The final day of WCDM 2012 started the same as the last two – with a scary doomsday keynote!
Today the subject was the risk of nuclear terrorism. John Powers suggested that some large cities – especially in the USA – are the most likely targets.
However a key message was for all to be ready to deal with the indirect impacts, as there is little scope to help those directly impacted.
Loss of critical infrastructure and the knock-on effects were areas to focus on. Powers also highlighted a need for ‘Continuity of Government’ and pre-vetted action plans.
Not that dissimilar to the lessons we need to apply to a lot of other incidents. Flooding disasters, like that in Pakistan, also teach us about incidents where the scale of the incident is really measured by the number of survivors impacted, rather than the death toll.
Also succession planning is a sound practice for normal BCM.
The second session, an approach for reducing ‘readiness’ to a set of metrics on a page, did little to allay my fears. It may do wonders for compliance and the illusion of control – but real capability is still a people issue.
The panel session (pictured) provided a change of pace with some interesting, and at times robust, exchange of views. A lot of the robust exchange was in relation to the idea of Public Private partnerships. The hot questions could be re-stated as;
- Are these really partnerships?
- Do the private sector and government have competing (and perhaps incompatible) objectives
- Profit motive being the main culprit here
One of the many, often not perceived, cases where culture and our own world-view means that we cannot have meaningful discussions on the subject.
Also the issue of Sovereign Wealth Funds and the risk of allowing these entities to gain ownership/control of Critical Infrastructure in other countries arose.
- Can they be expected to support the needs of the country they have invested in, when this might conflict with the need to feed the citizens of the home country.
The final session, about earthquake damage, while focussed on serious and disturbing subject, was well done and included some great photos taken by the presenter.
I will post a summary and reflection on the conference tomorrow.
In the interim I am heading to Washington, DC for the ISACA World Congress, would be great to catch up with anybody who is attending.