It is now late November, after digesting my BCI World experience from November 5th and 6th at the Novotel London West Hotel, I wanted to reflect on some of the key discussions we had with the hundreds of BCI members and delegates who attended. It’s so energising to be part of thoughtful discussions and debate on the latest challenges facing business continuity practitioners from around the world.
The growing European team from Avalution EMEA (Dublin), attended BCI World along with some of our US team and our managing director and president. Indeed, the diversity of BCI members coming to us for advice this year was heartening both from a gender and cultural diversity perspective. We hope that this trend will continue as diverse perspectives is a proven catalyst in facilitating innovative discussion.
Of the main topics that delegates over the two days asked our advice on, four topics stood out for me…
- Process efficiency and automation were most definitely front of mind for practitioners as they seek advice on how best to save time, improve capability and reduce costs when running and maintaining business continuity programmes effectively. The key win here is automating and simplifying processes to enable the organisations simplify BCM programmes, maintain data currency, enable oversight and key metric output. With this in mind, we were delighted to share some of the latest innovations and enhanced features of our award-winning software Catalyst. Catalyst is developed by Avalution and assists BC practitioners in managing these challenges.
- Stakeholder management remains a key challenge with rising expectations from customers to evidence effective BCM and from internal senior executives to achieve more, faster with often with limited BCM resources. Our consulting team engaged in some great discussion and were delighted to share some takeaways to help them reframe how they think about stakeholder management. In addition, another stakeholder management necessity is the difficulty organisations have accounting for staff effectively during a major incident. Our consultants shared information about market place mass notification tools and also Catalysts’ Bullhorn which is Avalution’s bespoke emergency notification tool. Catalyst also enables various levels of other marketplace mass communication tool integration.
- Delegates are experiencing difficulty in obtaining the necessary BCM expertise to be able to successfully run and maintain an effective BCM programme. We have seen this challenge of sourcing expertise become more acute on a global level for our clients. This was a key driver in Avalution’s recent acquisition of the business continuity staffing and outsourcing company BC Management earlier this year. BC Management has over 35 years’ experience focusing exclusively on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery recruitment.
- Many delegates sought advice and help on how best to articulate the benefits of BCM to seniors and directors. This is closely tied to the first topic, I discussed above. A successful business continuity programme will clearly articulate why we need BCM, what the programme is protecting, the level of resilience required and team accountability. At Avalution our team has great success utilising our tried and true testing methodology called Business Continuity Operating System (BCOS). This also supports an impressive return on investment given the reduced resource hours required to run a successful and robust BCM programme. If you are currently looking to increase engagement and valuable communication with your leadership team, we just released our Executive Support Amplifier. A 5-step worksheet to help you create, energize, and focus executive support for your business continuity program so you can execute with absolute confidence and know that you’re making a difference.
Our team was extremely energised being able to advise and share with client organisations some immediate takeaways they could apply to elevate the strategic importance of BCM with senior executives. For those who didn’t have the chance to attend and talk to us directly, this is a topic I have written about previously and you can access my article at 9 Tips for Business Continuity Success.
For our European team, BCI World 2019 was a memorable experience with new friends and connections made, valuable and timely advice given, and some thought-provoking debates to keep the brain whirring for another year. If any of these challenges facing business continuity practitioners sounds familiar please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Elaine Tomlin, Managing Consultant
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