The NCC connection explained

The National Computing Centre is the grandfather of not-for-profit IT user organisations, set up in 1965 in the Wilson era of...

The National Computing Centre is the grandfather of not-for-profit IT user organisations, set up in 1965 in the Wilson era of "white heat of technology". Its ambitious acquisitions programme has seen three key IT user groups taken under its umbrella in the past year to layer over the NCC's original user group, now rebadged as Principia. NCC is also expanding into vertical sector IT user groups, with the recent addition of the Construction Industry Computing Association.

Given its pledge to be "the UK's foremost independent organisation for users of IT", more acquisitions are likely. Until the NCC has its user group programme completely rolled out, there are bound to be degrees of overlap between the organisations in its portfolio. Cross-membership deals and discounts are available.

Tel: 0161-242 2121



Certus was set up by former IT director and business guru David Taylor in response to his frustration that heads of IT were not achieving their potential as business leaders. With a strong focus on personal leadership, Certus offers a "breakthrough development programme for IT leaders, to equip them with the competencies to take their place in positions of influence". The emphasis is on "releasing potential" by providing "support, networking, publications and research".

Fees: £995 per member, with 10% discount for two individuals from the same company. For existing members of the NCC the price is £495.

Events: Forthcoming events include delivering change (24 November) and understanding and joining the board (19 January 2005).

Tel: 0161-242 2121


CIO Connect

Set up by senior UK chief information officers as "a forum for top IT decision makers", CIO Connect aims to help them "keep pace with technology developments and understand the best areas for investment". As well as specialist groups for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, there are different levels of membership, including the leadership board for CIOs of the largest companies - personal membership is limited and by invitation only.

CIO Connect holds three mandatory meetings a year. Membership is corporate, with more than 200 member organisations providing web-based information and news services, executive coaching, a quarterly magazine, research reports and surveys, seminars and an annual conference.

The IT Connect section provides membership for the whole IT management team, and focuses on operational skills, developing future leadership skills and grooming for CIO level.

Fees: On application, variable in the region of £10,000 a year.

Events: Recent events include workshops and conferences on Sarbanes-Oxley, security, creating corporate value, the CIO in 2020, non-executive directorships and improving the image of IT.

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: 020-7628 0739


Impact Programme

Impact focuses on providing "personal and professional development of CIOs, IT directors and senior IT teams through training, networking, coaching, mentoring and professional assessment". The 90 corporate members are

from FTSE 100 and 250 companies and larger public sector IT organisations, and membership is tiered.

Membership of the IT Directors’ Board is by invitation only, and forms a "think-tank for leading IT directors to discuss ideas, experiences and set the agenda for the role of IT director".

The Executive Programme is targeted at "transforming IT executives, aspiring to reach board level, into CIOs". Members have access to workshops, expert speakers, discussion groups and commissioned research, and special interest groups on outsourcing, and architecture.

Fees: Details available on application, vary with membership level.

Events: Forthcoming events include seminars on offshoring, architecture governance, leading change programmes, implementing service management best practice and information security governance.

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: 020-7842 7900



With 700 corporate members, Principia is "for those in IT management or with responsibility for making strategic IT decisions". There are three levels of membership: foundation level is for small businesses and allows two nominees; professional level allows five nominees; and premium allows 10.

Access to the NCC’s raft of best practice guidelines, surveys and research increases with the level of membership. Members also get the NCC journal, IT Adviser, an online forum, helpdesk and a programme of events including seminars and training courses.

Fees: Range from £1,295-£6,000 (£760 for local government organisations).

Events: Forthcoming events include business analysis essentials (8 December) and programme and project support office (23 November).

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: 0161-242 2121


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