A critical piece of business continuity planning is creating a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). Executing a BIA allows your organization to prioritize your business functions and resources so you can create a business continuity plan that effectively minimizes the damage caused to your institution during a disaster or service interruption. Institutions are comprised of many services, processes, departments, resources, and technologies – so how do you effectively prioritize the most important functions within your institution to start creating your plan?
Determine criticality. With each business process or service, you’ll need to determine the resources and time necessary to continue its critical functions. You’ll also need to consider the impact on the organization if that function is not recovered. Remember, revenue loss is only one aspect of the organization that can be impacted. Consider the effect of this lost business function in each of the following areas:
- Reputational impact
- Legal impact
- Revenue impact
- Operational impact
- Customer impact
- Regulatory impact
You’ve created a list of critical functions based on their impact, and determined an acceptable amount of time to restore the function (Recovery Time Objective, or RTO).
Now how do you pick which areas to work on first?
As a group, you and your management team will need to look through the resource requirements for each critical function. Generally, resources support several functions, and determining where you get the most functional bang for your resource buck can help to organize your list and determine what is most important to get back up and running first.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that it’s nearly impossible to get every business function back up at the same time. Your BIA is there to help structure your recovery plan so it becomes reasonable to recover in a larger time frame with the smallest impact to your organization. Business continuity planning is an important but difficult endeavor. Join Tracy Hall and Puja Ghiya at the 7th Annual WolfPAC User Conference, where they will give a two part session intertwining the theory and processes necessary to create a business continuity plan with the practical applications and enhanced functionality within the WolfPAC Business Continuity Plan module. Register now for our East coast October 29-30 or West coast November 5-6 event to attend!