UK business continuity practitioners have welcomed the prospect of the first BSI British standard for business continuity to be published this month.
"The standard will give companies clear guidelines on putting together a business continuity plan as well as a clear benchmark they can achieve," said Ian Houghton, continuity manager at Royal and Sun Alliance.
The certification requirements for the standard, to be known as BS 25999, are due to be published before the end of November, a year after the publication of the code of practice. The first certifications are expected by mid-2008.
Competitive advantage would be one of the biggest benefits of certification on the new standard, said Keith Tilley, UK managing director at Sungard availability services. "It will be a quick way of providing continuity assurances," he said.
Mandy Rustler, head of ICAS Crisis Call, said an independent standard would ensure that the business continuity industry was driven by best practice and not by those commercial companies who could afford to promote their products and services.
Richard Nicholls, associate director, CIO Connect, also welcomed the standard, but said it remained to be seen whether it would go far enough, would be able to keep up with current thinking, and would be a simple certification process that was not bogged down with excessive paperwork.