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Business Impact Analysis Templates

Effectively assess impact and quantify potential company losses.

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What is Business Impact Analysis?

Business impact analysis is the process of planning for operational interruptions or disruptions caused by natural disasters or other similar incidents. It identifies and evaluates the impact of disasters and provides companies a basis for investment in recovery, prevention, and mitigation strategies. Conducting a business impact analysis aids companies in providing informed decisions, appropriate response, and proper resource allocation during a non-operation period.

What is a Business Impact Analysis Template?

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) template is used to evaluate and document the potential negative impact to an organization in the event of an emergency disruption. It is used by management to measure the potential financial/ operational loss and minimum recovery times of critical functions during outages. It is an important first step to help management prioritize which areas to establish business continuity planning for.

This page will briefly discuss: 1) 3 common business functions to focus on during a BIA, 2) how to create a BIA, 3) audit tools you can use to help perform impact assessments, and 4) BIA templates you can download and customize for free.

3 Common Business Functions a BIA Should Focus on

Here are the most common business functions that are typically prioritized for an impact assessment:

  1. Building Access & Facilities Support

    Building collapses, fires, or acts of terrorism can prevent physical access to workplaces. The impact of building disruptions can be severe and range from staff death, major operational disruption, and loss of revenue.

    Identify the physical buildings that are most customer-impacting and interdependent with other operations. Assessed recovery times should be based on office relocations and/ or implementation of remote work environments. It is also important to perform a BIA on the expected alternate workplace location. A BIA can assist in identifying which physical buildings and divisions should be prioritized for continuity planning.

  2. Data Center Availability

    Weather disasters, power outages, and server equipment failure can cause disruptions to data center operations. Loss of data center operations can impact external and internal communication channels and critical IT functions.

    Engage senior IT departments to determine which servers (internal or cloud-hosted) support critical business functions. Assessed recovery times can depend on how long it would take to fix backup programs and/ or the amount of time needed to operate in an alternate data center.

  3. Loss of Key Positions

    Loss of key executive roles in business operations can lead to loss of customer contracts, PR damage, and operational disruption. Loss of key roles can be due to sudden & unreported changes in key business processes, illnesses, or resignation.

    Engage senior management and the Board to map out key positions, responsibilities, and departmental dependencies. The financial impact can be assessed against the probability of losing key customer contracts. The operational impact should also be assessed based on dependencies with other departments. Recovery time can be evaluated based on succession planning and remaining positions across the organization chart.

How to Create a Business Impact Analysis

Business impact analysis plays an important role in business decision making. It helps prioritize the crucial areas of the business operations that can cause harm to the business in case of a non-operational period. It provides valuable analysis on the short and long term effects of a disaster, pandemic, or incidents. The following key aspects help create a business impact analysis.

  • Gather business information
    Gather information about business processes, finances, and employees. Plan, communicate, and interview leaders that work hands-on in the key-areas to further identify the risks and analyze the business needs.
  • Identify the Recovery Time Objective
    Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the duration of time a service level must restore a business process after a disruption. It helps determine how long personnel can work during “downtime” without the support of applications they use.
  • Determine the Recovery Point Objective
    Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the acceptable data loss to users when an interruption to a business function occurs. This will help determine the estimated financial impact on the business.
  • State the manual continuity plan
    Identify the manual workaround procedure of the business in the event of interruption or disaster. It helps prioritize business processes that cannot operate without the services.
  • Document and analyze data
    Carefully analyze and decide business needs based on the gathered information. Document and discuss business impact analysis to the key individual including business partners, stakeholders, and investors.

Software to Simplify BIA Data Gathering and Reporting

Using cloud software tools like iAuditor by SafetyCulture can eliminate wasteful time spent gathering questionnaire responses and on data-entry when performing BIAs. Your BIA team can use iAuditor to:

  • Gather BIA findings using a smartphone app
  • Instantly make and distribute changes to your BIA templates and questionnaires
  • Automatically save and access all BIA records online

Get started by using iAuditor for your BIAs using these free customizable BIA templates and surveys:

Author

Jona Tarlengco

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.