It’s quite true that the process involved in the development of business continuity and disaster recovery plans go through a lot of stages, but you can’t kick start them without taking into cognizance the vital contributions of BIA (business impact analysis) and risk assessment analysis. Once you have taken the two into consideration, you can then go ahead to formulate strategies that will enable you to handle the various hazards, risks, possible perils, and threats to critical business processes identified in the BIA and risk assessment analysis.
If you are able to accomplish this, what you come up with is a completed business continuity plan.
It’s important that you focus on the relationship between business impact analysis and risk assessment analysis, in order to fully comprehend the highly important process of developing business continuity/disaster recovery strategies, for you to eventually build your watertight BC/DR plans.
The areas you can deploy the results of a BIA to identify include:
- The most crucial business functions and processes to be recovered and reestablished after you might have experienced a disruptive event.
- Resources your organization needs to effectively sustain your key operations, such as email, a suite of office applications, databases, laptop computers, Internet access, remote access, and phones.
- Vital internal and external dependencies, important records, and other documentation whose loss could lead to downtime in the restoration of decisive systems.
If you have succeeded in identifying your critical business processes and related assets and supplies, you can then proceed to the next step which is identifying and assessing the risks as well as threats that could bring jeopardy to the continued business performance.
Risk assessment analysis data
Inasmuch as you set out to determine the external risks and threats your organization has to contend with, it is equally important you do not lose focus of the vulnerabilities within the organization which could include having only one data center or using legacy systems.
The risk assessment process you want to use must be able to identify the following:
- Risks and threats.
- The probability of risks and threats occurring.
- The potential harm of an occurrence to your organization.
- Any financial involvement associated with the occurrence of a threat.
Having identified the risk factors, the apt thing is for you to go ahead and map them to the critical processes you have identified in the BIA. The basis for the mapping is to be able to zero in on the most vital business processes and the risks and threats that could lead to any form of disruption for you.
The data you obtain from this can be deployed into the determination of the best approaches to moderate the inherent destruction to crucial business operations if the risks or threats you have been able to identify were to actually befall your organization.
Identify business continuity strategies
Having put the two steps into practice, the next thing you embark upon in your effort to come up with a focused BC planning process is to identify your relevant business continuity strategies.
The deployment of the three-pronged steps of carrying out a business impact analysis, charting the risk assessment analysis to the BIA, and going ahead to outline a strategy will effectively enable you to generate the data your organization will utilize in the development of your BC plans. The results you come up with will help in the identification as well as enable you to prioritize the most critical business activities and resources.
You will then be rightly positioned to come up with practicable plans on the way and manner to handle and manage any inherent disruption in your organization.
You can deploy both business impact analysis and risk assessment strategies to take care of contingencies that can lead to disruptions such as:
- Data recurrence – that can lead to loss of man-hour and will also ensure your data is not obsolete and is readily available.
- Inaccessibility of the main location – you will have preparations on the ground for alternate work areas in case the main location is unavailable.
- Down-time – employees will be able to remotely access corporate systems and applications and continue to work during an impedance.
- Centralized hosting – use of remotely hosted systems and applications that reduce the chances of downtime during disruption as compared to when systems are locally hosted.