Yet fewer than 50% of companies and just over 33% of small organisations have business continuity plans, according to a survey of 500 CMI members.
The research showed that the loss of telecoms links and IT capacity head the list of concerns for businesses but fewer than 60% rehearse business continuity plans at least once a year - the minimum recommended by the Business Continuity Institute.
About 83% of managers said rehearsals had revealed shortcomings which led to improvements in planning. But only 11% of firms involved board-level directors in rehearsals; 34% focused solely on recovering IT systems.
About 33% benchmark recovery plans against good industry practice, the study found, but only 14% require outsourcing suppliers to have a recovery plan: of those that do, only 39% inspect them, and 55% accept a signed statement from the suppliers. About 26% of firms work with suppliers on continuity plans.
CMI recommended that firms review the effectiveness of plans through regular rehearsals and evaluation against standards.