Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery: What's the Difference?

The biggest misconception about Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity is that they are often mistaken for one another. Although they are interdependent both concepts are not the same at all. They do however overlap in areas and work best when they coincide together. We will look at the similarities and differences in both and how you can prepare to use both in terms of a crisis.

What is Business Continuity?

Business Continuity is a bigger picture outlook and refers to keeping the business operational during a time of disaster. While Disaster Recovery focuses on restoring data and IT infrastructure after a disaster. Business Continuity is a set of planning and activities which are intended to ensure that an organization's critical business functions will either continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters that might otherwise have interrupted them, or will be recovered to an operational state within a reasonably short period.

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster Recovery enables the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster Recovery focuses on the IT supporting critical business functions, as opposed to business continuity, which involves keeping all essential aspects of a business functioning despite significant disruptive events. Disaster Recovery is a sub section of business continuity.

Similarities & Differences

Here are the main differences between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery


  • Both Disaster Recovery and business continuity require constant revision to ensure they match a company’s growing goals.
  • They are both instrumental to be prepared for natural disasters, pandemics, cyberattacks and even wildfires.
  • They both are practical tactics that help a business prepare for a sudden catastrophic event and take a preventive approach to minimize said catastrophe before it happens.


  • Business Continuity keeps a business operational during a disaster while Disaster Recovery focuses on restoring data and IT after a disaster.
  • A Business Continuity plan involves employee safety measures whether that’s physically in the building or having to fill their needs remotely for a backup scenario such as a pandemic in our current times.
  • Business Continuity can limit operational downtime while disaster recovery limits IT system abnormalities.
  • Simply put Business Continuity focuses on keeping the light on while Disaster Recovery focuses on getting operations back to normal.


In summation, any form of downtime is expensive and can cripple your business. Managed service providers can not afford to be down, and neither their clients. You need a solution that will protect you from a crisis. Schedule a call today with one of our business development leads to walk you through an analysis for your company.