Conduct a Business Impact Analysis Before Writing a Disaster Recovery Plan

Does your company really need a Business Impact Analysis? Yes, a disaster recovery plan is a must.  In order to write a successful one, you need to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA).

What is a BIA? A BIA is a thorough investigation of your entire company, including business processes and the resources (e.g. computer systems, personnel, etc.), to fully understand the impact on on your business if there were some sort of outage. It allows a company to know which business processes and resources are essential to continue to run with minimal impact.

How do I figure this information out? Extensive interviews of stakeholders have to be conducted in order to comprehend what is vital for the company to keep going during an outage.  The best way to start is to conduct a survey that asks them questions on how they run their business.  Here are some areas to ask questions on:

  • - Their current business process
  • - Current workarounds
  • - Recovery times

These surveys will be the start point to understand who to interview and the types of documentation that will assist you in the BIA.  Note: Remember to always have the support of management throughout the entire BIA.

During the interview process, you should also be researching and collecting as much documentation as you can.  You should be gathering organizational charts, current flowcharts, reports, metrics, etc.  These documents will help you better grasp the current business processes.

So how do I write this thing? Here is a format that you can use to tailor to fit your needs:

1 Introduction

1.1 Objective

1.2 Scope

1.3 Methodology

1.4 Document Organization

2 References


3 Business Processes

Business Area1: <Business Area Name>


Personnel Information:

Business Process1 Name and Description

Operational and Financial Impact


Recovery Time


Appendix A: Survey

Appendix B: Reports Collected Through the BIA

Photo Detail: Burnt MacBook, originally uploaded by AurélienS.


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  • TaShya Pickett

    The BIA will assist in the recognition of how easily essentialbusiness models and procedures have to come back to complete function following a disastersituation. It will determine the business effect of problems effect circumstances on the abilityto provide item.

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