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1. What is the difference between business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning?


BCP and DRP are often used interchangeably but it is important to realise that there are important differences between the two terms.

Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

Business continuity planning covers the processes an organisation puts in place to minimise disruption to the business should a disaster occur. The objective is to protect business critical services in order to give the company the best change of survival. Forward planning enables the business to re-establish as quickly as possible. Obviously the more robust the planning and testing of business continuity scenarios the more prepared the company is. Businesses therefore examine a number of business continuity scenarios, each requiring different actions to enable restoration of the affected business functions, and each having different potential ‘knock-on’ effects.

Examples of typical business continuity scenarios:

  • Adverse weather – flooding, snow, extreme high winds
  • Power and communication failure
  • Restricted access to buildings due to terrorism, human error, potentially dangerous working conditions etc
  • System and hardware failure

Securing the services of necessary facilities and providers is an essential part of a BCP.

Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

DRPs form part of business continuity planning. Typically they relate to one area of the business, usually technical e.g. IT, and deal with how that particular element would be recovered.

Examples of typical disaster recovery scenarios:

  • Server hardware recovery
  • Data recovery from damaged hard disks
  • Document restoration
  • Re-routing of telecommunications