Tuesday, 8 January 2013

10 Business Continuity Predictions for 2013 - getting to grips with Business Reslience

Lyndon Bird FBCI

At the start of the year it is always tempting to forward and make some predictions. Like New Year resolutions, however, they are generally much modified as soon as they come into contact with reality. Nevertheless at the BCI we asked our experts what they thought might be important Business Continuity trends in 2013 and got some interesting responses, from which we listed our top ten, and here they are:
10 Business Continuity Predictions for 2013

  1. Business Resilience – we’ll see the move from an academic discussion to one more practical; the debate will continue as to whether this is a rebranding exercise or a substantive change.
  2. Security, risk and business continuity professionals will continue to look at synergies while recognising that each discipline actually deals with different challenges.
  3. IT will still dominate BC thinking but refreshed under the cyber threat, big data, cloud and mobility services.  The cyber threat will start to move on from its hype phase to a more sophisticated, nuanced understanding.
  4. Contingency planning will become fashionable again as part of a broader understanding of Business Continuity which includes continuity capability and crisis response.
  5. ISO 22301, the new international Business Continuity Management standard, will start to take-off with certificates issued in more than one country.
  6. Regulators will question whether the answer to resilience is more regulation; alternative, market-driven methods will be explored.
  7. There will be some high profile ‘business continuity’ failures, where the actual Business Continuity Management team will not be involved at all.  Discussions on extending Business Continuity concepts more broadly will still be a minority activity.
  8. Sustainability as a driver for Business Continuity will still be in the wings, waiting for its call onto the stage.
  9. Service failures by outsourcers will put continued pressure on globalised service delivery models that don’t consider resilience.  Business Continuity professionals will need to get the economic case for Business Continuity on the table.
  10. Social media will continue to present both a challenge and opportunity for business continuity professionals, as it provides opportunities for early visibility of issues and effective crisis communications, while equally being a source of misinformation and a medium to fan the flames of a crisis.
Admittedly some of these are almost certain to happen, like a take-off in ISO22301 certification or high-profile corporate failures, but others are more debateable and some quite difficult to measure. Over the next few weeks I will give a little bit more detail about each of these predictions and would welcome any thoughts (agreements or disagreements) about our conclusions.

Firstly we predicted that in 2013, the BC community would at last get to grips with the concept of Business Resilience.  For too long it has been an academic debate; some arguing it is no different to Business Continuity, others arguing it is the way to bring Risk, Security, Continuity and Crisis together in a coherent form. Work being done by British Standards and ISO on Organizational Resilience will focus attention on this topic and BC professionals will be at the forefront of these initiatives.

Another related prediction was that security, risk and BC experts will continue to look at synergies whilst recognizing that each discipline deals with different challenges. We feel that this integration is being forced upon organizations by cost pressures and a general move away from silo thinking.  However, there is much vested interest in maintaining the status-quo, so don’t anticipate this consolidation to be universally popular or quickly assimilated.

Next week we will look at cyber threats and the relationship between contingency, continuity and crisis.


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