A survey of companies from different sectors conducted by Institut Cerdà’s Crisis Management Support Service has found that 76% of the companies have incorporated the concept of business continuity as a strategic area in the last decade. This compares with the fact that only 24% of them had already developed this more than ten years ago. The survey also revealed that, on average, four people within a company work on business continuity, and in 63% of cases these people are in-house staff. This is a clear indication of the consideration and consolidation of this function in companies.
The concept of “business continuity” defines the capacity of an organization to continue delivering products or services to predetermined levels of acceptability following a disruptive incident. This concept was born in the 1970s with the emergence of disaster recovery plans. It has evolved to the point where there are now international standards, such as ISO 22301, to guide work in this area. These standards and guides facilitate the planning and implementation of business continuity in organizations. Institut Cerdà has a specific department, within the Crisis Management Support Service, to support companies in the implementation and development of business continuity plans and compliance with the ISO 22301 standard.
Specifically, the ISO 22301 standard helps a company to identify and prioritize the threats it faces. It addresses the requirements of a management system to protect them from incidents that may cause interruptions in their activities, reduce the likelihood and the impact of these incidents occurring, and guarantee the subsequent recovery.
Business continuity is usually a strategic activity, conducted at a high level within organizations. It will probably include the presence and consideration of the Board of Directors. In fact, almost 30% of companies consulted have raised this function to the highest levels of responsibility in their organisation.