Deloitte to sponsor Abu Dhabi's annual Business Continuity and Emergency Response Forum

Tariq Ajmal, partner in charge of IT risk services at Deloitte Middle East
Tariq Ajmal, partner in charge of IT risk services at Deloitte Middle East

To highlight the importance of enabling practical and effective resilience and recovery capabilities for organizations in the Middle East, Deloitte is sponsoring the sixth annual Business Continuity & Emergency Response Forum May 23-24 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Deloitte Middle East, a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and a leading professional services firm in the region, recognizes the critical role that this forum carries in building improved awareness of resilience and business continuity management practices across all sectors.

“Our decision is not only to participate in the forum but also serve as its Platinum Sponsor,” Tariq Ajmal, partner in charge of information and technology risk services at Deloitte Middle East, recently told Gulf News Journal. “It is driven by our sense of responsibility in advocating business continuity necessary for societal security in these challenging times.”

At the event, more than 20 speakers will be sharing their business continuity and emergency response experiences over the two days, with perspectives ranging from the police, regulatory bodies, industry and consulting -- from within the UAE and across the region.

Presentations and discussions will include solutions pertaining to the implementation of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Business Continuity Management (NCEMA BCM) standard across the public and private sectors; cyber warfare; development of sustainable, defensible and progressive Business Continuity and Emergency Response (BC & ER) programs; deployment of the latest advances and technologies needed to strengthen organizational resilience; and many more topics.

“This cross-pollination of expertise should serve as a great catalyst and enable participants to take their learning back to their respective organizations,” Ajmal said.

Deloitte, recognized as one of the founding advocates and global leaders of Business Continuity and Resilience, carries longstanding partnerships with governments and industries all around the world. The company presently has a 30-member team dedicated to this practice within the Middle East region alone.

“Our foundation will continue to be not only an evolving Business Continuity Management (BCM) framework that enables practical and effective resilience and recovery capabilities, but also one that is aligned with leading industry standards such as ISO22301 as well as nation specific BCM standards such as NCEMA 7000,” he said.

Ajmal pointed out that there are many challenges that today’s organizations face. Being agile, responsive and simply acting proactively means understanding the impact of each variable on the surrounding environment. Almost any medium to large organization operates with a high reliance on a fabric of technology (e.g., internet, databases, networks and secured communication), supply chain dependencies and availability of data. 

Instability arising from economic, political, cyber-attack or terrorist acts are perhaps the most topical factors and pose a realistic and ongoing threat.

“The only constant in today’s environment is change itself,” Ajmal said. “The key challenge to the organization is creating an internal culture which accepts and plans for these changes.”

At the forum, Deloitte will become part of the first Middle East Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Awards event, in which the company will be sponsoring the Most Effective Recovery award. Representatives chose this category on the basis that effective recovery is the culmination of an organization’s demonstrated commitment to, and implementation of, BCM, and that its leadership used BCM to great effect in managing and recovering from a significant incident.

"This kind of success needs to be recognized and celebrated -- not only within the organization, but by external parties and the wider resilience community,” Ajmal said. “We are confident that this forum will not only enable participants to draw on each others’ insights during the course of the two days, but will serve as a catalyst for the establishment of longer-term relationships.”