Business Continuity Planning essential for SME’s in 2011

Business Continuity Planning should be the focus for SME’s in 2011, according to one of the biggest insurance groups in the world, Aviva. The research was an outflow of the Bi-annual SME Pulse of Aviva and conducted Online. The survey involved 500 business owners and focused on methods used by SME’s to operate their businesses.

One of the main areas of questioning involved Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning. The research in this area was shocking. 50% admitted to having no plan whatsoever. 28% said they had indeed developed one, and 16% claimed it was unnecessary for their kind of business.

The results are especially telling for data loss disasters. There have been many studies revealing that businesses quickly close up shop following data loss disasters. This means that business owners are taking the risks far too lightly.

The estimates of how long SME’s can recover and return to normal trading were troubling as well, though it is business type dependent. A third of SME owners believed they would be back to normal daily business inside of a week. 31% thought it might take them a full month. Less than a fifth claimed they were completely covered by insurance and had a full plan in place. The survey uncovers the grim fact that most SME’s lie open to disaster and grave losses.

If an SME will plan, backup data, and meet continuity requirements, losses from downtime will be low. Many businesses would be devastated being out of action for a week, or a month. Losing long-term clients would ruin their reputation and destroy their business.