Business Impact Analysis

It is important that the business or systems analyst evaluates which systems and functional areas will be affected by the implementation of a new solution. The analysts have to ensure that sufficient assessments have been made and that these findings are accurately documented. It would be unwise to raise a red flag or mention that a crucial business department was left out of the assessment when the project has reached the physical implementation stage. Therefore, analysts need to conduct a thorough, methodical assessment to determine who may be affected and the impact this may have on the current infrastructure and resources (see Figure 4.4).

Project Title

Business Impact Analysis

Approval list Distribution list

Contact persons & participants Activities to complete this new solution Person responsible for solution delivery Business impact analysis >- Business processes affected

> Systems affected

> Environments affected

> Clients & users affected Impact questionnaire

>■ List all mission critical systems

> Reliance on IT infrastructure

> Predicted risks in your area

> Worst case—IT failure

> Financial losses if affected

>- Ability to use manual systems

> Available contingency plans >■ Other

Questionnaire Consolidation & Recommendations

Figure 4.4: Business impact analysis diagram Analyzing the Client Architecture

The business or systems analyst should analyze and document the client's current information technology architecture as part of completing the project initiation phase. Often, the business analyst faces the problem that he or she lacks the skills to perform a technical assessment of the client's architecture; in this case, the assessment needs to be delegated to an IT architect or systems analyst. The analyst should ensure that a complete inventory of the current system is documented and that this documentation includes (1) hardware, (2) software, (3) communication, and (4) the physical infrastructure. The analysis should clearly indicate whether the IT systems are (1) owned by the client or leased to independent contractor(s), (2) compatible with the current architecture and platforms, (3) becoming obsolete, or (4) suitable for the overall direction and trends of the business strategy.

There are several factors needed to perform a proper technology assessment, and these factors can be separated into three main categories.

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