Disaster Recovery Re-defined as Business Continuity

Until recently, disaster recovery plan for most companies was about preserving operational data by planned backups in servers and datacentres. But the emergence of the Internet and E-commerce has brought many changes to the very definition of disaster recovery for businesses. It is no more about focusing on recovery plans for back end structures but creating high availability architectures for front end systems. That means, ensuring the continuity of business websites. Running an online business today has become more reliant on customer experience with the website. The actual problem occurs when the site breaks down due to unplanned outages leaving negative impact on customers. Since the consumers tolerance for downtime has shrunk rapidly over the years, having the procedures to keep website operations up and running has become very important. The need for continuous availability of websites which was unusual few years back has become essential to generate revenues.

Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity Planning

It is not easy for e-commerce businesses to keep their websites resilient to natural and technical disasters. Earlier, the focus was on executing recovery strategy when disaster strikes their servers or networks, hardware or software systems. Today, there is a lot change in how businesses are thinking to remain competitive in market. Rather than focusing on recovery execution during the crisis, they are working on minimizing the possibility of disruptions to ensure business continuity. Many of them are opting for technologies that keep vigilance of their systems and communicate effectively before the actual service disruption happens. Nevertheless, both disaster recovery and business continuity are essential for e-commerce websites to eliminate the risk of customer dissatisfaction and brand destruction.

The Importance of Business Continuity Strategy

Disaster recovery procedures are a part of continuity plan that support businesses to respond quickly and mitigate any potential damages during outages or downtimes. Conversely, continuity planning is a comprehensive approach where all aspects are taken into account and outlined effectively to reduce the outages. When it comes to systems and site outages, e-commerce companies not only have to work on planned, unplanned and peak demands but should be objective in improving their performance. The continuity strategy should also consider how the online site is affected by legacy systems and come up with a reinforcement plan for those systems. Similarly, several factors such as scalability in hosting, higher uptime numbers, backup of data & content are taken into consideration to prevent the sites from degraded performance. Since working on many such aspects is a complex undertaking, most of the organizations are depending on external expertise for holistic service. With the help of these services, they are able to evaluate their business sites and quickly resolve potential problems and performance issues.