UK businesses still risk disaster wipe-out

Businesses have improved their disaster planning over the past year, but many are still putting themselves unnecessarily at risk, research from BSI British Standards reveals.

Businesses have improved their disaster planning over the past year, but many are still putting themselves unnecessarily at risk, research from BSI British Standards reveals.

The organisation's survey of 100 FTSE 250 organisations, released on the anniversary of the Buncefield disaster, shows that only 20% of companies could survive more than a week without serious disruption to their business following a disaster.

The survey found that 14% of companies would be seriously affected within an hour, 23% within 24 hours, and 16% within three days following a serious emergency.

The survey has also raised questions about the readiness of the supply chain for a major business disruption. Only 45% of the firms questioned had comprehensive plans in place for a supply chain failure, and only 21% said they required all their suppliers to have business continuity plans in place.

Although businesses still have a long way to go, the survey shows significant improvements have been made over the past 12 months. Around 40% of firms said they were fully prepared to relocate their business in the event of an emergency – up from 15% a year ago. Just over half said they were prepared for an IT systems failure – up from 27% a year ago. And 45% said they were ready to manage failures in the supply chain, compared with 18% in 2005.

“The FTSE 250 has a market value of more than £260bn, so the scale of the risk and the opportunity is enormous. While it is encouraging that companies are improving their thinking about continuity, they cannot afford to be complacent,” said BSI director Mike Low.

Companies in London were more likely to say they were very well prepared to manage failure in the supply chain than those outside London. London firms were also more likely to report that a disaster at their office would have a significant impact within an hour than companies outside the capital.

 

How long would it take before a disaster or serious disruption had an effect on your business ?

 Less than an hour 14% 
 Between an hour and half a day  9%
 Between half a day and a day  23%
 Between one and three days  16%
 Between three days and one week  18%
 More than one week  20%

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

Read more on IT risk management

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close