UK businesses may be taking risks with an indifferent attitude towards business continuity, according to an new independent survey.

The survey of 950 companies across the Europe, Middle East and African (EMEA) region commissioned by Hitachi Data Systems found that only 19% of UK businesses rate disaster recovery and business continuity as an important driver behind their storage investment, while 6% said it was not important at all.

This was in stark contrast to the rest of EMEA, where nearly a third of companies surveyed considered business continuity a top driver behind storage investment.

The research also revealed that 13% of UK companies surveyed do not actually have a formal strategy for disaster recovery and business continuity, by far the highest in all EMEA, where the average was just 2%. Only 25% of UK companies had tested their business continuity strategy within the last 12 months, the lowest of any other country and behind the EMEA average of 80%.

Steve Murphy, UK Managing Director for Hitachi Data Systems said: “This is a wake-up call for UK businesses. Every company should prioritise business continuity and have a tried-and-tested disaster recovery plan in place to ensure that they can meet the challenges of an unforeseen incident.”

By contrast, 31% of UK companies agree that green credentials increasingly influence their decision-making, just behind the EMEA average of 33%, while a further 14% rate this as such a key priority that it is specifically requested in tender documents (where the EMEA average was 17%).

UK companies also scored higher on implementing policies for classification of data for data protection (80%), but surprisingly low on having policies for data deletion and data protection, where only 52% and 38% do respectively.

The UK was among the most concerned when it came to better data availability, increased data demand and regulatory compliance, showing a more mature approach to storage management. Over a third (35%) report they re-evaluate their storage strategy at least once a year and purchase a planned amount of storage every quarter to stay ahead of demand, compared to the EMEA average of just 26%. They are also more likely to perceive storage to be a vital part of their IT infrastructure, planning up to three years ahead.