- A Restaurant Analogy
- First and Foremost: Finding the TIME
- Using Meaningful Data to Get Your Plan Funded
- Additional Observations on Using the BIA to Pitch Management
Using Meaningful Data to Get Your Plan Funded
The first step in the process is a preliminary BIA. BIA is not a branch of the federal government that does covert security work, nor is it a medical procedure that you’re too embarrassed to mention to your family or friends. A BIA is a business impact analysis. It is an examination and determination of the impact of a catastrophe on a particular company or organization. Another way of saying it is that a BIA is the process of analyzing all business and/or production functions and the effect that a specific disaster may have upon them (see Figure 1). Note, however, I said a “preliminary” BIA. You will not have the time or resources to complete a full-blown BIA, nor would you want to at this point. Remember, what you are trying to do is get executive support, buy-off, funding, and personnel. Once you have those four things, you can get whatever else you need to achieve your goals.
The preliminary BIA process can include, but is not limited to:
- High-level review of critical business processes and interdependencies between departments and divisions
- Assessing the impacts of an extended business or production outage. What does an hour of downtime cost by department or division?
- High-level determination of the most time-sensitive processes, functions, applications, groups/departments, and work areas. This includes quantifying the maximum amount of time that a system can be out of service without severely affecting the company’s or organization’s revenue flow, production, or services.
- A rough but reliable estimate of how much revenue and productivity would be lost if your organization were unable to conduct business for a prolonged timeframe
Suffice it to say that if you have the luxury of sufficient time and budget, you can do a very detailed analysis, which is always preferable. In all probability, both of these commodities will be limited. This is why we recommend a preliminary BIA, whereby you collect only the most critical morsels. This data in turn is used to substantiate the need, thereby funding future project phases that will require the support, funding, and endorsement of the executives.
Figure 1 Flow chart of a typical business impact analysis
Excerpted from Disaster Recovery Planning for Communications and Critical Infrastructure