Let's put a good close on 2021
This year has been challenging for many, but it is essential to take time to be thankful. Regardless of our professional or personal ups and downs, we made it through another year. The outlook for business continuity is bright going into 2022. We have made strides to show our worth and business value over the past 22+ months. As much as I wish COVID never happened, I appreciate all of the lessons learned from the worldwide pandemic.
The experience helped create stronger linkages between risk, intel, crisis management, and business continuity. The disaster created an opportunity to accelerate business continuity practices that were already on the horizon. Many understood that both operational and organizational resilience were growing in influence. As we still coordinate crisis response efforts to the point of exhaustion, it is also a time to look hopefully towards the future.
Looking ahead to 2022
Putting 2021 to a close, I reflect that my network has widened. COVID pushed me to reach out more internally and externally to expand my understanding of our work. I am also grateful for business continuity. Without the community service skills, I gained from my early days at the Red Cross 9/11 Recovery Program (SRP), I would not be here today. The call to serve helped propel my career. After the SPR experience, my interest in disaster work continued.
I spoke about my 20th-anniversary recollections, along with my career trajectory, in a recent blog. The most significant takeaway is to learn from the past and look forward to the future. Business continuity is considered a reactive role, programming leveraged after something goes seriously wrong. However, looking ahead to next year, we can utilize organizational resilience to the advantage of our companies. CEOs, CISOs, ERM, and Boards understand the term. In the years ahead, it makes sense for us to integrate continuity practice with overall organizational goals.
The data of things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay. Without the help of technology during the pandemic, many companies wouldn’t have survived. We owe a debt to our internet technology colleagues who scrambled to make VPN, secure networks, cloud computing, hot seats, and the hardware possible for most of us to work from home. The next challenge is for practitioners to learn how to use available data to bring resilience planning to the next level.
Many already recognized that our programs centralize strategically essential data to our organizations. Fewer of us figured out how to tactically support the company with this information. May 2022 be the year that we provide Return on Value (ROV). Business Continuity programs by nature rarely make convincing cases on Return on Investment (ROI). So, it is up to us to show all the ways that continuity or resilience programs compensate customers. Effective use of data is the lynchpin to manifesting this goal.
A call to serve
With my gratitude for business continuity and all it has taught me, I strive to give back. My DisasterEmpire.com blog is one way to pay it forward. Over the last year, I added public speaking and webcasts to further ideas. However, I feel the need to do more. The Resilience Think Tank (RTT) is another opportunity to influence the future of Business Continuity Management and Resilience. I encourage you to get involved in these ways or professional associations like the DRII, BCI, or local ACP. Another way is to increase mentoring of young colleagues in the field.
2021 was a challenging year, and the pandemic is not yet over. However, if you are an experienced colleague, I urge you to sign up today to mentor others. Business Continuity Institute provides opportunities to both be a mentor and get mentored. DRII offers a Women in BCM Mentorship program. As a young professional, it is also important to find mentors to support your growth. It is worth taking a little time to help others advance or get rewarded with insights from colleagues knowledgeable of the industry. With the tragic events of the past two years, the time is now to help both businesses and individuals.