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Business Impact Analysis

The Business Impact Analysis, or BIA, is a process in which to gauge the impacts of disruptions on the organization, with a particular emphasis on key functions. This process typically follows the Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment to identify the likely disruptive events facing the organization.

While it is common to plan around specific disruptions; fire, flood, supplier disruption, etc., we recommend an approach that recognizes an all-hazards strategy to developing continuity plans. In the context of disruption, virtually all organizations can be broken down in three primary categories; People, Place, and Process.

Time-critical, key functions of the organization must be identified and recovery time objectives determined to develop appropriate recovery strategies. In the context of Information Technologies, acceptable disruptions may have Zero Recovery Time Objective, meaning there is no acceptable disruption period. This results in strategies such as “Hot Sites” where a remote data center operates simultaneously with the primary servers.

The Business Impact Analysis is a key component to an effective Business Continuity Program and should be regularly reviewed and updated. Any significant change in operations should always include a revision to the BIA.