One in five large businesses lack detailed business continuity plans

Complacency or ignorance on the part of some major organisations to understand the risks associated with IT downtime

Research from IDC, commissioned by BT Global Services, has revealed that just over a fifth of the UK’s big businesses do not have detailed business continuity plans.

Even though the findings suggest complacency or ignorance on the part of some major organisations to understand the risks associated with IT downtime, the study also revealed that business continuity accountability whilst still resting in large part within IT is rising up the corporate ladder.

In the UK , 27% of firms’ plans were developed by a CEO and 63% by a CIO/IT Director/CTO. The research also found that the overall leadership team of businesses was increasingly involved in the key economic decisions surrounding business continuity with 49% of decisions being taken by a CEO/ Board/Director and 36% by a CIO/IT Director/CTO.

Despite the lack of a business continuity plan with the one in five businesses, IDC also found that just over a third of businesses , 37%, intend to increase their business continuity spending in 2008.

 The study also revealed that 71% of businesses do have an emergency recovery plan in place. This is defined as a plan that goes beyond looking at how to recover IT and communications systems and looks at other business-critical information such as a full and up-to-date list of employee mobile phone numbers or automated phone lines in place in case of emergency or disaster.

The research showed that many business leadership teams were now taking notice of the business continuity issue, suggested Ed Cordin, Consulting Director EMEA, IDC.

He added, “This is an important development because keeping the business running, come what may, has to be a key board-level concern not just one of IT. That said, the alignment between aspiration, accountability and decision making still requires significant attention in many organisations. Likewise organisations that do not possess detailed business continuity plans need to act now.”

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