A new study found many business officials have not tested their business continuity plan to work out the kinks

Study finds many companies have not tested their business continuity plan

Many businesses across the industry spectrum have recognized that it is unacceptable for a legitimate organization to completely neglect planning for disruption. As such, most organizations have developed some degree of a business continuity plan to determine how the company will stay on track with their established goals should some obstacle stand in the way of its successful completion of daily operations.

For example, especially with the increased salience of technology, a severe weather incident, unavoidable technical malfunction or instance of employee negligence could make a company's infrastructure go haywire. In response, many business officials have sat down to account for things like data recovery, service continuation, IT security and ROI initiatives well in advance rather than scrambling to find answers should a problem arise.

However, officials must understand that designing a business continuity plan is only half the battle, and that, in order for it to be most effective, it must be tested to work out all the kinks.

According to a recent study though, a majority of businesses are not taking this crucial measure. In fact, 96 percent of the polled respondents admitted that they have not tested their business continuity plan.

"Testing is key," says business continuity expert Ian Forrester who was associated with the study. "Testing proves that your business planning, systems and infrastructure can continue in a crisis. By testing, you are finding problems, fixing them and creating peace of mind for employees, shareholders and customers. If you never test, you will never know if your business is prepared for a worst case scenario."

In order to gain assistance in this area, it would be wise for business officials to turn to a consulting firm that can help design tabletop exercises. By partnering with these professionals, experienced consultants can assess whether a current business continuity plan will actually prepare a company to react, and suggest measures to optimize its provisions.