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‘Business Continuity’: Need of the hour in Middle East

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ALKESH SHARMA/ Emirates Business

Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them’ — this golden saying of Hungarian-born American businessman Andrew Grove resounded during the 6th annual Business Continuity & Emergency Response Forum here in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“In case of any crisis, the company’s reputation, its revenues and the investors – all are at stake. One cannot escape from crisis situation, therefore the only solution is to find out a robust strategy to tackle the crisis,” said Khalid Bahabri, Head of Operational Excellence, NCB Capital, in one of the most engaging presentations of the day. Bahabri said that crisis situations will keep recurring, they will never stop; therefore corporates have to take them head-on instead of avoiding them.
This two-day event is featuring more than 20 speakers from the region. Experts are contemplating upon the issues pertaining to the implementation of the NCEMA BCM (business continuity management) standard across the public and private sectors in this region.
“We are steadfast to develop a resilient community and therefore Deloitte renews its commitment to the industry by sponsoring this forum. This event will greatly help its participants draw on each other’s insights in order to build sound approaches to effective management of major disruptions,” said Stuart Craig, Senior Manager – Resilience and Crisis Management Specialist, Deloitte & Touche.
Other perennial issues that come to the forth during the first day of the forum included cyber warfare, development of sustainable, defensible and progressive programmes, deployment of the latest advances and technologies needed to strengthen organisational resilience.
According to Fleming, the main organiser of this forum, a large percentage of companies in the region have no BCM practices in place, making them vulnerable to all kinds of threats and leave them risking the possibility of never resuming their activity following a disruption.
“Enterprises could ask the question – what could go wrong? And accordingly they should anticipate, manage, react and resume the operations. A business resilience model could be defensive or offensive. Under defensive mode, corporates are prepared to respond, continue and recover whereas offensive model involves foreseeing, assessing and consequently mitigating the threats,” said Ihsan Haque, Advisor –Risk Management (executive management), Tatweer Petroleum.
Deloitte’s Craig emphasised that changing political, economic and technological landscapes have introduced new-age challenges and exposures for industry as well for government, and they demand for a robust resilience system in place.
“Resilience will stay at the top management’s foremost agenda for years to come. Principal need for organisations in the region is to expedite their resilience activities,” pointed out Craig.

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