20 November 2007

UK businesses are increasingly prepared for disruption or disaster according to BSI British Standards’ annual Business Barometer, published today. 

The research found:
• 81% of FTSE companies would expect to last up to one week before feeling serious detrimental effects following disruption or disaster
• Almost two thirds (63%) are very well prepared for serious IT failure
• Half of businesses surveyed are fully prepared for a forced office relocation
• Almost half (47%) are fully prepared for comprehensive supply chain failure

BSI’s annual survey of FTSE 250 companies shows that 71% recognise the importance of Business Continuity Management (BCM) in staying competitive and winning new business in the future.  This is a 10% increase on 2006’s Business Barometer.

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said: “The scale of risk and opportunity in the FTSE 250 are enormous and these organizations are recognizing that BCM has to be at the heart of their operations.  It’s also crucial for smaller organizations and those in other sectors to look seriously at how they would cope in the event of a disaster. 

“This year’s Business Barometer shows improvement in the preparedness of organizations for serious failure of their infrastructure which is really positive but there is still room for improvement.  That’s why BSI has today published BS 25999-2, Specification for Business Continuity Management, which enables organizations to verify their BCM plans through independent certification.  The standard can be used in an organization of any size or sector and provides a mechanism to ensure that their partners and suppliers also have appropriate BCM procedures in place.

“In September, BSI also launched an Online BCM Assessment Tool, particularly useful for SMEs wishing to assess their BCM capabilities.”

Terror threats and natural disruption prompt review

Events of the last year have prompted many businesses to reconsider their approach to BCM:  
• 42% reviewed their approach to BCM following the London and Glasgow terror alerts in June 2007
• 34% reviewed their approach to BCM following the widespread flooding throughout summer 2007

Despite an increase in overall preparedness on last year, the Business Barometer shows that more businesses would be affected by disruption or disaster more quickly than in 2006.  58% said that their business would be seriously affected in under a day, compared with 46% in 2006. 

Chris Green, Chairman, Business Continuity Institute, and Chairman of the BSI business continuity committee, said:  “The need for robust BCM standards such as BS 25999-2 is clear.  By following the requirements of the standard, organizations can improve enterprise stability, increase job security and ensure the flow of money into communities.  Without BCM standards in place, infrastructure and supply chains may be less secure and employment and economic growth placed at risk.”      

Standards save Businesses

• Those companies already implementing British or international standards as a matter of course were found to be better prepared, with 56% saying that their business would be very well prepared for failure in the supply chain, compared with 47% overall.
• 62% of businesses, compared with 46% in 2006, are required by customers to show that they have effective business continuity measure in place.  72% now ask all or some of their own suppliers to do the same.

Continual Improvement

BSI’s research shows that businesses are increasingly recognising the value of BCM.  More companies are ‘very well prepared’ for;
• failure in the supply chain: 47% (45% in 2006; 18% in 2005)
• catastrophic IT failure: 63% (51% in 2006; 27% in 2005)
• forced business relocation: 50% in 2007 (41% in 2006; 15% in 2005)

BS 25999-2, Specification for Business Continuity Management, complements BS 25999-1, Guide to Business Continuity, published in November 2006.  Part 2 has been developed by a broad based group of world class experts and specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, operating and improving a documented Business Continuity Management System.  The requirements of BS 25999-2 are generic and intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size and nature of business.

The certification industry is already committed to meeting business needs for certification to this standard in light of unprecedented demand.

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For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Lucy Fulton
Public Relations Officer
BSI British Standards
Tel: 020 8996 7248

Notes to Editors:

1. About the research:
Populus, the UK’s leading business trends researcher, interviewed 100 budget holders and budget decision makers in FTSE 250 companies throughout September 2007. 

2.   About BS 25999:

• BS 25999-1 provides BCM best practice recommendations and serves as a single reference point for most situations where business continuity management is practised.
• BS 25999-2 is a Specification and provides the requirements for a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) based on BCM best practice. Organizations can use this standard to demonstrate compliance via an auditing and certification process.

More information is available from 
Free review copies of BS 25999 are available for media on request from Lucy Fulton, BSI on 020 8996 7248.

3. About BSI’s Business Barometer:
BSI’s Business Barometer is an annual poll based on interviews with 100 decision makers in FTSE 250 companies. It is now in its third year and explores the key issues facing businesses to gain understanding on the areas where standards could drive success.

4.   About BSI British Standards
BSI British Standards is the UK’s National Standards Body, recognized globally for its independence, integrity and innovation in the production of standards and information products that promote and share best practice. BSI works with businesses, consumers and government to represent UK interests and to make sure that British, European and international standards are useful, relevant and authoritative.  For further information please visit

About BSI Group
BSI British Standards is part of BSI Group, a global independent business services organization that inspires confidence and delivers assurance to customers with standards-based solutions. Originating as the world’s first national standards body, the Group has over 2,250 staff operating in over 100 countries through more than 50 global offices. The Group’s key offerings are:

• The development and sale of private, national and international standards    and supporting information
• Second and third-party management systems assessment and certification
• Product testing and certification of services and products
• Performance management software solutions
• Training services in support of standards implementation and business best practice.

For further information please visit