The future of IT depends on professionalism, where the test of such professionalism is related to business impact and outcomes, not just technical excellence.
The two key objectives of the BCS Professionalism in IT programme are to increase professionalism by improving the ability of business and society to exploit the potential of IT effectively and consistently, and to build an IT profession that is respected and valued for the contribution it makes to the exploitation and application of IT for the benefit of all.
The BCS aims to help shape and create a mature IT profession with clearly defined professional standards that will bring with it recognition and respect for IT professionals and recognition for the importance of IT in business and throughout the wider community.
After the successful launch of the programme in May, and the launch of the ProfIT alliance between BCS, E-Skills UK, Intellect and the National Computing Centre, the programme is moving towards its second phase, which will be concerned with changing the practice and performance of individuals and organisations.
To do this, key stakeholder groups are to be targeted and leaders identified to develop the vision.
Five major campaigns are currently being proposed:
l Helping more businesses become IT capable in terms of exploiting and managing IT
l Improving the professionalism of IT supplier organisations
l Increasing the pool of competent, professional IT practitioners
l Making the IT profession more relevant and effective
l Ensuring the education and training sectors produce the knowledge and skills to support the above.
There is also a marketing job to be undertaken. We need to sustain interest in the importance of this work and make sure that the level of collaboration and co-operation across the IT sector that has generated the Professionalism in IT change programme will continue and improve.
These changes will not happen overnight, but will be achieved by a large number of individuals and organisations making incremental changes.
● David Clarke is chief executive of the British Computer Society
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