David NolanIn the leadup to Continuity Insights New York, October 29-30, 2012 at The Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, Continuity Insights asks presenters about their chosen topics, critical business continuity skills, how prepared we can be, and which famous person would have made a good business continuity professional. This week David Nolan, CEO of Fusion Risk Management, discusses the concept of continuity risk management, game changing technology and Michael Andretti's measured risks.

Continuity Insights: In your presentation you will focus on how technology can assist business continuity professionals by improving productivity, quality and consistency. For those practitioners that are using the same tools they used 10 years ago, what’s the first step they should take to update their tools and technology?

David Nolan: The tools people are using today are built to create plan documents and conduct BIAs. There are innovative tools in the market today that provide this functionality but more importantly are built to help manage risk, manage activity, and manage events. The first step is to reach out and learn what is possible. There is a major shift in market leadership underway as legacy providers wrestle with retaining a frustrated client base and newer companies introduce game changing alternatives.

CI: You’ve championed the term “continuity risk management”. How does this differ from “business continuity” and “risk management”?

DN: This is a great question and the answer lies in the notion that continuity risk management:

  1. Acknowledges that every risk must be managed, but not every risk must be mitigated with a plan, and
  2. “Preparation” is much more important than planning. Continuity risk management is an element of enterprise risk management that encompasses all the elements of BCP and then some. Continuity risk management is an evolution, a maturation of the DR, BC and program management disciplines with a heavy influence from the risk management side of the house.

CI: Complete this sentence: To be a successful business continuity professional you must master the risk assessment, the BIA and ___________________.

DN: The art of organizing and presenting risks and alternatives in a businesslike fashion.

CI: True or false: There are some things you simply cannot plan for, e.g. the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year.

DN: False! I love this question because it drives at the heart of the message I have been championing. This is central to the concept of risk management. And while planning for extraordinary events like these is difficult if not impossible, managing the risk and preparing to respond is very doable.

CI: Which U.S. president, sportsperson or musician do you think would have made a good business continuity professional and why?

DN: Michael Andretti is one sportsman I have had the pleasure to meet on several occasions. In many ways he is a risk management professional in the high risk sport of Indy car racing. While he put his life on the line every day, he was always measured in his risks and made sure he understood everything around him before jumping in.

CI: If you formed a band with other business continuity professionals what would you call it?


For more information on Nolan's presentation, as well as the full agenda and registration details, visit the Continuity Insights New York website at