Archive for December, 2010

Aligning IT with Business Goals

Monday, December 20th, 2010

In many organizations, information technology (IT) departments are struggling to align their capabilities to meet business objectives. Meanwhile, in the face of increased market and regulatory pressures and a history of project failures, CFOs, CEOs and other non-IT leaders are questioning both performance and costs associated with IT.

The stakes are high.

IT failures have led to reputation damage, customer and market valuation loss, and an increase in privacy concerns and high-profile lawsuits. In many cases, these have negatively impacted company growth.

Not surprisingly, demands on the CIO are greater and more complex than ever. The role of IT is now to help companies respond to market pressures by focusing on cost savings, return on investment, and growth objectives, and must help the organization operate within acceptable limits of risk while ensuring information and data integrity.

The key to facilitating this alignment is the Business Impact Analysis (BIA). The BIA identifies the critical needs of the organization and properly aligns those needs from an IT standpoint. Because there is almost always some discrepancy between the business requirements and the capabilities of IT, the BIA can be used to help identify conflicts and differences. By assigning a solid dollar value to the loss of that business function or process, the applications identified become the highest priority for IT to recover and allow the business to view resources in the proper perspective. Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) are clearly identified as well, further quantifying the critical IT infrastructure.

Understanding business objectives and leveraging enabling technologies can help ensure that your IT solutions meet the current and future needs of your organization. The ideal place to start is with a BIA.

Patrick R. Dunn, CISSP, CBCP
Principal Consultant – Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
Vice Chairman – Contingency Planning Association of the Carolinas (CPAC)
President – Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP)