2016 was another busy year for the Business Continuity Institute, beginning with the announcement of our exciting new partnership with Regus, a partnership that increases the value we offer our members by providing even greater benefits such as improved access to their worldwide facilities.
The first of many research reports to be published throughout the year was our annual Horizon Scan Report, a report that highlighted just how significant the digital threat can be as cyber attacks and data breaches filled the top two spots yet again. It also revealed that physical threats like terrorism are a growing concern, a concern that is unlikely to go away any time soon.
Demonstrating the truly global nature of the Institute, the BCI launched a new Chapter in February when the India Chapter was formed after much hard work by the Forums we already had in India. This brings the total number of Chapters to ten, not to mention over 60 Regional Forums that exist across the world.
With so much discussion being on organizational resilience in recent years, debate has focused on how it relates to the established business continuity management discipline. The BCI therefore decided to release a position statement noting that business continuity provides principles and practices that are an essential contributor for any organization seeking to develop and enhance its resilience capabilities.
During the first half of the year, much of the media was filled with stories about Brexit and the inconceivable possibility that the United Kingdom could vote to leave the European Union. Before the referendum took place, the BCI hosted a discussion forum where experts in the field of economics, human resources, supply chain and crisis management offered their views on the potential implications. An edition of the Working Papers Series was also published on horizon scanning post-Brexit. In the end the vote was in favour of leaving the EU so it will be very interesting to see what the challenges of Brexit will be from a business continuity perspective over the next few years.
In May we hosted our annual awareness week which was themed on return on investment and was designed to demonstrate the value of business continuity, and not just the obvious benefits that business continuity has in the event of a disruption. The report we produced highlighted that effective business continuity can result in savings and efficiencies within an organization, it can lead to reduced insurance premiums and can support contract negotiations. In 2017 (15th to 19th May) the theme for Business Continuity Awareness Week is cyber resilience so make sure you get involved and play your part in raising awareness of your industry.
While BCAW demonstrated the return on investment of business continuity, we also used the opportunity to demonstrate the return on investment of business continuity certification when we launched our first ever Salary Benchmarking Report, a report which revealed that those who had achieved one of the world’s leading credentials in business continuity earned more than their non-certified colleagues by up to 30%. A good a reason as any to study for your CBCI!
Partnering with Regus in order to improve the benefits we offer our members wasn’t the only partnership we announced during the year. In July we formed a new partnership with the Disaster Recovery Information Exchange that will improve access to networking opportunities to members across Canada.
Among a number of new research reports we published during the year was our Cyber Resilience Report, a topic that is clearly of great importance to business continuity professionals given the findings of our Horizon Scan Report. This report revealed that two thirds of organizations had experienced at least one cyber security incident during the previous year, and that 15% had experienced at least ten.
Our BCI World Conference in November was another great success with many visitors exploring the exhibition hall while delegates were captivated by Michele Wucker’s grey rhinos, Lewis Dartnell’s experiments and former New York Senator Michael Balboni’s insight into the US Presidential Election, an event that could also pose challenges to organizations over the coming years from a business continuity perspective.
BCI World wasn’t the only conference hosted by the Institute during the year. Following on from the inaugural BCI Middle East Conference in 2015, the BCI hosted a Netherlands and Belgium Conference in May and an Africa Conference in September, not to mention the Australasian Chapter’s hugely successful Australasia Summit.
At BCI World we published our annual Supply Chain Resilience Report, which showed that one in three organizations had experienced cumulative losses of over €1 million during the previous year as a result of supply chain disruptions. We also published our first ever Workplace Recovery Report which revealed a disconnect between business continuity professionals and end users when it comes to workplace recovery. It is a busy time of year for our research department as this was followed soon after by our Emergency Communications Report which demonstrated why it is important to have arrangements in place to communicate with staff, particularly when those staff are geographically dispersed and often in high-risk countries.
In addition to all the research reports published during the year our research department had been busy with other projects such as the Working Paper Series which has seen four new editions on digital business continuity, Brexit, pandemic transmission speeds and desktop exercises. The research department has also been supporting the 20/20 Think Tank in its publications with papers on responding to the resilience challenge and the changing resilience landscape.
Throughout the year there has been lots to celebrate with eight award ceremonies taking place in North America, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and India before culminating in the final ceremony for the Global Awards held at a Gala Dinner following day one of the BCI World Conference. Congratulations once again to all those who won an award during the year, it was truly a tremendous achievement.
At the end of the year we said farewell to our outgoing Executive Director – Lorraine Darke – who had been at the Institute for 12 years, and in recognition of her achievements at the BCI she was awarded an Honorary Masters degree by Bucks New University. As a result of Lorraine’s departure, we welcomed in our new Executive Director – David Thorp – who joins the BCI from the Security Institute.
We also said farewell to David James-Brown FBCI whose two years as Chairman of the Institute came to an end. Of course it wasn’t a complete farewell as David will still have a very active role within the Institute. James McAlister FBCI became the new Chairman of the Institute, and Tim Janes Hon. FBCI was elected by his fellow members of the Global Membership Council to be the new Vice Chair.
As the above has shown, it was a very busy year for the BCI with plenty going on, but 2017 is destined to be busier still. With a new Executive Director and a new Chairman in place, both keen to make their mark, we can expect even more output from the BCI in order to better serve our members and the entire business continuity and resilience community.