Business Continuity Sees Broad Response

New survey finds regulatory compliance, fiduciary responsibilities, operational resilience as three major drivers of business continuity efforts.

More than 83 percent of companies have developed business continuity management programs, compared with only 30 percent of companies just six years ago, reported a new survey by Deloitte & Touche LLP and CPM Group.

According to Deloitte and CPM, the heightened attention for business continuity efforts “show that executive management remains primarily concerned with regulatory compliance, and with fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities by addressing operational resilience in response to a broad array of disruptive events.”

The 273 survey respondents, mainly from North America, represented a large variety of industries. Nearly 50 percent have executive or managerial titles in business continuity or disaster recovery management; other management functions enjoy broad representation.

New concerns about bird flu have joined existing worries about terrorism to keep business continuity an executive priority. The survey noted pointedly, however, that more than half of responding companies believe that the Department of Homeland Security’s Threat Advisory System “rarely has value in supporting their own contingency response planning.”

Other major findings of the Deloitte/CPM survey:

• Increasing intolerance of operational downtime has become a major reason for companies to establish a business continuity management program. In this latest survey, 12 percent of respondents reported a zero tolerance for operational disruption, more than twice as many as two years ago.

• Nearly half of respondents believe they have a better understanding of regulatory requirements and have achieved full compliance.

• Fully 70 percent of respondents have business-continuity programs for most or all critical functions.

• Nearly 50 percent have developed crisis management plans that are tested at least annually, nearly one-third higher than last year’s figure.

Nearly one-third of respondents’ annual budgets for business continuity management exceed $1 million.

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