Why a Business Impact Analysis is Important

As you may know, Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is a tool used by senior management to analyze business functions and assess the risks of disasters on an organization. If performed before a crisis, a BIA will help support a smoother recovery should the unexpected event occur.

One of the goals of a BIA is to establish Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) of critical business processes and identify the necessary resources needed to keep production in motion. An effective BIA will always quantify the impact of a loss from both a business interruption perspective and from a financial perspective. The process of performing a BIA should be part of every organizations recovery planning.

Here are five critical questions you should ask when performing a BIA:

  1. Which departments/processes within the company are most critical?
  2. What is the priority to resume operational processes listed in #1?
  3. Following a major disruption to operations, how soon must time-sensitive production resume to avoid significant adverse impacts on the company and its customers?
  4. What resources are needed to support time-critical operations and minimize potential business interruption?
  5. What are the operational and financial impacts of extended down-time?

Although performing a BIA is a thorough and comprehensive process, it is important that interviews be scheduled with every department/division of an organization. It is never safe to assume each department understands the critical processes of another department. The interview process will help flesh-out the realistic, unvarnished answers and if executed properly, it will reveal gaps in an organization’s continuity plans that need to be addressed before a disaster strikes.