Gates to be guest speaker at BCS Elite Group event

Microsoft founder Bill Gates will be guest speaker at a specially convened meeting of the British Computer Society Elite Group of IT directors and senior user-oriented IT professionals.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates will be guest speaker at a specially convened meeting of the British Computer Society Elite Group of IT directors and senior user-oriented IT professionals.

Gates will outline his vision of the future of Microsoft and what it might mean for its users. He will focus on how IT can help add value to the business rather than speak at the technical level.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Elite members to learn from Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect what the Microsoft vision for the future has to offer us at a strategic level," said Ben Booth, chairman of Elite. Booth's day job is as CIO of market research organisation Mori.

Also at the event, BCS chief executive officer David Clarke will update Elite members on developments at the BCS, which has undergone major restructuring over the past three years, including revisions to its Royal Charter and major membership and IT professionalism initiatives.

One result of that process, and following a recruitment campaign by Booth, has been a dramatic rise in Elite's membership from 400 to 1200 IT professionals over the past 18 months. Members join as individual professionals in their own right.

"We offer a personal membership at an affordable level," said Booth. "It is a membership you cart around with you. In these days of portfolio roles, you can easily find yourself in a different role and unable to keep up the memberships you have as they are usually job-related. The level is pitched where most individuals can participate without their organisation having to pay 10,000 to take part."

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