IBM expects BS 25999 to develop into an international standard within two years

The new British standard (BS) for business continuity is set to become an international standard, driven by demand for supply chain security as global interdependencies increase, says IBM.

The new British standard (BS) for business continuity is set to become an international standard, driven by demand for supply chain security as global interdependencies increase, says IBM.

"BS 25999 will be of value in terms of supply chain continuity assurance, competitive advantage and potentially, further down the line, in simplifying and reducing the costs of regulatory compliance," said Robin Gaddum a consultant at IBM business continuity and resiliency services.

Gaddum said there was a lot of interest in the standard and he expected it to evolve into an international standard within the next two years in much the same way as the British standard on quality management (BS 5750) progressed to become the ISO 9000 series.

"A lot of consultation has gone on that has helped to lay the foundation for [the standard's] broader acceptance, as well as involvement from bodies such as the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat and the Financial Services Authority (FSA)," he said.

Gaddum predicts that organisations with big supply chains will be among the first to adopt BS 25999 to ensure supply chain security.

"For organisations such as Walmart, that has 60,000 organisations in its supply chain, certification on the standard will be a quick and easy way of ensuring each supplier's business continuity plans are up to scratch," he said.

Gaddum will tell attendees of next week's Business Continuity Expo in London that supply chain continuity is becoming an important area of focus because of the risk created by an increasing number of interdependencies between business organisations around the world.

Another important driver for adoption of the standard, said Gaddum, was its expected inclusion in the Civil Contingencies Act in the next year. He said this would ensure the standard's adoption by all public sector organisations, including emergency services, hospitals, prisons and utility, communication and transport companies.

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