The real value of a business impact analysis

Banana peelPerforming a BIA is about one thing—getting the thinking out of the way before disaster strikes.

Specifically, having an up-to-date BIA in your back pocket will help you do the following:

  • Eliminate guesswork. Put simply, you won’t be able to create an effective recovery strategy without an accurate and current BIA. Without one, your decisions in times of crisis will be arbitrary. You’ll have no way to justify the actions you took—or didn’t take—after the dust settles. With a solid BIA in place, you’ll have the justification you need for the decisions you’ll need to make in the heat of the moment, and that justification will be based on solid, comprehensive data and sound analysis. In other words, when the crisis is over, you’ll be able to prove you did your due diligence.
  • Allocate resources. You can’t afford to prepare for every contingency and or promise a quick recovery for every process. But with a well-prepared BIA, you’ll know which processes are critical to your survival, the minimum level to which you’d need to restore them in a crisis, and the time you’d have in which to do it. If you know in advance that your business survive with as little as 50% of your technology for as long a week, you won’t waste time, money and effort trying to get 100% of it restored in a day.
  • Set standards for suppliers. The recovery requirements identified in a good BIA—dependencies, required resources, MAD, etc.—can double as a way to assess critical suppliers. After all, if they’re going to let you down in a crisis, better to know now so you can act accordingly. Without a BIA, you have no accurate way to predict whether your recovery strategies will be effective across your complete supply chain. (And guessing is not something you want to do in the middle of a crisis.)

It’s worth the effort

There are no shortcuts to preparing a good BIA, but the work is worth it. By understanding the impact that risks could have on your business, you’ll have the information you need to prepare good recovery strategies. More importantly, you’ll have that information before you’re desperate for it.

To learn more about developing a BIA, download The Definitive Guide to Business Continuity Planning. Interested in finding the best mass notification system? Download the Automated Notification System RFP Template.