Absolute Business Continuity - Keeping business together

Understanding the organisation - Business impact analysis

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

It is vital that organisations carry out a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) on a regular basis. This way the Key Business Functions (KBF) and the most important processes can be protected. By identifying these key processes, plans can be developed to ensure that the company will continue to work despite any incident. It is usually quite easy to identify which processes are most important to the business. It can be a challange to identify what dependencies underpin the process (technical, other processes, people). However it is vital that some level of BIA is carried out to 'Understand your Business'.

The most effective way of BIA is to identify senior operational managers and ask them to name their key processes and the managers of the Key Business Function (KBF). The BIA is then carried out with these managers. They decide on a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for every key process in their KBF. Dependencies such as key team members, technical system (applications/services/platforms), location of business buildings, and other processes are also recorded. This is to identify single points of failure and establish RTO's for them. When Business Continuity Planning (BCP) strategies are developed changes to business processes can minimise or eliminate the impact the business will experience. Plans can be developed to protect the business from an incident
BIA report validation

The BIA information is collected and put together in a report. This report will drive the BCP strategy for the business. The stages of creating the BIA report are as follows:

    * Collect the BIA questionairres and categorise them in divisions or departments (technical, customer service,finance).
    * Identify similar business processes and challange different RTO's where they do not appear to be logical.
    * Identify dependencies and ensure that their RTO's match or are less that the process that they depend on.
    * Record the KBF's and their key business processes with the lowest RTO's first.
    * Show the BIA report to members of the executive management team and validate the findings with them.
    * Complete the final report, provide an executive summary and present the findings to the executive team.
    * Once agreed, work on the highest priorities. Change buisness processes and develop plans to protect the business.