroyed by a natural disaster, a cyber-attack, disgruntled employee or any number of other unforeseen, unplanned events.

In many cases, if the data wasn’t backed up properly, or if a business continuity system wasn’t put in place, several days or even weeks can go by while data is being recovered and IT systems are rebuilt and restored. Can you afford to be out of business this long?

Data backup vs business continuity: what’s the difference?

Data backup is about data and it answers the questions: is my data safe? – Can I get it back in case of a failure? Data backup defines how the data will be kept out of harm’s way.

Business continuity, on the other hand, involves thinking about the business at a higher-level and asks: how quickly can I get my business operating again in case of system failure? Business continuity defines how your business will continue to operate during and after a disaster.

Essentially, business continuity systems are PRO-active, where backup and disaster recovery systems are RE-active.

It’s clear that having a working backup system is essential, but business continuity is equally important to consider as it ensures your organization is able to get back up and running in a timely manner when disaster strikes. No matter what data backup solution you chose, business continuity should also be a priority for your business.

Next week we’re going to take a closer look at what constitutes business continuity.

If you’re not positive that you have a properly designed and working system, give us a call.

Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. Discover how great local IT services can be.604.270.1730.