The challenges of the past few years are driving big changes in business continuity management.

Those changes will be the focus of DRJ Spring 2022, “Resiliency Transformed,” to be held from March 20 to 23 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando. This will be our first live event in two and a half years.

Our speakers and panelists will look at how COVID-19, the rise in ransomware attacks, the supply chain crunch, and other contemporary challenges have impacted the practice of business continuity—and how the most forward-thinking BCM professionals have adapted to meet them.

This will be a chance for everyone to glean insights from some of the brightest minds in the business on how they can help their organizations become more resilient in the face of today’s threats.

For a conference preview, we checked in with seven of our Orlando speakers. Here’s what they had to say when asked, “What are the biggest changes and challenges going on in BCM right now?”

Exercises for ransomware attacks and other events need to be more realistic.

“The most important thing an exercise designer can do,” says Regina Phelps, the founder of Emergency Management and Safety Solutions, “is to make sure they leave the players wanting to cry if not crying.”

“Companies need to make their drills tougher than real life so that when the real event occurs, they’re ready for it,” says Steve Goldman, who teaches business resiliency at MIT. “The FBI’s not going to solve everything.”

The supply chain crunch will require companies to get creative.

“You can’t get 300 computers overnight anymore,” says James Green, co-founder of lluminate Advisory and the Resilience ThinkTank. “We’re going to need to look at nontraditional sources” for obtaining mission-critical equipment.

The cloud is not a panacea.

“Just because you’re moving to the cloud, it doesn’t mean you’re protected,” says Ray Hollomon, consulting BCM administrator at HCA Healthcare. “You still have a responsibility to do DR. We saw many cloud outages last year.”

Business must help universities train the next generation of BC professionals.

“The business continuity field changes so fast,” says Gwen White, teaching professor in business analytics and information systems at Xavier University. “Businesses need to help keep us up on the latest trends on what employers are looking for in cybersecurity.”

White is creating a national advisory board of BC and cybersecurity professionals to help educators make sure their curriculums dovetail with industry needs.

We need to start treating brand erosion as a BC event.

“Brand erosion can be a serious risk to the long-term viability of the company,” says Green. “Business continuity and risk professionals need to be tied to more of what’s going out in the media and social media.”

Good leadership is empathetic leadership.

“The pandemic has shown that leadership is empathy,” says Phelps. “The most skilled and accomplished leaders practice leadership with humility and trust. Hard-ass leaders aren’t doing so well.”

‘The Great Resignation’ is a BC event.

“The shift to remote work in the pandemic has also had a profound impact on how people think about when and where they want to work,” says Margaret Millett, global resilience senior manager at Uber. “Many industries and businesses are in desperate need of workers.”

The pandemic has led to professional stagnation among many BC professionals.

“There’s been a cut so not everybody is getting the same level of training that they were before,” says White.

The current ‘perfect storm’ of BC challenges might just be an opportunity.

“Overall, business continuity is in a period where it’s under a lot of scrutiny, but there’s a potential amount of growth here,” says John Liuzzi, national director of business continuity at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “Now is the time for BC professionals to step up, build trust and credibility, and deliver for their programs.”

To learn more from these BCM thought leaders—and hundreds of other experts—on how you can help your organization adapt to today’s uniquely challenging environment, join us in Orlando in March for DRJ Spring 2022, “Resiliency Transformed.”

I hope to see you there.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Arnold

Bob Arnold, MBCI (hon.), is the president of Disaster Recovery Journal.

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