BCI Netherlands forum event - March 2017

  • 21 Mar 2017

The March 2017 BCI Netherlands forum event was kicked off by Frans Weijdener, CTO of Aegon Corporate Systems, who welcomed the guests on behalf of Aegon.

David Thorp, Executive Director of the BCI, shared the core ideology of the BCI and described the approach being taken to development of the future BCI strategy. He explained that more information would be available on this later in the year once the BCI Board have approved the strategy. Someone in the audience commented that it seemed that the BCI is too commercial and profit driven. David replied by saying that although the company has to make money for the continuity of business, almost all profit is reinvested in research for the BCI that can be shared with the members. 

Patrick Alcantara then reviewed the Horizon Scan Report of 2017. The Horizon Scan Report is an annual research that has been conducted for the past six years. The report is based on a survey, which was distributed around 736 organisations from 79 countries. The Netherlands did well in this survey with a high response level.
The top three threats of the Horizon Scan remain unchanged with cyber attacks leading, followed respectively by data breaches and unplanned IT and telecommunications outage. The top three disruptions are however quite different than the top three threats. With unplanned IT and telecom outages at first followed respectively by adverse weather and Interruption to utility supply. The reason behind this difference can be from media coverage that is overloaded with cyber-attacks and terrorism attacks, which influence organisations concerns. 9 out of 10 concerns of organisations do match the disruptions, only acts of terrorism aren’t in the top 10 disruptions. This shows how serious these concerns should be taken in considerations and management should be aware of this.  

Jan Wognum gave a presentation about the very important “soft skills”. Soft skills are skills that can’t be measured by data but is embedded inside a person and company culture that gets an organisation a step ahead. The question he asked himself at the beginning of his presentation was “could I have achieved more then, with the knowledge I have now?

Jan was a mediocre student, but he noticed he had some talents. He was talented in teamwork, cooperation and multiple other leading skills. The thing he wasn’t as good as was selling urgency. Then he made the comparison of a BCM professional and a top sporting athletes. The athlete trains very specific, rests enough and charges and recharges when necessary. Jan said that the BCM professional delivers continuous performance and train relatively little. The illusion of manufactured projects is that are no obstacles. However, in real life we know that there are many obstacles in place. This is where agile working comes in the picture. Agile working is a continuous process of small parts being delivered until the final software is created, which makes overcoming obstacles easier. 

To conclude the presentation Jan answered the question which was asked at the beginning: “could I have achieved more then, with the knowledge I have now? And the answer is: Yes. Although it would still be difficult, it would have been easier with the knowledge he now has.

The event was closed by a short Q&A of approximately 15 minutes where attendees could ask questions about what they heard and maybe voice some of their concerns. 

The top takeaways of the Q&A are the following;

  • In the Horizon Scan Report there are links between disruptions even though the BCI tries to distinguish the disruptions as much as possible
  • The BCI is willing to seek alliances with other parties to create a bigger database of knowledge for its members
  • There is on-going research on the representativeness of the Horizon Scan. Some sectors and countries have a lower response rate, which makes it difficult to make a clear conclusion on disruptions for those parties.
  • Soft skills are certainly important during a crisis and offers an organisation more leverage to handle it. Working together with different departments in the office makes this possible.
  • The BCI is searching for ways to make it easier to become a member or make different kind of subscriptions possible.
  • The difference between a threat and a risk is; 
    • A risk is the possibility of something going wrong while 
    • A threat is the thing you protect yourself for. 
    • At the end of the day we use both threats and risks to defend ourselves, because with the BIA’s the threats come forth out of the risk registers.

The presentation slides can be viewed below.

More on