There’s been a lot of discussions in the BCMP professional community as to whether performing BIAs at your business are a necessary practice anymore.  I have been following blogs and attending presentations where BIA is being depicted as just a “checkbox” for being compliant, which belies direct conversations I've had with customers who say that a BIA provides genuine, demonstrable results that identify business functions and applications that are critical to the enterprise.

These opposing points of view have me pondering, why do some believe the BIA matters and why do some think it doesn’t?  From what I can gather, the answer is…“simple."

  • Keep your responses “simple” – Don’t overload your respondents with a multi-page questionnaire.  Make it easy for the respondent to fill out and submit the assessment.  Keep your BIA to a handful of impact questions which are clearly and succinctly worded to minimize alternate interpretations.  Also, avoid assessing impacts over too many time intervals. 
  • Keep your methodology “simple” – Complex formulas, algorithms, and evaluation criteria can make you job of compiling and analyzing BIA more burdensome. There is no need for complicated operations to arrive at measurable results.  Sure, you can construct elaborate mathematical expressions with Excel, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  A simple methodology uncomplicates your analysis, especially when explaining results to stakeholders.    
  • Keep your approval process “simple” – Passing around a read-only PDF from one email recipient to another is no way to manage an approval process. Streamline your efforts with a tool that includes an automated workflow, with triggers based on status and date and system-generated notifications that bring approvers into an interactive, in-context interface built for reviewing and approving responses, and for tracking and reporting on responses and approvals. 

Whether you do a BIA or not, understanding what matters to your business is essential to managing a BCM program.  Identify what matters to your enterprise, and then put “simple” measures around it.  This can be achieved by adopting a solution built for simplifying the BIA process, enabling you to easily create, manage, analyze, and approve BIA assessments.

AssuranceCM is a visionary, user-friendly and complete BC/DR software solution; an integrated business continuity management (BCM) suite that offers Business Impact Analysis (BIA) Assessments, Planning, Incident Management/Testing, and Reporting on a single, inter-connected platform.  Additionally, we provide automated data integration with CMDBs, HR and other systems, and simple PC or mobile device connectivity. AssuranceCM is a 100% SaaS offering fully owned and controlled by Sungard AS that uniquely offers a100% application uptime SLA and the only Help Desk Institute (HDI)-certified 24/7 support organization in the market.

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Topics: Business Continuity

Ted Marquardt

Written by Ted Marquardt

Ted is in Product Marketing for Assurance. With over two decades of experience in Software Development, he appreciates the daily challenges customers face and the need for solutions to get the job done. Along with the rest of the Product and Sales teams, Ted strives to understand the concerns of BC/DR professionals and articulate how Assurance services and solutions can help solve them. In his free time, you'll find Ted trying to keep up with his busy kids, while squeezing in some time for walking the dog and playing guitar.

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