--> Gill Blog: 13th World Conference on Disaster Management: It's Over

Gill Blog

Thursday, June 26, 2003

13th World Conference on Disaster Management: It's Over

I didn't have any definite expectations when I registered for this Disaster Management Conference. Frankly, after recent conferences in Toronto were cancelled because of concerns about SARS, I was just hoping that this wouldn't be a complete disaster itself. I am pleased to report that this conference was quite successful. It was a great opportunity to immerse in discussions with the world's leading experts and relate their experiences to ours.

After the first few sessions, patterns began emerging from these discussions. Business Continuity Planning, a field that began about twenty years ago to ensure that organizations' data was well protected, has been shocked by the tragic loss of life in the terrorist attacks on America and is charting a new course that recognizes the importance of every organization's people. The first response was to standardize the procedures associated with disaster management, i.e. create a strategy that integrates all levels of emergency services to effectively manage the immediate after-effects of events of mass disruption.

But, in the years since the World Trade Center attack, the discipline has developed to ensure that critical businesses continue to be operational. As Ralph Dunham, Manager of Business Continuity & Recovery Services of IBM Global Services suggested in one of our sessions, "It's not about recovery anymore, its all about continuity."

Business Continuity Planning is being energized by advances in technology and new ways of thinking. Whether we're looking at scenario modelling, through simulations such as The Business Continuity Strategy Game, presented by Ian Charters, Director of Continuity Systems Ltd., or considering advanced theories of corporate impact analysis, as presented by Damian Walch, Vice President of Consulting for T-Systems, it is clear that the disciplines of disaster management and business continuity planning are converging.

Please join the discussion about the 13th World Conference on Disaster Management.


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