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'BIA to the Rescue' from Disasters

By CIOReview | Friday, September 23, 2016

In the present dynamic business world, industries are well-prepared for any kinds of threats. This is because they have found ways to avoid the catastrophe. With enough knowledge on the event of a disaster and a well planned disaster recovery strategy, effects of a disaster can be minimized. Business impact analysis (BIA) is a major aspect of a disaster recovery strategy. With the ability to predict the consequences of interruption of a business function, BIA assists businesses in persistent and smooth operations. Comprehending these fundamental elements like identifying and analyzing the impact of disasters, offers enterprise the foundation for investment in disaster recovery and mitigation strategies.

BIA is usually referred as the heart of disaster recovery planning process. It is during BIA, organizations evaluate critical business functions, determining and quantifying the operational and financial loss undergone by an organization.

In order to perform BIA, firms must have in depth knowledge about their organizations operations and functions. Below are the step by step approaches that will help enterprises in accomplishing successful business impact analysis.

1. Firstly, in order to carry out impact analysis, it is advisable to seek assistance from senior managing executives who can pave the way to meet with the operation-level managers, who have good knowledge about the process. Without the help of these officials it is difficult to follow up a business continuity plan.

2. Next, enterprise must schedule an organizational meeting with core business processes and present their goals, deadlines and deliverables.

3. Gathering data from different sources will help in creating BIA questionnaire. These questions must be handed over to the managers during the meeting. Mangers needs to be instructed on how to complete document and should be followed up based on the review of the document.

4. Subsequently, keep a record of the revenue and net profit of the organization generated per year. To add more weight to the presentation, include the upper limit for business losses set by data, associated to business operation.

5. Enterprise should conduct one on one meeting with managers and evaluate the data collected. Depending on the requirements, enterprise can dedicate some time to complete and refine the document with managers.

6. Maintain the excel sheet that combines all the data, for easy data analysis and reporting ability.

7. Organize a meeting with all the mangers, discuss about BIA review and process that needs to be prioritized. Try to fill in the gaps mentioned by the departments, based on the result of impact analysis each process can be prioritized using measure high, medium low.

8. After prioritizing the process based on impact to the business, keep a record of the recovery time objective (RTO) for each process. The RTO comprises the duration within which process should return to normal operation before impact results to the business. The duration time is measured in hours.

9. Then, form groups of process RTOs. Aim of Recovery points is to deal with data recovery and data protection plan. While creating the groups, start with the shortest RTO and later describe the upper limits not to exceed 24 hours.

10. Last but not least, summon a retrospect meeting to display the results of the program to senior officials and other member of the management. Display the results of BIA in the order of RTO and its prioritization. Draft a final report to educate and summarize the learning of the meeting to officials present in the conference. Then take a final hard copy of the reports and make use of it in improving the continual operations of the process.

The final BIA testimony offers a base for the enterprise continual strategy; it also assists business by contributing ideas to risk management programs. This in turn helps in identifying the aspects that impact or effect business.