Another smorgasbord of sessions today – 8 concurrent sessions in each of 4 time slots, plus 2 Plenary Sessions. Unfortunately there is always more than 1 session in each time slot I would have liked to attend.
The sessions, both yesterday and today, are organised into streams;
- Real Events / Lessons Learned
- Technical Issues / R&D
- The Human Element
- Future Trends
- Practice & Principles
- Emergency Health
- Pandemic Planning
My session yesterday was in the Practice and Principles stream.
Highlights of Day 2, for me, included;
- Keynote Presentation by Nathaniel Forbes “The Impact of Thirst. Water Emergencies in the 21st Century”
- An impressive visual display to support a very well delivered presentation.
- The presentation took the format of telling 3 stories about the impact of water shortages in 3 different countries (Yemen, China and SIngapore) and the impact that these issues could have on supply chains and business in North America or Europe.
- Very powerful presentation and challenged the thinking about what is, or should be, the areas of focus for Business Continuity.
- John Bircham and Gavin Love session “If Resilience is the answer, What was the question?”
- A somewhat light-hearted look at the subject, with a serious message.
- The concept of resilience is not that clearly defined and so this session set out to look at the subject in terms of what is the question it is answering.
- There was some overlap of material between this and JOhn’s workshop on Sunday, but not too much.
There was a third session that certainly stirred my interest, but for the wrong reasons.
It was listed as exploring a ‘Top Down’ approach to undertaking a Business Impact Analysis (delivered by a Canadian and part of the Practice & Principles stream) – however it turned out to be very IT/IS oriented. To the extent that the assertion was made that IBM had started the debate on resilience!
Worse still the majority of attendees (and the room was full) seemed to be accepting that all this was good.
The session highlighted that Maximum Acceptable Outage was a foreign concept (in fact the approach being presented was to identify this without recognising the term MAO) based on Recovery Time Objective for systems. Likewise Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption – was not mentioned, but some of the issues related to MTPOD were being explored.
This was not an isolated thing, some of the networking conversations on Sunday and Monday had shown similar trends, the surface of BC was scratched and quickly came to address IT issues.
One of the best aspects of this conference is the discussions and debates over lunch and coffee. I took the opportunity of sitting with some DRI Canada officials at lunch and took the plunge with my gross generalisation – “BC in North America is very IT-centric and IT focussed”.
They did not reject my assertion, but certainly lamented that is was that way. The conversation quickly moved to how much better the BCI was at marketing and promotion. Perhaps I have had a sheltered life recently, but have not come across this as badly in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa for many years.
What are your views on this? Is it a gross generalisation?
Does it apply wider than North America?
I would welcome any comments from North American readers.
John Bircham – Bircham Global