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Disaster Recovery

Key Components When Conducting a Business Impact Analysis

When it comes to keeping your business up and running, it is all about the time factor. Time determines how fast you can recover business operations in the event of an outage or natural disaster. If you have already completed a risk assessment, the business impact analysis ensures that you do not incur additional expenses which can result from slow recovery time.

Although you may have already completed a risk assessment and you know what critical business operations must be recovered, this will not matter unless you can recover them within a reasonable amount of time. By conducting a business impact analysis this will ensure efficient business continuity in the event of a catastrophe.

So what are some of the key components you should consider when conducting a business impact analysis?

Identify Specific Impacts of Critical Business Activities

Identifying the initial impact of each critical business activity is not enough to guarantee you can recover your business assets quickly. Instead, it is necessary to review each activity, the impact of its loss, and how it will vary over the long term. When you conduct this type of analysis you will find that the impact of each business activity will be different over a long period of time.

Once you analyze the long-term impact for each critical business activity, then you can better gauge the resources you will need for both short and long term recovery. It would be beneficial to add qualitative research which addresses the issues of asking why each individual activity is important. Then include quantitative research which provides the data that backs up why a specific step should be taken.

Establish a Point System

When you are measure the impact of specific business activities it is very easy for members of an organization to interpret the importance of the business activity differently. For example, senior management may view the impact of a specific business activity as moderate where team members may consider the impact to be disastrous to business continuity.

Once you identify critical business activities according to the analysis described above, it is necessary to establish a point system for grading the impact of each activity. This ensures that everyone is on the same page in terms of business impact of specific operations.

Obtain Feedback from Responsible Persons

To achieve the best results from a business impact analysis, make a point of obtaining feedback from the persons responsible for each specific business activity. This will provide you with a better read on how the activity would impact the business in the event of a disaster. It will also help you decide what needs to be done to achieve a reasonable recovery time. Collect this data for collaboration with senior management.

Determine Business Continuity Objectives

Once you have accomplished the key components we discussed earlier in this article, you must determine what needs to be done in terms of achieving a reasonable recovery time. Although you have identified each individual business activity and its impact, in order to identify the resources needed you must evaluate how each activity relates to one another. For example, if you have identified one business activity as being able to tolerate downtime of up to two days, but activity number two can only withstand disruption for one day and requires the help of the first activity, then the first activity must be reduced to a downtime of one day instead of two in order for a reasonable recovery time to take place.

The scenario described above is one of the primary reasons businesses experience a slow recovery time which incurs added costs. Sometimes not enough attention is given to how business activities relate to one another and as a result, the unexpected occurs which compromises business operations and revenue.

For more information on creating a business impact analysis that works for your organization, contact Thrive Networks today to speak with one of our experts.