Why you need to 'know how to do a Business Impact Analysis'


Fri, 31 Jul 2020

3 to 5 mins read

Do you know the answer to the questions - "what do you need to do a business impact analysis and what do you need to know to do it?" If not, you aren't alone.
If you are like most people, you probably wonder if there's another way to identify the crucial functions in your organization. After all, when you ask managers questions regarding disruptions in the area they are responsible for, they are probably quick to defend their "turf," making statements along the lines of - "that could never happen here."
If any of this sounds familiar, chances are you are about to embark on your very first BIA. Don’t let these nay-sayers hold you back. These can be invaluable tools for your business.

The Purpose of a Business Impact Analysis

The primary purpose of the business impact analysis isn't to identify "critical functions." If you use this reason to acquire support for your BIA project, it will likely impact your level of success. If your senior manager can't sit down in a room and identify the top critical functions in your company, then you don't have the right people in these positions. Even more importantly, do you really only care about these proclaimed "critical functions?" Do you really use a process within your organization that classifies each resource and function into just two stacks - critical or not-critical.

The actual purpose of your BIA is to identify how critical all resources and functions are that are under the management and ownership of your organization as they relate to the entire organization and how they support the mission.

Each of the functions and resources in your business is considered "critical" at some point and the level of criticality won't be the same for each resource or function. While this is true, the resource and functions are absolutely critical to the way your organization functions and have a huge role in your ability to meet the mission and vision of your organization. If they didn't, why would they continually be in the budget and have resources allocated to support these resources and functions deemed less important? 

Determining the Impact of Not Having the Function/Resource in Place

Business impact analysis

A business impact analysis helps in figuring out the importance of each process and function as they relate to other resources and functions within an organization. When organizations learn of the consequence due to the absence of a certain resource or function over time, they can figure out why it is critical to sustaining the mission. They can then make preparations to respond to interruptions that affect any resource or function. 
The ultimate goal is to create a business continuity program that is able to address any interruption from a cause or event at any time, not just from the identifiable or known causes. This is why the BIA should never be tied to a disaster scenario. They still use the information gathered by the assessment to help create a disaster recovery plan. When organizations know all weaknesses and possible issues, they can easily determine what needs to be done.

Cloud strategy

After you have your BIA information, you can begin putting new strategies in place that will enhance your business as a whole. You can implement a cloud strategy that will benefit your business and ensure continuity now and in the future. When you understand all aspects of your business and all properties and functions that may have been classified as non-critical in the past, you can utilize a cloud strategy that addresses all of these potential issues, further strengthening your company.
A cloud strategy will help ensure that your information, resources, documents and more are always available, even if all physical servers - even off-site ones - are destroyed. It may even be wise to use the services of a cloud managed services provider to help provide an addition layer of security for your business.

Next steps

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