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Business continuity management in German, Austrian and Switzerland based small and medium sized enterprises

Arno Gingl, a member of Austria-based Risk Experts Risiko Engineering GmbH, recently examined the status of business continuity management in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

Between November 2012 and February 2013, executives from the service, transport and manufacturing sectors participated in an online survey. 54 percent of respondents were from Austria, 23 percent from Germany and 22 percent were from Switzerland.

Key findings include:

  • Only 19 percent of the participating companies have taken any business continuity measures; and only half of these companies use any standards as a basis for elaborating, implementing, and documenting their business continuity management system.
  • 25 percent of the participating companies have already experienced one or several cases of business interruption.
  • Companies which already have a business continuity plan often do not carry out sufficient training: almost 50 percent of these companies state that they carry out business continuity training on an annual basis, and 50 percent do not conduct any business continuity training at all.
  • Of the 81 percent of the surveyed enterprises that do not have any business continuity measures in place, 18 percent cited lack of know-how as the main reason. 12 percent stated that they saw no sense or added value in it for their companies, while 6 percent cited high costs and excessive effort involved. Further reasons included other entrepreneurial priorities and the fact that business continuity was at the planning stage or ‘in the employees’ heads, but not documented’.
  • When asked to identify the most important critical business processes, ‘sales and distribution’ topped the list, with 38 percent of respondents stating that this was a critical business process. This was followed by ‘finance’ (35 percent); ‘human resources’ (32 percent); and ‘information and communication technology’ (29 percent).
  • The top five threats facing businesses in German, Austrian and Switzerland were identified as: human failure (identified by 50 percent of respondents); lack of key staff (49 percent); loss of a major customer (39 percent); failure of / problems with IT / ICT systems (37 percent); and breach of security (31 percent).

For further information please contact Arno Gingl at a.gingl@riskexperts.at

•Date: 23rd August 2013 • Europe •Type: Article • Topic: BC statistics

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