Operational resilience, business continuity management (BCM), and IT disaster recovery (IT DR) are three related terms that are often used interchangeably. However, although they do have some overlap, and certainly are all connected, there are key differences between them that it’s important to know.
Operational resilience: The umbrella that covers IT DR
Operational resilience is essentially an umbrella term, encompassing the whole landscape of resilience activities across a business which includes BCM and IT DR. Operational resilience is about more than just responding to unplanned events and focuses more on the potential business impacts, risks, and tolerance levels for any type of disruption that could affect customers or the business.
Operational resilience is not just the responsibility of a specific resilience team, everyone has a role to play in ensuring an organization’s resilience to threats. Resilience also encompasses a whole framework of tools and processes for ensuring that a business is resistant to threats, from risk assessment to the execution of a response to an outage.
Business continuity management: The precursor to IT DR
In contrast to operational resilience, BCM has a much more limited scope and is more about planning the steps to respond to a specific threat. Fundamentally, operational resilience is the ability of an enterprise to adapt to a rapidly changing risk environment, while BCM centers around planning for specific incidents that could be disruptive to the business, such as natural disasters or cyberattacks.
Although it was first coined as a term in the 1970s, BCM has evolved since then as the risk landscape, technology, and customer and regulatory expectations have increased. Although BCM is still relevant for many organizations, many are moving to more of an IT DR approach.
IT disaster recovery today
IT DR is different from BCM in that it focuses on the recovery of an enterprise’s IT system after a disaster or incident. IT DR underpins the technology recovery aspect of an enterprise’s operational resilience strategy.
As organizations have become more reliant on technology to function, and threats such as cyberattacks have become more sophisticated, it’s more important than ever to have a robust IT DR strategy and tech stack in place. Many organizations have traditionally tested their IT DR capabilities in a way that has no reflection on the actual needs of the business, often taking 12-16 weeks to prepare when a real disaster event requires immediate mobilization.
Cutover’s Collaborative Automation platform enables organizations to test their IT DR capabilities in a way that reflects the reality of disaster events and execute disaster recovery plans in the event of an actual disaster.