Disaster Recovery Plan: Business Impact Analysis

Methods for Establishing Component Priorities

Business Functions and Processes

Disasters, be they natural or human-instigated, are rather difficult to forecast and, thus, extremely hard to handle (Johnson, 2014). As a result, it is crucial for an organization to design a comprehensive disaster management plan (DMP) in case of a disaster occurring in the area and disrupting the operations within a company (Fulmer, 2015). A standard DMP typically embraces the elements of a firm’s IT infrastructure to secure its information and prevent the scenarios in which data can be lost without any possibilities for its further restoration (Johnson, 2014). To draw an efficient DMP, one must get corporate priorities in line, which requires isolating internal and external factors defining the efficacy of a firm’s operations (McEntire, 2015).

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As a rule, the functions and processes associated with information management (i.e., acquisition, analysis, and storage of data), Supply Chain Management (information transfer and particularly communication with partners), and the disposal of corporate assets and inventory need to be listed among the key constituents of a standard DMP (Johnson, 2014).

BIA Scenarios and Components

Elements

Although approaches toward the Business Impact Analysis (BIA) may vary, traditionally, it includes elements such as time, IT characteristics, data history, available location options, staffing standards, and the degree of impact and likelihood of a disaster occurring (Fulmer, 2015). The specified components guarantee the security of organizational data and the opportunity to restore crucial information in case it is damaged severely (Johnson, 2014). Seeing that corporate data is an important asset that defines a company’s success in its target market, creating the platform for its further restoration is critical to the improved functioning of an organization.

Scenarios

Typically, two scenarios are identified when designing a BIA. The first one (i.e., the worst-case scenario) implies the destruction of physical property and data of an organization. For instance, the premises on which its office is located, the inventory and resources used for the firm’s operations, the storage of a company’s data, etc., may be affected by a disaster as material objects. The second one suggests little to no effect on the efficacy of a company’s operations and, thus, is regarded as the best-case scenario (McEntire, 2015). However, the options that can be described as the instances of partial losses taken by an organization may also be included in a DMP (Johnson, 2014).

Financial and Service Impact of Components Not Being Available

One must keep in mind that some of the constituents of a BIA might not be instantly available. The specified scenario is likely to pose a massive threat to the assets of a company (i.e., its, financial resources, inventory, etc.). The lives of staff members may also be jeopardized in case some of the components of a BIA are not incorporated into its framework (Fulmer, 2015). Financial losses and the issues associated with the damage of corporate resources, in turn, are likely to entail a rapid drop in the overall quality of delivered services (McEntire, 2015).

The loss of corporate data is, perhaps, the most drastic outcome of an inappropriately implemented BIA since it will lead to the inability to cater to the needs of target demographics. Reduced customer loyalty and retention levels are the most likely outcome of the situation described above (Johnson, 2014).

Recovery Time Frameworks

To manage the recovery process and restore the assets that were destroyed by a disaster, one will require a lot of time. Therefore, the process of planning recovery time frameworks is also very lengthy, with a detailed analysis of the essential factors and careful evaluation of every issue that may hinder the recovery. The structure of a recovery time framework hinges on factors such as recovery objectives, the outcomes of an operational and financial impact analysis, etc. (McEntire, 2015). Because of the unpredictability of disaster outcomes, a recovery time framework must be flexible enough for a company to adjust to changes in its financial and physical assets (Johnson, 2014). As a rule, the recovery time may vary from several weeks to several years.

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Methods for Determining Component Reliance and Dependencies

Component Dependencies

Each of the BIA components is closely linked to the rest, leading to the necessity to set the corporate priorities straight and structure the specified constituents to form a hierarchy based on which BIA will be implemented. Although in a BIA, the dependencies between some of its constituents might seem tenuous, they are, in fact, interdependent. For example, the choice of a communication framework will define the speed of the transportation of the company’s employees and assets to a safer location.

Some of these interdependencies demand scrutiny in order to be seen, such as the link between the firm’s staff and its infrastructure. However, each of the components must be prioritized and placed in the corporate hierarchy to determine the time that it will take in the context of the BIA plan. For example, the efficacy of the HRM system determines the speed of managing corporate data and, therefore, securing it during a disaster (Fulmer, 2015).

Resources Required to Recover Component in the Event of Failure

The choice of recovery tools is determined by the type of products and services that a company offers and the assets that it possesses. However, there are general guidelines for restoring the constituents of a BIA in case the plan turns out to be inapplicable. For instance, the tools that will sustain the specified components, such as relevant technology and communication techniques, will have to be considered. The importance of risk teams and the power of an efficient leader must not be underrated, either. For instance, risk teams will provide the support that will be required to carry out the restoration process, whereas a leader will provide guidelines and motivate staff members to overcome the negative effects of a disaster and be ready to start from scratch.

Human Assets Needed to Recover Components

As stressed above, forming a team of experts who will provide emotional support and encourage people to retain their optimism is crucial. Furthermore, a team of experts who will work on the restoration of damaged resources will have to be formed. The role of a leader who will become a role model and will inspire people to overcome temporary difficulties is extremely important as well. As a result, an organization will handle a crisis and reintegrate into its target environment successfully (Johnson, 2014).

Recommendations for the Development of the BIA, Management and Other Personnel Responsibilities, and Educating Company Personnel

A well-structured and viable BIA needs due care and a proper analysis of a company’s assets, resources, strengths, and weaknesses. Therefore, it is strongly advised that detailed scrutiny of key components of an organization, as well as the way in which they are related to each other. Moreover, staff members must be fully aware of their role in the disaster management process. Thus, the use of an efficient leadership model that will motivate employees to acquire suggested knowledge and skills must be regarded as essential. The resulting increase in resilience to disasters is bound to make a company more efficient and competitive.

References

Fulmer, K. L. (2015). Business continuity planning: A Step-by-step guide with planning forms (3rd ed.). Brookfield, CT: Rothstein Publishing.

Johnson, R. (2014). Security policies and implementation issues. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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McEntire, D. A. (2015). Disaster response and recovery: Strategies and tactics for resilience. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

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