A Guide to Business Impact Analysis (BIA) for Continuity Professionals

Best Practice Guide

The business risk forecast: expect the unexpected

The risk picture is deteriorating across major sectors of the economy. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2020 Global Risks Report, more than three quarters of experts surveyed expect business risks in the form of international economic confrontations, domestic political polarization, and cyberattacks on infrastructure to increase this year.

Not just those, environmental disruptions, like the bushfires that ravaged large swathes of Australia in late 2019/early 2020, are likely to become more frequent. In fact, for the first time in the WEF report’s 13-year history, environmental risks top the list, including natural disasters, extreme weather, and human-made environmental disasters.

What can businesses do? Be prepared for the worst, for starters – and at the core of that preparation is the business impact analysis (BIA). In essence, the BIA grants an organization intimate understanding of how core business processes are impacted by crises, disasters, or disruptions, giving those organizations the insights needed to develop resilience in the face of uncertainty and disruption.

All too often, though, businesses fail to properly conduct BIAs. Why’s that? Well, for one, BIAs can be time consuming. Performed without the right approach and systems, they can also feel like academic, abstract, or worse, wasteful exercise with little real-world impact.

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