Chapter 3. Developing and Using a Business Impact Analysis

Organizations have limited resources. You can do only so much with the people, budget, and equipment available. Software companies want to add more features and functionality to their products; financial services organizations want to have additional investment and management plans available for their customers; automobile manufacturers want to have additional models, features, and accessories available for their customers to choose from. But these organizations can't always add what they want to their products and services.

Businesses that want to develop disaster recovery (DR) capabilities are also constrained by limited resources. At first glance, it makes sense that all business processes and information systems should have disaster recovery capabilities. However, an organization just can't have DR plans for all of its processes and systems—it doesn't have enough resources or enough time. So how does an organization decide which processes and systems warrant the expense and effort related to the development of DR plans? Most businesses use a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to help them make this decision.

You use a structured, top-down approach to create a BIA. In this chapter, I take you through a tour of the ins and outs of BIA development and how it supports long-term DR development.

Understanding the Purpose of a BIA

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is a detailed inventory of the primary processes, systems, assets, people, ...

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