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Cath Everett

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UK business not ready for a crisis


Although awareness of the need for crisis planning is high following a series of extreme weather conditions, the flu epidemic and transport disruptions, only just over half of UK organisations have any contingency plans in place.

These are the findings of a report entitled ‘Managing Threats in a Dangerous World’ published by the Chartered Management Institute together with the British Standards Institution, the Business Continuity Institute, the Cabinet Office’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat and insurance firm Aon to coincide with Business Continuity Awareness Week.
The study revealed that, although just over four out of five senior managers considered business continuity management as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’, some 58% currently had no strategy to cope with disruption at all. Private sector companies were the single worst offenders of any category, with 49% totally unprepared to cope with threats to day-to-day operations.
Ruth Spellman, the CMI’s chief executive, said: “With so many organisations now relying on online networks and systems to function cyber security breaches have joined extreme weather, contagious illness and transport disruptions as one of the top risks to businesses’ performance. Managers need to ensure that they have proactive plans in place to deal with the potential threats that could impact their business.”
Over the last year, the report found that heavy snow had caused disruption to 92% of companies, while the volcanic ash cloud and the flu epidemic had hit 53% respectively. A further 12% had lost confidential information and 9% had suffered a significant hack to their computer network.
Of those that had business continuity plans in place, however, 84% said that they had helped to reduce disruption, while just over three quarters indicated that the cost of developing plans was offset by the business benefits experienced.


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