Charlie shares some observations on BCI World 2019 and what the conference tells us about the business continuity profession.
This week BC Training and PlanB Consulting headed south to Hammersmith for the annual jamboree. Beach-themed items were packed by BC Training, and suits and software demos were prepared by PlanB Consulting. I thought for this week’s bulletin I would share some observations on the conference and what it says about the business continuity profession.
Resilience is still the current trend; most stands and a lot of the conference talks have resilience somewhere in their title or offering. Maybe I wasn’t speaking to the right people, but there is still no consensus on how it applies to business continuity. Everyone understands what resilience is and its purpose, but the issue is that there are lots of different thoughts on how to practically apply it. I noticed that some are calling it ‘organisational resilience’ and some ‘operational resilience’. No doubt resilience is here to stay, but I think this one will run and run.
Looking around the stands, it was the usual big suspects SunGard and Daisy representing the work area recovery section. There was no Everbridge or any of the other big, notification software people. Perhaps like many other large or ambitious entrants into the market they discovered that the BC market is not that large and the money to be made is not huge, so they decided they were better spending their time and money elsewhere. Out of the software companies, C2 made a comeback after several years of being run by a mainly younger crew (sorry Graham!). Sometimes if you are not at the show people forget you exist or think maybe you have gone out of business. Clearview and Fusion have been bought by private equity so there was no visible sign of this, but I suspect under the hood their prices may be rising and they will be under pressure to increase sales and ROI for their investors. There was a reasonable international feel to the exhibitors, showing us that BC continues to expand beyond the UK.
Of course, the conference attracts the old, faithful BC people, it wouldn’t be a conference without Andy and Angela Tomkinson, and the Ian Charters of this world. I think over the years the attendees have become younger and more diverse. As I mentioned, there seemed to be an increase in those from beyond the UK, Kim and I had a great laugh with a couple of guys from Georgia, and there are increasing numbers of women within the profession. A profession which attracts the younger and more diverse seems to be a profession on the up and has relevance to the next BC generation.
Lastly, I wanted to draw your attention to a new product which I found being sold at the conference. Every so often you see a product that you think is an excellent idea and wonder why nobody has thought of it before. The product was a command centre in a box with all the boards and equipment to set up an incident room. Its look and feel were a little too much emergency services orientated, but I am sure the guys would tweak it for the private centre. Details can be found at www.crisisboardroom.com.
Until next year!!
A huge congratulations to BC Training tutor James McAlister on his Honorary Fellowship awarded at BCI World 2019!