Are Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity two terms referring to the same service?

In the last post we talked a lot about Disaster Recovery solutions, but probably some of you still has a doubt: what is the difference between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity? The Disaster Recovery concept is often associated to Business Continuity. What is the link between the two terms? Do they refer to the same service? The answer is no, they are different solutions, but interconnected. Now we’ll see in details the differences between the two solutions.


Disaster Recovery is a service indicating all the technical measures useful to manage a possible disaster which could hit the business information system and which could be generated from different causes: natural disasters as floods or earthquakes, human errors, thefts or hacking. The Disaster Recovery plan firstly lays down what are the critical processes for the company, naming which of them must be better protected and monitored. It defines the RTO and RPO parameters (recovery times and affordable level of data loss) according to the needs of each company and it plans the actions to take for the complete and fast restore of systems, data and applications in the case of accidents.

Business Continuity, instead, relates to a global solution which includes all the procedures and processes that have the purpose of assuring the business operation continuity and avoid the interruption of activities, either they are caused by IT downtimes or other events, as for instance legal accidents or failures due to the lack of the staff. In particular, a Business Continuity plan identifies the procedures to be followed:

-at the strategic level, by finding the processes for a timely and effective management of possible critical events in the future that could threaten the company’s survival
-at the tactical level, how to coordinate actions and referents involved in these activities with the aim of ensuring the operational continuity
-at the operative level, by specifying all the passages to be followed in the case of emergency

The purpose of Business Continuity strategy is to minimize the interruption of activities and its consequent damages, as well as assure the effectiveness of recovery procedures. Each plan of business Continuity is different and high-customized according to the kind of business and its particular requirements.

What is the difference between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity?

Disaster Recovery solution is linked to technical measures which have the aim of rapidly recover the IT field activities and it is a part of the wider Business Continuity strategy. Indeed, Business Continuity has to assure the firm’s global survival in the case of disasters and it includes not only the protection of IT system but the safeguard of all the business essential functions continuity. The Business Continuity strategy counts all the possible events which could threaten the company’s life and it is useful even with minor interruptions of activities. In addition, it is able to provide an overall strategic vision to increase the resilience of business and the competitiveness on the market.

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