UK firms unprepared for disaster, IDC warns

UK firms unprepared for disaster, IDC warns

BT-commissioned research reveals the UK's largest firms are still lacking when it comes to business continuity provision

Some of the UK's largest firms are unprepared for disasters such as flooding, IT failures and terrorism, research from IDC has claimed.

The figures, commissioned by BT Global Services, revealed that 71 per cent of businesses do have an emergency recovery plan in place, but 21 per cent of the largest firms in the UK have no plans in place.

However one in three respondents plan to increase their business continuity spending in 2008 despite the threat of an economic downturn, according to the research.

IDC also claimed that business continuity accountability is rising up the corporate ladder with the overall leadership team of businesses being increasingly involved in the key decisions surrounding business continuity - 49 per cent chief executives and 36 per cent IT directors.

Ed Cordin, EMEA consulting director at IDC, said: "The research shows that many business leadership teams are now taking notice of the business continuity issue. That 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.”

Ray Stanton, global head of business continuity, security & governance practice, at BT Global Services, said: “It is interesting to see that so many businesses plan to up spending in such a tough climate. However, businesses need to think carefully about how to spend that money. The right business continuity investments do not just protect against threats, they help to build customer confidence and enhance the brand. In contrast, by failing to get the basics right, businesses risk jeopardising not only the short-term ability to maintain operations – but also longer-term growth.”

“Business continuity planning should encompass technology, human resources and customer service issues. So it is encouraging to see that so many businesses have now developed emergency recovery plans, because they go beyond pure IT and communications matters,” concluded Stanton.