We’ve said it repeatedly: business continuity plans (BCPs) are an essential for any business, regardless of industry or size. However, there is one step that is crucial before developing a BCP or any other resiliency plan: the Business Impact Analysis (BIA). As the objective of this article is to raise your awareness, we will limit ourselves to a few brief explanations.
What is the BIA?
The Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is the starting point of any enterprise resilience plan. First, it identifies and assesses all an organization’s activities, classifies and prioritizes them according to their criticality. This approach makes it possible to identify the activities that must be restored in the event of an interruption of operations.
In addition, it allows to establish or review all dependencies, such as those related to employees, processes, critical resources, technologies, locations, suppliers, etc.
It is important to note that not all activities require a BCP. The BIA allows to clearly identify those concerned and, consequently, to limit the costs associated with the development and implementation of a BCP by targeting the most critical elements.
How is a BIA done?
First, it is necessary to map all the company’s activities and assess the degree of impact on the organization if each activity is interrupted. As part of this process, several criteria can be evaluated, such as reputation, financial and legal aspects, and these can be measured using various measures, such as a scoring system or a qualitative analysis. At the end of this process, a prioritized list of activities is obtained, and this list must be approved by management in order to confirm which activities should be subject to a BCP.
A common mistake is to set up a BCP without first having carried out a BIA. However, the BIA is the foundation on which the BCP, the IT disaster recovery plan (DRP) and the crisis management plan (CMP) are based. It is an essential component of resiliency because it allows us to put efforts in the right places and to implement effective and strategic solutions based on the real needs of the company.
If you would like to obtain expert help in developing your BIA and your BCP, Benoit Racette Services-conseils inc. is there for you! Contact us now: [email protected].