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06 May 2010: Chartered Management Institute:

Bad weather, swine flu, postal strikes or IT breakdowns may be unavoidable but a good business plan helps mitigate their effects.
Report by Sue Mann

Disruption & Resilience: the 2010 Business Continuity Management Survey

From Acts of God to accidentally severed power cables, organisations of all shapes and sizes are vulnerable to disruption, which is why an all-hazards, tried and tested approach to business continuity management could pay off in the long-run.

It is certainly a strategy that has worked for a large number of managers, according to a survey by CMI and the Cabinet Office entitled Disruption & Resilience: The 2010 Business Continuity Management Survey.

The findings show that 79 per cent of those organisations that have a business continuity plan (BCP) in place, and had been forced to activate it in the past 12 months, confirmed that it had effectively reduced the impact of disruption.

CMI has been tracking continuity management take-up in organisations for 11 years and this year's report shows a marked increase in the number of charity/not-for-profit organisations with a BCP in place - up from 42 per cent last year to 51 per cent this year.

A number of factors are driving the adoption of BCPs in organisations, Awareness and take-up is strongest in the public sector (68 per cent) where the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 makes BCPs a requirement for many public sector organisations.

Public limited companies are a close second (62 per cent) driven by corporate governance requirements and the demands of customers keen to ensure continuity of service in their supply chains.

Legislation is also a driver, with respondents saying that their organisations had adopted BCPs to comply with, for example, health and safety law.

Size does seem to matter when it comes to protecting business continuity. Larger organisations are more than twice as likely to have dedicated BCPs than smaller organisations (65 per cent compared to 29 per cent).

These trends have to be balanced against the fact that less than half of managers (49 per cent) are actually aware of a specific business continuity plan in their organisation covering critical business activities.

Extract from an article published in the May issue of Professional Manager

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