Preparing for the worst

British businesses are failing to plan for disasters despite being more aware of the potential problems they could face if the worst happens.


British businesses are failing to plan for disasters despite being more aware of the potential problems they could face if the worst happens.

British businesses are failing to plan for disasters despite being more aware of the potential problems they could face if the worst happens.

The 2005 Business Continuity Management Survey from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) revealed firms turning a blind eye to threats to their business and leaving staff in the dark to any business continuity plans that are in place. The CMI believes such lack of foresight makes businesses “sitting ducks”.

“It’s a matter of concern that many organisations still fall short when it comes to implementing thorough business continuity management strategies,” warned Mary Chapman, chief executive of the CMI.

Top of the list of potential threats that business owners are worried about is a loss of IT cited by 70% of respondents. Also high on the list are loss of telecommunications (64%), fire (56%), loss of people (55%) and terrorist damage (53%).

However, the list of actual events that caused disruption in the last year, despite having loss of IT at the top, shows flooding, high winds, health and safety incidents and negative publicity all above less common incidents such as fire and terrorist damage.

The conclusion of the survey is that increased awareness of the range of threats is not being matched by the business continuity plans in place. It also suggests that those organisations with plans need to rehearse them more thoroughly and regularly.

To find out more about how to implement business continuity management, go to www.continuityforum.org.

(9/3/05)

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