What is Business Impact Analysis?

This blog gives an overview of what Business Impact Analysis or BIA is all about – what it entails and what deliverables are typically expected.

Moh Heng Goh

Managing Business Impact Analysis

What is Business Impact Analysis?

Business Impact Analysis or BIA refers to the process of identifying an organization’s Critical Business Functions (CBFs) and analyzing the potential disruptive impact to the business. The BIA can be used to:

  • Assess the impact of a disruption to any functional area or business operations within the organization
  • Determine the extent to which key functional and operational dependencies exist within the organization
  • Establish the priorities and sequence in which critical IT applications and key business functions should be restored


The objectives of a BIA are to:

  • Determine the criticality of individual business functions in the organization
  • Determine the impact of a disruption on CBFs, e.g. financial and non-financial losses
  • Determine the tolerable limits of failure or loss of each CBF
  • Determine the minimum resources to be allocated to recover and resume the CBFs
  • Determine the sequence of recovering CBFs in the event of a disaster
  • Identify the inter- and intra-dependences among the CBFs
  • Identify the vital records needed to support the resumption and recovery of the CBFs


The tasks to be led by the BCP Manager (Organization BCM Coordinator) and completed within the BIA phase include:

  • Establish business criticality/ impact criteria using BIAQ
  • Prioritize the importance of each business unit vis-à-vis established criteria
  • Consolidate findings and rankings
  • Present results to the Executive Management to confirm critical classifications and priority listings

Expected Deliverables

The expected deliverables in a typical BIA phase are:

  • Detailed report on findings (approved by the Executive Management) containing:
    • Prioritized Critical Business Functions
    • Classification of Criticality
    • Tolerable Limits
    • Restoration Priority
  • Impact analysis (both quantitative and qualitative) of unavailable business functions, i.e. extent of problems and damage arising as a result of those business functions becoming unavailable
    • Minimum resources needed to recover the prioritized Critical Business Functions

What Does BIA Development Process Entail?

The entire BIA process involves the following steps:

Gather Information
  • Design a BIAQ
  • Gather initial information about business functions, support systems, and IT applications through the use of BIA Questionnaires
Verify & Analyze Information
  • Validate the content of the submitted BIAQ with Business Unit (BU) BCM Coordinators
  • Conduct face-to-face interviews with BU BCM Coordinators to verify the accuracy of the information submitted
  • Analyze information to determine priorities for recovery of business operations, systems and IT applications
  • Establish a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for each CBF, i.e. time taken from disruption until recovery of operations
Document & Present Findings
  • Prepare the executive summary and BIA report
  • Include recovery priorities supported by graphs, charts, and other visual aids
  • Present findings and recommendations to the Executive Management in written and oral reports
  • Update the Executive Management on the subsequent steps in the BCM planning process


Conducting Your Impact Analysis for Business Continuity Planning (Second Edition)Goh, M. H. (2021). Conducting Your Impact Analysis for Business Continuity Planning. Business Continuity Management Planning Series (3rd ed.). Singapore: GMH Pte Ltd.

Extracted from "Chapter 2: What is Business Impact Analysis?"

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