Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) software helps organizations ensure they can recover as quickly as possible in the event of an incident such as a cyberattack, natural disaster, service provider outage, hardware failure, or data loss caused by human error.
There are two key components to BCDR software: business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity is all about preparing for an incident so that you can maintain business-critical operations during and after a disaster. It involves creating incident response plans, carrying out business impact analysis (BIA), and conducting risk assessments to identify which processes are essential for business operations. This allows IT and security teams to implement adequate protection to ensure those processes (and, by extension, the organization) can carry on in the event of an incident.
Disaster recovery is all about responding to an incident so the business can get back on its feet as quickly as possible once a disaster has occurred. It involves restoring IT systems, infrastructure, data, and applications as quickly and effectively as possible to minimize operational downtime and financial loss. This requires the organization have backups of their data stored in a separate location, so it won’t be affected by any disruption to their local network.
In this article, we’ll explore the best business continuity and disaster recovery software. We’ll look at features such as risk assessments, approval workflow automation, live status reporting, data backups and replication, and data recovery. We’ll give you some background information on each provider and the key features of solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suited to. Note that, as BCDR is a relatively new concept, some of the solutions in this guide focus more on either business continuity management or disaster recovery.
What Is BCDR?
With business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) software, businesses can prepare themselves to face disruptions so they can resume normal business operations as quickly as possible. BCDR software ensures that businesses have a plan—or multiple plans—in place to get back on their feet after an incident such as a cyberattack, natural disaster, or hardware failure.
How Does BCDR Work?
BCDR combines two key processes: business continuity management and disaster recovery.
Business continuity management (BCM) software enables business to create business continuity plans (BCPs) and then monitor the effectiveness of those plans through regular testing. This helps to streamline incident response processes so that responsibilities can be delegated effectively, stakeholders can be notified quickly, and the overall time to respond is reduced. It also ensures that businesses have a clear audit trail should they need to prove that they took all the necessary steps to secure their data and their users in the event of a disruption.
BCM software often includes business impact analysis, risk assessments, “to-do” lists, automated tasks and response workflows, BCP testing, and reporting on BCP status.
Backup and disaster recovery software creates point-in-time copies of files, databases, and even entire systems, then writes those copies out to a secondary storage facility. This enables IT teams to quickly restore lost data in the event of a cyberattack, natural disaster, or accidental deletion.
Backup and recovery software may offer features such as automated backup creation, deduplication, backup archive security (such as encryption and multi-factor authentication), archive search functionality, and granular restoration options.
Some BCDR software offers full backup and recovery functionality; other solutions focus mainly on BCM, while offering some disaster recovery features such as live incident response tracking, secure communication tools, and mass notification and alerting.
Who Is BCDR For?
The simple answer is that all organizations should be prepared to deal with potential disasters, so that they can get back on their feet as quickly as possible should the worst happen. However, not all businesses will need all the features offered by a BCDR solution; smaller organizations, for example, may not have as many systems to manage, so may not need to set up such complex workflows as offered by business continuity management software. They may, however, still want to invest in a backup and disaster recovery tool to help them restore their data in the event of a disaster.
Larger enterprises, on the other hand, may have lots of disparate systems to manage, and they may need to set up multiple recovery workflows that are set in motion according to which systems are impacted by the disaster. Depending on their business needs, larger enterprises may look for separate business continuity management and disaster recovery solutions in order to benefit from specific features, or they may look for a solution that offers both feature sets in one for ease of management.