The Advancing State of Business Continuity Planning and Crisis Management in China

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It was my privilege to recently travel to Beijing, PRC in order to participate in the DRI BJ2015 conference (DRI Annual Asia Conference) titled “Business Continuity Management in the Era of “Internet+” and the New Normal.” DRI BJ2015 is the first Asian-professional conference associated with DRI-International to be held in China. The high-quality presenters spoke to an “eager-to-learn-more” audience of several hundred participants representing a wide swath of Chinese industry sectors, most notably those in the financial (banking) and IT segments. The conference was a graciously hosted and a well-managed event by Gary Liu and Jeffrey Lu of DRI-China.

My sense was that there is a strong motivation among businesses and other entities to create better business continuity and crisis management practices in China, specifically to better address the risks associated with the emerging consumer and information economy, as well as the rapidly growing e-commerce applications. I think that recent industrial and natural disasters, combined with cyber-security threats, have provided a sense of urgency. I had the opportunity to provide one of the keynote general session presentations titled “Six Stages of a Crisis for Business Continuity: Managing Crises in the New Normal Era.” I found the audience receptive to hearing my content and very eager to follow up with specific questions about concept applications, useful tools and opportunities for collaboration.  DRJ 2

It was my pleasure to meet and talk with a number of business leaders during the conference event. From them I gained a deeper understanding of the status and the future needs for business and organizational leaders, especially as it related to business continuity and crisis management practices. I found the Chinese context to be dynamic, exciting with great potential for collaboration and partnerships. I should note that the economic scale of the Chinese economy is so vast that it is difficult to fully describe in terms of scope and potential. China’s economy is the world’s second largest economy as measured by Gross Domestic Product and the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity according to the International Monetary Fund. China is a global hub for manufacturing, and is the largest manufacturing economy in the world as well as the largest exporter of goods in the world. Yet, China is also the world’s fastest growing consumer market and second largest importer of goods in the world. China is a net importer of services products. Based on the conversations and questions I fielded during this conference, I can add that business leaders there are aggressively seeking services, tools and products from abroad to assist with business continuity, crisis management and disaster recovery.

There are a number of transitions underway within China that affect the challenges and opportunities for accountability, responsibility and expertise for managing critical incidents and crisis events. Despite significant difficulties in traditional manufacturing industries, the shift to a “new normal” as well as increasing stakeholder accountability and e-commerce/internet+ economy, has shaped business thinking towards innovation and seeking new ideas. This includes seeking expertise from professionals to assist them in these transitions, as well as to manage the new challenges and disruption threats. This is occurring at a time where industrial and natural disasters are negatively affecting the country, as well as business processes.DRI 1

From what I have observed, it seems that economic conditions in China today resemble those of economies of South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong of 30 years ago. Innovation in business practices is definitely taking place and new business processes and business practices (including continuity and crisis management practices) are highly sought after. This is a remarkable and historic change currently underway.

The DRI BJ2015 conference was a great experience for me. I felt that I achieved a useful engagement with multiple potential partners and colleagues. I initiated relationships with fellow professionals which I hope to nurture and grow in the coming months/years. I learned a great deal about the Chinese economy, business practices, Chinese culture and in particular the state of business continuity and crisis management within China. I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to return and continue that engagement.

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