How will you be applying your business continuity training – getting the message across to the rest of the organisation, bringing your BCP up to date, and dealing with business disruption? What situations are you most likely to encounter? The British Standards Institute sponsored the 2013 BCM Survey for the Chartered Management Institute and has published information on the trends. Although some of the statistics may be specific to Britain, many of them may well be applicable generally. After the number one cause in Britain, which was snow, any guesses for what else disrupted businesses the most in 2012?

The report shows that after snow in 77% of the cases, the biggest factor in business disruption was the unavailability of people because of illness (42%). This was even more than what is often cited as the most common reason for disruption, which is IT failure (40%). Telecommunications failure came in fourth at 27%. On the other hand business continuity management appears to be paying its way. 87% of managers in organisations putting BC policies into action said that this reduced disruption; 81% said the costs were less than the benefit gained in doing so.

Another striking result was the way in which the percentage of small organisations now applying business continuity management has become greater than that of medium sized organisations. There is also a general upwards trend in the number of organisations using business continuity management. From a figure in 2010 of 49%, the increase has been to 58%, 61% and now 63% in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. And if you’re wondering what’s driving the rising popularity, the 2013 Business Continuity Management Survey has figures for that too: corporate governance (52%), followed by experience of an emergency or crisis (42% and customer demands (38%).