The first British standard for business continuity published last week will become a key element of the business environment, according to a report to be published by Sungard Availability Services later this year.
The report predicts that although business continuity has not been an essential part of business partnerships in the past, the BS 25999 standard will soon become a core element of service level agreements and tenders.
"Wherever organisations seek to be assured of the products they are buying or selling, standards are an easy way of doing it," said Ron Miller, managing consultant at SunGard Availability Services.
He said now the BS 25999 standard was in place and certifiable, within the next two years it was likely to become the guarantee most organisations will look for to ensure their suppliers are reliable and able to support them if something disruptive occurred.
"Large organisations are less likely to be willing to do business with suppliers unable to prove they have business continuity plans in place, which will drive the standard down the supply chain to all but the very smallest of companies," said Miller.
However, he said even software development companies with fewer than ten employees would have to consider certifying against the standard to do business with large organisations.
"Although the competitive advantage of certification will erode as more companies certify, there are other longer term benefits in the form of risk mitigation and making organisations more attractive to insurers," said Miller.
BSI British Standards, which developed the standard, has published a book that advises organisations on how to prepare for certification.
The book, The Route Map to Business Continuity Management: Meeting the requirements of BS 25999, was written by John Sharp, an honorary fellow of the Business Continuity Institute.
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