Why are Business Impact Assessments Important?

Business Impact Assessments (BIAs) are little-known tools that you may never have heard of. A crucial element of the Business Continuity Planning process, a BIA is an assessment that is conducted in the early stages of the business continuity process, aiming simply to minimize risks. Risks can arise in a variety of forms, including everything from staffing shortages, I.T. failures and supply chain disruptions to natural disasters, global pandemics and cyber-attacks. A BIA centers around gathering information regarding the possible risks that your business may face, and developing strategic responses that mitigate the impacts of these risks within set objective recovery times.

A BIA will focus on many considerations, including:

  1. What could my business lose if key business functions were halted?
  2. How long could my business’ functions be stopped for before it causes long-term impacts on profitability and continuity?
  3. Do my business’ activities rely on any external services, or do other external operations depend on it?
  4. What is required to implement alternative processes that can help continue business operations during a crisis?
A successful BIA will include the suggestions and concerns of members from different departments of your business, with these points being collated to ensure that no crucial information is missed, and all essential processes and risks are captured. Using this assessment, we can construct a detailed business continuity plan that is tailored to the specific needs of your business. This plan aims to protect your business’ critical functions first and foremost, whilst limiting the disruptions made to business activities by allocating resources appropriately.
Failing to perform a BIA in your Business Continuity Planning process can be detrimental to your business’ efforts to maintain operational capability in the event of a crisis. BIAs make it clear to everyone involved in responding to the interruption what the priorities are, and where resources should be directed to first, ensuring that the key operations that cannot be unavailable for long are reinstated as a priority. A BIA can also be illuminating for many businesses as BIAs can highlight gaps in capability within the business, and can highlight other issues which are easier to manage before a crisis occurs, as opposed to them only coming to light once a crisis plan must be activated. BIAs also highlight the many department interdependencies many businesses will have. During a crisis event, it may appear that only one area or department of a business is affected, but without a BIA, some department interdependencies may be missed, meaning that the impact of a disruption may extend just past what was initially thought. This lack of clarity during a crisis event can make an already stressful situation increasingly difficult.

Preparing ahead of time to manage the future impacts an incident may have on business operations can protect your business’ profitability, reputation and longevity. Don’t leave it up to chance. Put your business in the safest hands possible. With an experienced team that can tailor our solutions to meet your business’ specific needs, Resilient Services is a leading risk and resilience consultancy that can help integrate business continuity planning seamlessly into your business’ risk management processes. Contact us today to see how we can help your business become stronger, smarter and more secure.

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