Business continuity planning below average in IT sector, study says

The level of business continuity planning in organisations in the IT sector is below the national average, according to a survey published by the Chartered Management Institute and Cabinet Office.

The level of business continuity planning in organisations in the IT sector is below the national average, according to a survey published by the Chartered Management Institute and Cabinet Office.

The survey found 39% of organisations in the IT sector had a business continuity plan in place, compared with the national average of 47%.

The report said although 75% of IT organisations recognised that business continuity was a critical issue, attempts to protect business operations were often "haphazard" and "untested".

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said, "It does not matter whether the turbulent times we face are caused by economic or security concerns, the simple fact is that failing to provide safeguards for business operations does not make sense."

The survey found that public sector scored the best with 62% having a business continuity plan in place, followed by listed companies (55%) and private and voluntary organisations (40%).

The report also found that only 29% of organisations with business continuity plans in place made allowances for loss of people and 33% did not test their continuity plans.

A high proportion (78%) of those organisations that did conduct tests at least once a year said shortcomings had been revealed, enabling them to make improvements.

The survey also found staff training relating to business continuity remained limited, with only 35% including such training in induction courses for new staff, up from 30% in 2007.

Bruce Mann, director of civil contingencies at the Cabinet Office, said although the survey showed some improvement, there was still much more to be done.

"Too many organisations still do not have effective business continuity arrangements in place," he said.




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