First Half of 2019: Business Continuity Trends and Challenges

In a survey conducted by Continuity Central, respondents were asked: “What level of changes do you expect to see in the way your organization manages business continuity during 2019?” From the answers collected, the top five change trends that emerged were the following: 

  1. 22% of the respondents indicated that they will be making major revisions to their business continuity plan and/or strategy;
  2. 11% indicated that they intend to increase the testing phase of their business continuity plan;
  3. 1% indicated that they plan to roll out new or updated business continuity software;
  4. 2% intended to pay more attention to cyber security and cyber risks; and
  5. 25% indicated that they will be implementing new IT disaster recovery, availability, or cloud technologies.

However, despite these novel intentions, implementing change rarely succeeds as envisaged. The five principal factors that influenced the intended changes, according to a follow-up survey, are:

  1. A lack of financial resources was undoubtedly the top challenge to implementing change. More than half of the respondents indicated that budgetary constraints and resources were their main challenge in 2019 so far. Compared to statistics found elsewhere, this is a substantial increase from the 34.4% recorded in a survey of the previous year.
  1. Of the respondents citing budget and resources as their top challenge, 52% indicated that lack of an appropriate budget is their main concern while 48% cited lack of resources as their main issue.
  1. A further issue that poses a substantial challenge to business continuity is the lack or organizational support for implementing business continuity strategies and/or develop a business continuity plan. 17,75% of survey respondents agree with this.
  1. Closely related to the previous point is a general lack of buy-in, especially from senior management. 13,7% of organizations confirmed experiencing this particular challenge.
  1. Organizational challenges comprise 8% of the challenges cited by the respondents and the final, in the top 5, challenge to business continuity change or implementation.

One thing is certain: disaster happens. And, what appears very clearly from these statistics is the sense of complacency among respondents. Considering the increased volatility of global weather trends and the relentless and increased sophistication of cyber attacks it would seem obvious that business continuity planning should be more important than ever. So, what is driving this complacency? Our next post will delve into the drivers of complacency towards business continuity planning.

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