by Koen Luykx - Business continuity consultant
| minute read

IT is often considered a young man’s game. As in all industries, however, the experience that comes with time and practice can also be an important asset. Having worked in the ICT industry for almost a quarter of a century, Koen Luykx (54) has plenty of experience to draw on in his current role as a Business Continuity Consultant at Sopra Steria.

How would you describe your job to an outsider who is not familiar with the concept of business continuity management (BCM)?

“Business continuity management is the discipline that focuses on the capability of organisations to continue to operate under unexpected and even extreme circumstances. The global pandemic of recent years is the first example of such a circumstance that springs to mind, I suppose. But there are plenty of other examples in recent times, such as the container ship accident in the Suez Canal, which disrupted global trade in March 2021. And let’s not forget the ongoing war in Ukraine!

The cause for disruption needn’t always be that rare or exotic, however. The continuity of your business can be threatened just as much by a simple technical failure leading, for instance, to a power failure or blackout. And it needn’t always be accidental either, as intentionally malicious acts, from cybercrime to cyberterrorism, are ubiquitous these days and more dangerous than ever before. Last but not least, there are the new threats caused by climate change, such as drought and floodings, which will become ever more commonplace in the years to come.

As businesses face more exposure to sudden large-scale disruptions, a discipline like business continuity, which contributes to organisational resiliency, is clearly gaining in importance. And my job is basically to advise organisations on how to safeguard certain key elements of their core business against such potential threats and disruptions. This involves taking measures on a strategic level as well as on a tactical or operational level. These measures can range from creating a governance model for managing crisis situations to diversifying your key supply chains. Or from establishing emergency procedures to ensuring the redundancy of your critical infrastructure.”

What are the skills or knowledge that you need to be successful at your job?

“A strong sense of discovery and curiosity is paramount. You must really have the urge or desire to understand the environment you work in and the reality you live in, as well as the profound changes both may go through. These changes can be technological in nature, but also economic, political or even cultural. You also need to possess an analytical, focused mind and be able to identify the essence in complexity.

Since you’re dealing directly with customers and collaborating closely with colleagues and partners, having good people skills is also an asset. You need to be customer-oriented and have strong commercial awareness. You also need to be a team player at work. As the saying goes: if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together! Finally, being endowed with a sense of diplomacy also helps, just as mastering different languages does.”

Any hobbies or personal interests that inspire you in your job?

“I’m very fond of sailing. Which is actually a good analogy for what I do at work and what my job requires: that I find a good balance between mastering certain techniques, such as setting and trimming the sails or understanding different weather types, and dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by, among other things, the wind, the waves and the currents. All the while feeling that you are part of a greater whole – the endless sea – on the journey to your destination.”

Interested in a career at Sopra Steria? Have a look at the Careers section on our website. Or better yet: check our current vacanciesand apply immediately for the job that suits you!