A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) allows an organisation to identify the criticality of processes, interdependencies with other business units and third party suppliers, critical system requirements (e.g. systems and applications), vital files, network drives and hardware, describe manual work arounds and prioritise business functions during a recovery situation. The BIA forms the basis for the Business Continuity Plans.

A business impact analysis should take into account tangible financial impacts (opportunity cost, increased cost of working expenses, revenue reduction, uninsured asset replacement, capital value and financial viability) as well as intangible, non-financial impacts (reputation, brand and presence, legal and contractual liabilities, quality of product and services, stakeholder confidence and support, staff morale and well being, operational and management control and environmental damage).

A clear understanding of these impacts will help form the justification for the level of business continuityIT disaster recovery investment required.