This blog brings to an end my review of BCI predictions for 2013 – mainly because as we have now reached February, they are beginning to look more like news comment than forecasts.
Predictions 7 through 10 were about business failures, sustainability, increased outsourcing problems and social media respectively.
The essence of the business failure issue was that we would see many failures where conventional Business Continuity was not involved at all – but should it be? In the UK alone four major retailers have gone into administration within the past two months largely as a result of their inability to respond effectively to the growth of internet shopping. I have often argued that BC has to be a wider discipline than simply responding to infrastructure problems; it should have a strategic dimension where weaknesses in the business model are identified as a threat which needs a strategic continuity solution. However, I suspect this will remain a minority activity amongst the wider business continuity community.
Sustainability seems to be the current buzz-word as Business Continuity looks for a new driver – the one that will really push it into main-stream political, journalistic, academic and boardroom consciousness. During 2013 it will be featured more heavily on the conference circuit, but still be in the wings as practitioners continue to agonise about the relative meanings of Crisis, Resilience and Continuity.
Service failure by outsourcers is an issue which has now risen to be the third largest cause of disruption in the annual BCI/CIPS Supply Chain survey. Globalised service models will come under increased scrutiny and BC professionals need to be at the table to make the economic case for continuity and resilience.
Finally, social media continues to have an ever increasing influence in all aspects of business and this gives both a challenge and an opportunity for BC professionals. In particular, for Incident and Crisis Management, social media gives the possibility for early visibility of issues and pro-active communications. However it leads to misinformation, escalation of scare stories and creates the risk of taking decisions which are inappropriate to the reality of the situation. Getting a better “handle” on what social media really means in BC terms is likely to be intensified in 2013.
I would love to have your continued thoughts on our predictions as the year progresses, particularly if you can give us examples which prove us right or (if you must) hopelessly wrong. After all making predictions is not meant to be an exact science but we should at least get the direction of travel correct. I hope we have done so and given readers some food for thought.
Lyndon Bird FBCI
Technical Development Director at the BCI