Midmarket takes risky approach to Business Continuity

Activity, an independent security specialist, today unveiled research that indicates that many midmarket organisations may have insufficient business continuity plans to protect their businesses or could be vulnerable because their plans are not tested correctly.

Activity’s survey of 200 midmarket companies (250-999 employees) conducted with research specialists Vanson Bourne, found that while 81 per cent of companies have a business continuity plan of some sort, over half had not been fully tested. In addition, 18 per cent of companies had not tested their plans at all.

Worryingly, only 15 per cent of organisations surveyed were confident that their plans would work and had fully tested them.

The research also showed that a quarter of smaller midmarket companies (250-500 employees) and 19 per cent of the total surveyed do not have a business continuity plan for their organisations, placing considerable risk on the companies’ ability to survive an unexpected event.

A positive sign was that business continuity practices in most of the companies incorporated senior management input but the majority of respondents (more than 60 per cent) felt that business continuity should be more of a priority.

The research also looked at how prepared the midmarket felt in terms of dealing with the unexpected. In the event of a major disaster affecting physical operations or human resources more than 60 per cent said it would not be easy to resume business quickly.

Commenting on the research, Neil O’Connor, one of Activity’s principal consultants said, “The findings show that British businesses are not taking the best approach to business continuity even though they recognise that it is important. Often business continuity efforts are hampered by lack of a cohesive approach, piecemeal planning and not actually testing the continuity plan. Risk management has to be all encompassing, with plans tested and constantly reviewed. With the right approach it is possible for this to be achieved in a manageable way for the organisation. In addition to safeguarding business operations, business continuity can also help a company review its own practices and enhance its services and operations.”

He went on to recommend that organisations look at developing and implementing their business continuity plans against the world’s first business continuity standard BS25999, “The British standard for business continuity management introduced last year has been developed to help provide businesses of all sizes with a framework for best practice. We are recommending this approach to our clients and are helping them to achieve compliance with this standard. ”