I was encouraged to read Graeme Howe's letter on business continuity (20 November, Insurance Times).

There is no doubt that awareness of the need for business continuity has increased in recent years. However action as a result of this awareness is still lacking - particularly in the SME community.

And it is the SME community which may well be most vulnerable to business disruption. Research has shown that seven out of ten small businesses which experience a major disaster / interruption go out of business within 12 months.

As the need for business continuity increases, so does the need for education. Insurers have a responsibility to educate the market and need to collaborate with business continuity players and industry bodies, such as the Business Continuity Institute, to do this effectively.

One of the main misconceptions about business continuity is that large scale disasters pose the greatest threat. In fact, day-to-day interruptions to business through incidents such as IT failure occur more frequently and can be greatly damaging to the availability, reputation and survival of a business.

Through collaboration with industry peers and continued education, the message that business continuity must be part of 'business DNA', will get through and invoke action.

Dennis Thomas
Director of business continuity