Business continuity trends and challenges: survey results
- Published: Friday, 03 April 2015 08:00
During the first quarter of 2015 Continuity Central conducted an online survey asking business continuity professionals about their expectations for the rest of 2015.
239 responses were received, with the majority (82.8 percent) being from large organizations (companies with more than 250 employees). The highest percentage of respondents were from the United States (35.6 percent), followed by the UK (24.7 percent). Significant numbers of responses were also received from Australia and New Zealand (6.7 percent), Canada (5.9 percent) and India (4 percent).
The survey asked respondents: ‘What level of changes do you expect to see in the way your organization manages business continuity during 2015?’
Only 14.7 percent of respondents expect no changes in organizational business continuity in 2015. More than half of respondents (52.5 percent) expect to see small changes; and a third (32.8 percent) anticipate large changes in the way their organization manages business continuity.
The respondents expecting to see changes were asked to provide details of the one area that is likely to have the biggest impact on business continuity practices or strategies within their organization. The key trends were:
- 14.4 percent will be making major revisions to BCM strategies and/or BCP(s);
- 8.7 percent will be introducing new business continuity software;
- 6.2 percent will be implementing new IT DR, availability or cloud technologies;
- 6.1 percent of respondents expect to see a significant increase in testing and/or exercising activities;
- Changes in the business / organizational structure will impact 6.1 percent of respondents;
- 4.6 percent will embark on new ISO 22301 alignment, implementation and certification projects;
- 4.1 percent will see their organization moving away from business continuity management to business resilience or operational resilience;
- Regulatory pressures and requirements are forcing changes in 4.1 percent of respondents’ organizations;
- An increased focus on information security will be having an impact on 4.1 percent of respondents;
- There will be an increased focus on supply chain resilience / supply chain dependencies in 3.9 percent of respondents’ organizations;
- 3.4 percent will be rolling out business continuity awareness programmes;
- 3.0 percent of respondents’ organizations will be taking a more formal approach to BCM;
- 2.0 percent of respondents will be implementing a new automated notification system.
Respondents were asked to report on ‘the biggest challenge that may hold back business continuity developments within your organization during 2015’. Two major themes emerged:
- Lack of budget, funds and resources: 35.6 percent;
- Lack of top management commitment, buy-in and support: 16.4 percent.
Other recurring challenges were:
- Lack of business unit support: 6.6 percent;
- The low priority given to BCM compared to other deliverables. 5.3 percent;
- Organizational apathy towards BCM: 4.9 percent;
- Staffing difficulties (loss of business continuity staff and difficulties in recruiting staff with appropriate qualifications): 4.8 percent;
- Lack of time available for business continuity staff to manage all their tasks: 3.5 percent.
Business continuity spending in 2015
Most organizations are maintaining business continuity spending levels. The survey found that in 7.1 percent of organizations business continuity spending will be ‘much higher’ in 2015 compared to 2014 and will be ‘higher’ in 24.7 percent. 47.7 percent of organizations will maintain business continuity spending at the same level in 2015 as it was in 2014.
Only 16.3 percent of respondents said that organizational business continuity spending would be lower in 2015 than in 2014; and 4.2 percent said that it would be ‘much lower’.
Finally, the survey asked respondents about how their organization’s business continuity team is likely to change in 2015. The vast majority (74.1 percent) said that their business continuity team would remain the same size; 17.6 percent said that it would grow and 8.3 percent said that it would shrink.