More than a fifth of UK businesses do not have detailed business continuity plans, according to IDC research.
The research firm said this indicated a major oversight by some major organisations to understand the risks associated with IT downtime.
The research, commissioned by BT Global Services, also found that while in most companies (63%) responsibility for business continuity still lay with IT, it was rising up the corporate ladder.
Almost half of UK respondents (49%) said the overall business leadership team were becoming increasingly involved in decisions relating to business continuity.
Ed Cordin, EMEA regional consulting director for IDC, said, "Many business leadership teams are now taking notice of business continuity, which is an important development because keeping the business running has to be a key board-level concern, not just IT."
The IDC report said that despite the gloomy economic outlook, 37% of UK companies said they intended to increase business continuity spending in 2008.
Ray Stanton, global head of business continuity at BT Global services, said it was interesting to see how many businesses planned to increase business continuity spending, but the right investments would help build customer confidence as well as protect against threats.