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The purpose of this BIA is to identify specific components within University of Phoenix crucial to its operations. The goals and expectations will be specific and relate to the company and not specific departments. Financial analysis will identify potential losses as well as loss of services and products. Recovery planning will consist of interviews and detailed methods for collecting data. Data will consist of financial reports that will project potential losses if a hazard occurs. This BIA will identify how many individuals are needed to fulfill a recovery process along with an estimated recovery time. Time is of the essence so it is crucial to correct these vulnerabilities. To begin, interviews and reports must be submitted to the participants. Once the data is collected, the information will be evaluated and recommendations will be given to best suit University of Phoenix (Broder, 2006).
University of Phoenix uses crucial applications in order for the organization to function. The applications include IS3 Finance, S3, and Oracle Financial, payroll, accounts payable, and human resources. These applications ensure employees can to assist students with their inquiries and to keep business running as usual. When systems go down, employees are not productive because they cannot access student records. This may also leave the organization vulnerable to other viruses or potential threats. System interference can also cost the university financially if this problem persists for more than a week (E. Johnson, personal communication, February 28, 2011)
Management commitment is also a critical part of the planning process. Without management commitment, the Business Impact Statement will be useless because it will not be applied in time of crisis. Senior management will need to be involved in this process once all components are gathered so they can be sold on the analysis. If senior management does not see the need for this approach, the project is not detailed and does not show critical losses for the organization. The financial reports will show potential losses if critical aspects of the organization no longer function or are not operational. The participants should include select employees, senior management, information technology management, and a consulting firm to handle interviews (Gartner, Inc., 2002).
University of Phoenix is made up of many departments and programs. The Academic Programs are numerous. They have campus programs as well as many online programs. There are not only the academic departments that have to be looked out but also the admissions and academic departments (University of Phoenix, 2011). People from each of these departments will have to be polled and data collected. Data collection can be done different ways. There are three ways that are, according to SearchStorageChannel (2008), "advisable to collect the data and that is through questionnaires, interviews, or workshops" (para. 1). For the BIA for University of Phoenix a questionnaire will be used along with meetings to ensure that the correct and most concise information is given.
Each department of University of Phoenix will need to appoint subject matter experts (SME). The SME's of these departments will have the most knowledge of the departments they work in. Questionnaires will be designed and given to the SME's. The SME's must fill out the questionnaires concerning the "department units, department functions and their department process" (SearchStorageChannel, (2008), para. 2). An online questionnaire will be made available so that the information may be received electronically so that the data will be go into an electronic database automatically this will be more time affective (SearchStorageChannel, 2008). A meeting with the SME's concerning the questionnaires will be held. It will be explained to the SME's the importance of the questionnaire and important it is to fill out the questionnaire in a timely manner. It will also be explained that the questions be answered with as much factual and statistical information as possible.
The reason for the questionnaire, according to APC International (2008), is to "indentify seven areas within the organization. The financial impact, the non-financial impact, critical points and resources, computer systems applications identification and ranking, impact resulting from lost transactions/data, linkages from other business processes and interfaces with external business partners" (Sample BIA Questionnaire, para. 2).
Different scenarios should be placed before the SME's to use when answering the questions on the questionnaires. The scenarios can be a disruption in their work area for a week or more. Regularly used equipment or records are unavailable to them for a week or more. The main database or regular computer applications used daily are unavailable with no time of when they will be available again (ACP International, 2008). If the SME will keep these scenarios in mind it will help them to answer the questions put before them more accurately.
The questionnaire will start with a department function overview. Each department must rate how important each function within their department is with a brief description of the processes. They will need to note the most inappropriate time to lose these functions within their department; this will include noting the peak times and how critical the function is within those times. They will need to note the financial impacts if they were to lose of the functions within their department. They will need to note the non-financial impact; these could include legal, clients, shares, fines, etc. The SME's will note if there are manual procedures or recovery in the event of a loss of function and what that procedure is. There will need to be a list made of work area requirements. This can include furniture, staff, and technology based needs. They will have to provide information on the applications that they use and how important they are. The information systems will then be asked to complete their part of the questionnaire on application systems recovery. This will include questions on backup procedures and recovery of these backups (ACP International, 2008).
Since 1976, the University of Phoenix has exhibited dedication to building a
foundation that will ensure academic success for its faculty and students (University of Phoenix, 2011). One process used to achieve this goal is through data analysis. This process allows management and/or designated staff members to analysis gathered information that will highlight important components to achieve the goals of the University of Phoenix. For example, prior to developing online classes much research was conducted to determine the technicalities needed to manage an innovative technology effectively that would afford students an opportunity to earn a quality education from the comfort of their home.
A considerably number of people desiring a college education could not pursue their dreams because of job requirements and family obligations that often prevent them from following through with their dreams. The staff involved in analyzing the collective data had to weigh the pros and cons in implementing a program that would offer flexibility of accessing class anytime from anywhere as well as access course material electronically, and other resources the students may require to successfully complete their academic obligations. The staff also had to determine from the collective data if the demographics being considered would support such a program due to the enormous manpower and revenue the university would invest in establishing a site. Another important factor would involve accreditation. Throughout their decision making, constant reviews of the collective data is scrutinize to determine the advantages, disadvantages, and projected costs for launching such a major plan. Subsequent to evaluating the data, the staff would make suggestions, and model a presentation that reflects statistics to assist in formulating a well-organized proposal to the persons considering the idea.
Presentation of Data
Once all information has been obtained the most important part of the Business Impact Analysis (BIA) has to occur and that is presenting the data to upper management of University of Phoenix. Presenting the data correctly will decide if one will get financial and political backing needed for completion of the BIA. The analysis that presents the BIA to University of Phoenix must not get bogged down in statistics, if this happens there is a chance that this will bore management to where they forget why they are there. If slides are presented to members of University of Phoenix, they should be short and concise. Management should also be given a written report to reference. This written report should have the data to backup the presentation, and the report should also have the impact by departments and as a whole. How the data is presenting will decide if funding is given to the different program budgets or if time was wasted preparing the report. Do not give management probability but facts, by giving them facts they are better to understand the report. Make sure everyone knows why you are there and what you need them to accomplish because of your BIA.
Concerning the reanalysis portion of a BIA the upper level management will reanalyze all the data presented throughout the entire BIA. What this will ensure is that all the possible holes in the university's business plan are filled before something bad could happen. Not only would reanalyzing the data help to build and maintain a better more thriving university, but it will also help them find any weak areas within the foundation. Everyone knows that the key to a successful business is not only the people who work for it or even the people who implemented it, but the plan or the foundation that holds it all together. If there are weak spots found in this plan, then the members of the upper-level management can pin point them and fix them before something would happen and bring the whole university to the ground.
It is very important for BIA's to be thorough because if they are not and, if the university falls on bad times they have no safety net to catch them when they fall. Reanalysis if not considered the most important part of the BIA is the second most important. Like stated previously stated if there was no reanalysis portion when the BIA is submitted to upper-level management and they like what they see without digging deeper into possible issues when something bad happens and the university takes a big hit or even has to close its doors for students they cannot blame anyone but themselves.
If the university fails to do the reanalysis portion of a BIA adequately, it is a guarantee that when these holes in the foundation present themselves they are not going to have a plan to fix them, causing the university to lose not only money concerning funding, financial aid, or scholarships to students, but reputation as well. Once the reputation falls the number of students who wish to attend this university diminishes, which causes a loss in tuition revenue.
This BIA has identified crucial components that manage University of Phoenix's operations. These components range from computer equipment, applications, office furniture, revenue, and other financial losses. The goals and expectations involve creating a safeguard to assist University of Phoenix should a critical failure occur. Financial analysis is linked to tuition revenue as well as losses due to failures lasting a week or more. Recovery planning will involve interviews comprised of SME's from several departments who will determine a recovery process along with an estimated recovery. Data will consist of financial reports and interviews from participants. This gathered data will be evaluated by senior management who will determine when and how these vulnerabilities will be corrected. This matter must be presented as time sensitive because any of these exposures can cost University of Phoenix valuable time, money, or even the organization.