What is a Business Impact Analysis?

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is a systematic process that helps an organization identify and evaluate the potential effects of disruptions to its critical business operations.

The main objectives of a BIA include:

1. Identifying Critical Functions: Determining which business functions and processes are essential to the organization’s operations.

2. Assessing Impact: Evaluating the potential impact of disruptions (such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or supply chain failures) on these critical functions. This includes quantifying the financial, operational, and reputational consequences.

3. Determining Recovery Priorities: Establishing priorities for recovery efforts by identifying the maximum tolerable downtime (MTD) and recovery time objectives (RTO) for each critical function.

4. Resource Requirements: Identifying the resources (personnel, technology, infrastructure, etc.) necessary to maintain or quickly restore critical operations during and after a disruption.

The results of a BIA provide a foundation for developing effective business continuity and disaster recovery plans, ensuring that the organization can quickly respond to and recover from unexpected events.

How do I create a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) questionnaire?

Creating a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) questionnaire involves identifying key areas and functions of a business that could be affected by disruptions.

The questionnaire should gather information to assess the potential impact and prioritize resources and recovery efforts.

Below is a comprehensive example of a BIA questionnaire:

 Business Impact Analysis Questionnaire

 Section 1: General Information

1. Department/Unit Name:

2. Location(s):

3. Primary Contact Person:

   – Name:

   – Title:

   – Phone:

   – Email:

4. Secondary Contact Person:

   – Name:

   – Title:

   – Phone:

   – Email:

 Section 2: Business Function Identification

1. List the main functions/operations of your department/unit:

2. Describe the services/products provided by your department/unit:

 Section 3: Critical Business Functions

1. Identify and describe each critical business function:

   – Function Name:

   – Description:

   – Department/Unit responsible:

   – Dependencies (internal/external):

2. For each critical function, please provide the following:

   – Maximum Acceptable Outage (MAO): 

     – How long can this function be unavailable without causing significant damage?

   – Recovery Time Objective (RTO):

     – Timeframe to restore the function to avoid significant impact.

   – Recovery Point Objective (RPO):

     – Maximum data loss in terms of time (e.g., last backup time).

 Section 4: Impact Analysis

1. Impact of Disruption:

   – Financial Impact:

     – Estimated financial losses per hour/day of disruption.

   – Operational Impact:

     – How will the disruption affect day-to-day operations?

   – Customer Impact:

     – How will customers be affected? 

     – Potential customer loss (number/percentage).

   – Reputational Impact:

     – How will a disruption affect the company’s reputation?

   – Legal/Regulatory Impact:

     – Any legal or regulatory consequences of a disruption?

   – Other Impacts:

     – Any other significant impacts (e.g., employee morale, supply chain)?

 Section 5: Resource Requirements

1. Human Resources:

   – Key personnel required to restore functions.

   – Minimum staffing levels needed during a disruption.

2. Technology Requirements:

   – Hardware, software, and network requirements for each function.

   – Alternate technology solutions if primary systems fail.

3. Facilities and Equipment:

   – Essential facilities and equipment required.

   – Contingency plans for facility unavailability.

4. External Dependencies:

   – Key suppliers, vendors, and partners.

   – Impact of their disruption on your functions.

5. Other Resources:

   – Any other critical resources needed.

 Section 6: Current Preparedness

1. Existing Plans:

   – Does your department/unit have any existing disaster recovery or business continuity plans?

   – Describe the plans briefly.

2. Testing and Maintenance:

   – Frequency of plan tests and drills.

   – Recent test/drill date and outcomes.

3. Training:

   – Training programs for employees on business continuity and disaster recovery.

 Section 7: Recommendations

1. Improvements Needed:

   – Suggestions for improving resilience and recovery capabilities.

2. Additional Comments:

   – Any other relevant information or concerns.


Thank you for completing the Business Impact Analysis questionnaire. The information provided will help us to develop effective continuity and recovery strategies to safeguard our business operations.

Feel free to adjust this template according to the specific needs and context of your organization. The aim is to gather comprehensive information that will enable a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of disruptions on your business operations.