Some Reflections on BCI World Hybrid 2023

Nov 3, 2023

We’ve been to BCI World Hybrid 2023! In this week’s bulletin, Charlie discusses his experience of the conference and highlights his favourite moments.

This week, I attended BCI World Hybrid, and I’ve always considered this conference a barometer of the state of the business continuity profession and its current discussions. So, here are some thoughts:

  1. The audience was very much the same as last year, with many 3.0s and plenty of 2.0s (my generation). The old guard, generation 1.0, the founders of business continuity, apart from Steve Mellish, seem to have almost all moved on. Jim Burtles, although he passed away a few years ago, was fondly remembered.
  2. The vendors appeared to be mainly sellers of business continuity management software, with Fusion, Riskonnect, Infinite Blue, and F24 being some of the notable ones I noticed. The exhibition floor was long and narrow, and there wasn’t much opportunity for exhibitors to set up grandiose stands, as I’ve seen at other exhibitions. There didn’t appear to be any notification system providers, so maybe the market is saturated, or they didn’t find it worthwhile to exhibit.
  3. There were a couple of exercising firms, one of which, iluminr, received numerous awards. BCI training providers from the UK, BC Training and Continuity Shop, were present, as well as GRC Consulting Services from Malaysia. These were the usual suspects, and the one new firm I spoke to was B4 Secure, which specialises in cyber threat analysis. I was genuinely impressed with their capabilities, especially their ability to monitor the dark web. They are well worth having a conversation with.
  4. On the speaking circuit, the two prominent topics appeared to be AI and exercising. Everyone was excited about the potential of AI in business continuity, but the most practical case seemed to be the generation of fake people, pictures, and newspaper articles for use in exercises. There seemed to be a renewed enthusiasm for exercising, so hopefully, we will see increased interest in BC Training’s courses!
  5. I presented on ‘Communications After a Cyber Incident’, and the room was standing room only, indicating that cyber incidents continue to be a popular subject.
  6. It was great to see Brian Zawada, who is involved in strategy with Riskonnect and is also into winemaking. He discussed the future of business continuity and shared a couple of key takeaways. Firstly, we should stop worrying about terms like ‘resilience’ vs. ‘continuity’ as they are essentially the same, and we should move forward. The other key takeaway, which we should all know but sometimes forget amidst processes, is that we need to consistently communicate to those we work for, the value that business continuity brings to their organisation. We should continuously strive to identify opportunities to add value.
  7. Lastly, the keynote at the beginning was delivered by Alexis Conran, who used to present various ‘Real Hustle’ TV programmes. There was almost a cheer from certain members of the audience when he mentioned that the most challenging city in the world to conduct a one-to-one street scam, was Glasgow!

It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new people. Until next year!

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