One of six report at least one significant business disruption last year in Middle East

business continuity survey conducted in the Middle East reveals that businesses within the region are progressively looking to develop their disaster recovery potential. The ‘Second Middle East Business Continuity Survey’ which was conducted across 9 Middle Eastern countries covered various industry verticals such as telecom, financial services, government and IT.

Measuring the levels of BCM maturity, together with the importance of implementing BCM for greater operational efficiency, the survey found that 16% of the respondents reported at least one significant business disruption during the last year.

Further results showed that 57% of respondents scored their organisation’s BCM speediness as average or below average, 51% assessed their organisation’s IT disaster recovery readiness as average or below average while 54% rated their organisation’s crisis management readiness as average or below average. In addition, the report found that 65% of the respondents were not very sure of the overall reliability of their current IT backup and recovery systems and procedures.

The report found that close to 21% of the organisations have had robust BCM programmes in place for the past three years whist 14% had just began exercising their BCM plan. The rest of the organisations either have no concrete plans to initiate a BCM programme or are still at different stages of implementation in the BCM lifecycle. The survey results indicated that IT infrastructure for disaster recovery, as well as training, awareness building, software and licenses were the key investment areas for the implementation of BCM.

Similar disruptions have occurred in the UKand continue to grow at an alarming rate. To provide a practical solution to these issues, BSI are publishing the new ISO 22301, which specifies the requirements for setting up and managing an effective Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) for any type or size of organization.

In recent times, business continuity has gained significant interest as organisations increasingly prioritise the need for data protection, as well as long term practicality, commitment to good corporate governance and compliance towards overseas regulations.

ISO 22301 allows immediate access to the requirements of a BCMS that will enable organizations to prepare for disruptive incidents that might otherwise prevent it from achieving its objectives. The document can be used to assess an organization’s ability to meet its own continuity needs and obligations and establish a business continuity management policy that provides a framework for implementing effective business continuity arrangements.