What your business needs to know about disaster recovery and backup planning

Since 1 out of 4 businesses never reopen after a disaster, every business needs a contingency plan. However, do you know the difference between disaster planning and a backup policy? Although they’re similar, they aren’t the same – here’s why every SMB needs both policies. 

What is disaster recovery? 

Put simply, disaster recovery is a document which covers how you’ll stay operational in the event of a natural disaster or cyber attack. Over 95% of businesses have a disaster recovery plan of some kind. 

Although disaster recovery can include a backup policy, it’s not the same as a backup policy.

Benefits of disaster recovery

Disaster recovery is a highly effective way of keeping your business operational during an incident. However, it’s only effective if you test it before a real disaster strikes – a worrying 23% of businesses never test their recovery policy. 

Minimizes downtime

Disaster planning gets your business running again with as few delays as possible, because you know which steps to take and who to contact for help

Provides clarity across your organization 

With a disaster recovery plan, everyone in the organization knows what to do if there’s an incident. This increases productivity across the company because there’s no uncertainty about what steps to take or who to report to.

Understand your business better

To draft a disaster recovery plan, you must research your business and thoroughly understand its moving parts. This helps you streamline processes and cut down on unnecessary costs.

Improves your reputation

Disaster recovery planning reduces the likelihood that you’ll lose customers since you can still offer them a reduced service until everything’s up and running.  

What is backup?

Backup is how you make duplicate or multiple copies of data. Basically, it’s how you protect the data from corruption or deletion. 

It’s expected that, by 2020, around 78% of SMBs will use the cloud to back up their data. 

Why you need backup

If you already have a disaster plan, do you really need backup? Absolutely. Here’s why: 

Easy restores

If you need to issue a new laptop or PC, your MSP or IT department can quickly perform a restore without compromising on an employee’s productivity.  

Reduced downtime

Files can be backed up frequently. If, for example, a computer crashes, employees can re-access the most recent copy of a file without wasting too much time. 


Backup empowers your employees because they can help themselves without constantly sending help requests to IT. This frees up your in-house IT team, or your MSP, to deal with other inquiries. 

Peace of mind 

With a backup strategy, you know that you’ll always have access to those all-important business files, even when an employee accidentally deletes a file from their hard drive, or a hacker corrupts a server. 

Does your business need both backup and disaster recovery?

Essentially, yes. Disaster recovery and backup are both key parts of your overall business plan. Your disaster planning should include a backup policy, but the backup policy itself isn’t enough. Having a second copy of files and data won’t keep your business running. 

Only the disaster recovery plan gives you a blueprint for staying profitable during difficult times


Every SMB needs a plan for when things go wrong, and a process for backing up their important data. The most important plan for your business to have is the disaster recovery plan, because it’s thorough, informative, and key to continued operations.

For more information on disaster planning and backup policies, contact the team at Affinity IT Group today.