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Few SMEs prepared for business disruption

Few UK small businesses are ready to bounce back if they have a business disruption.

An independent survey of 1,130 small business owners, commissioned by business continuity firm SunGard, shows only a third of SMEs in the UK are taking steps to ensure that their business can continue to operate normally under any circumstances.

Keith Tilley, vice-president of Europe for SunGard Availability Services, said, "SMEs admit to feeling pressure from customers to show their resilience. Yet they are doing very little to protect their business."

The survey found that 40% of SMEs would suffer total or severe impairment to business operations in the event of a computer hardware failure.

In addition, 45% would suffer total or severe impairment to business operations following a power cut or a flood, and only 10% would suffer no impairment and be able to function as normal in the event of a fire.

Less than 10% of SMEs had heard of BS 25999, the first British Standard for Business Continuity Management, which was launched in October 2007.

The standard establishes definitions of key business continuity processes, and lays down guidelines for the development, testing and analysis of business continuity plans.

On being told about the standard, nearly 30% of SME managers said that they would now plan to achieve certification.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)