In today’s fast paced business environment everyone is attempting to keep up with trends, best practices and more. Increasing regulations and complex infrastructure continue to drive the need to look around for solutions that are both effective and proven. Networking with your peers has always been a great tool to learn what others are doing, what they have implemented and what has or has not worked in the past. Many issues are not easy to address, but the lessons learned from others are priceless. When face-to-face networking is not possible, many are searching out other methods for networking. Some of those have proven successful, but some can come with risks. What avenues are available to you in the current BC/DR realm? Which are best and which have the most risk?
Social media is a fast growing world of communication/networking. In the past few years, Facebook, MySpace and other sites have become very popular. Businesses also have embraced such avenues to share product/services with interested parties through sites such as LinkedIn (B2B), Facebook (B2C), Twitter (all areas) and more.
While DRJ has embraced this technology and has benefited from it, there is a negative side. Many groups may be utilizing these sites for their own personal gains, or worse yet can pose a serious security risk. Since so much information is public to so many people, you need to be aware what some may be able to do with such information. Be careful how much personal information you share on these sites, including DRJ’s.
Before joining certain groups, check who owns it, what is the main purpose of the group and what are the rules/regulations of the group. There are some great communities out there with the best of intentions and there are others that, frankly, I have no clue as to their intentions. Look a bit more into who is running a group before joining. Are they a respected source, established group, or could they have an ulterior motive?
Face-to-face networking will always prove to be the most substantial in building long-term networking relationships, friends and more. Nothing can replace attending an industry conference, a local BC/DR networking group, a trade show, etc. The vast knowledge available to you through speakers, boards, and other attendees is worth the price of admission and your time to attend. The value of forming and maintaining a strong circle of contacts is crucial to your success as a business continuity planner. There is no better time than now to strengthen or build your network. A solid network will serve you well for years to come and will be an additional tool in your toolbox, especially during these times of economic uncertainty.
I can promise you this; you will never leave an industry event without taking home many ideas you can immediately implement at your organization. It can add life and revitalize the importance of your own planning efforts. Face-to-face meetings can be more of an investment in time and/or money, but the benefits far outweigh these investments.
I would highly recommend everyone utilize all the available resources to you. Make plans to attend an upcoming industry event, join your local contingency group and cautiously pursue both DRJ and other respected resources online. Networking is crucial to your success and the success of your overall BC/DR programs.
If you are looking for an industry event to attend, check the comprehensive brochure for Fall World 2009 at www.drj.com/sd2009. You will find a complete listing of speakers, topics and events that are available. Early registration discounts apply, making it a great deal for face-to-face networking. You are sure to build contacts and find solutions you can use now and far in the future.