What is a BCP?
BCP entered the mainstream just before the year 2000, with the Y2K scare. It’s a plan that covers the way a business plans for and maintains critical business functions, directly before, during and after a disaster. The majority of plans are comprised of activities that ensure maintenance, stability, and recoverability of service. The plan is typically set up on a day-to-day basis and covers the whole organization. In other words, it’s a plan on how to remain operational during and after a disaster.
The main reason companies implement a plan like this is because they wish to remain able to provide their service or product to customers. If something happens and you are not able to deliver to your customers, there is a risk that they will simply go to another company. This will obviously cause you to lose not only customers, but valuable income, some of which may be needed to further recovery.
What is DR?
Disaster Recovery is really more focused on what happens after a disaster. Many times, it’s actually a part of the overall continuity plan. While BCP focuses on the whole business, DR plans tend to focus more on the technical side of the business. This includes components such as data backup and recovery, and computer systems.
It’s best to think of a BCP as an umbrella policy, with DR as part of it. If companies don’t have a DR component of their overall continuity plan, there is a good chance the whole strategy will be either less effective, or useless. On the other hand, DR can actually stand alone, and many companies can do just fine without a full continuity plan.