Paul Matthews, CEO of the Institute of IT Professionals (IITP), has a candid chat with ComputerWorld New Zealand on the changing nature of the industry, the challenges that are yet to come and the role of the various IT organisations in the country.
Q: Can you talk a bit about the changing role of IITP and its future evolution?
Paul Matthews: The Institute has undergone significant change over the last few years, with a clear focus on building our profession and delivering value and relevance to our industry.
In IT, if you stay still you're going backwards and while we've been agile and flexible for much of our history, there have certainly been times we've stood still and the profession has suffered as a consequence.
The changes we've undergone in recent times have not just been for today, but about changing the culture of the organisation to continue to evolve and adapt into the future, which is essential.
No organisation has the right to exist — we only exist because we're doing something worthwhile that people want to be a part of.
Cloud computing and its subsequent evolutions are changing the shape of our industry. Through initiatives such as the Cloud Computing Code of Practice, or CloudCode, we're responding and dealing with the most appropriate issue for us — confidence, transparency and professionalism for those who deliver cloud computing services.
Q: How do you perceive the fragmentation in the market with regard to ICT associations? How does that affect IT professionals working in the country?
PM: There's a lot of talk about this but to be honest, it's not as fragmented as people think.
First and foremost, no truly representative organisation can exist without a constituency whose needs they are meeting. So it follows that if there is too much duplication, or associations are no longer relevant, the issue will take care of itself over time.
In the IT space we really see three "broad-based" organisations that regularly engage with government. One is us (on behalf of the IT Profession, with branches across the country), NZRise (on behalf of New Zealand IT companies, primarily Wellington-based) and TIANZ (previously NZICT, on behalf of a broad group of multinational and local interests, primarily Auckland-based).
There are also groups focused on specific areas such as TUANZ (telecommunications users), InternetNZ (stakeholders of the Internet) and Health IT Cluster (health IT companies). There is a very important reason for each to exist and they each meet the needs of a large constituency.
We then have a broad range of different groups who focus on professionals in specific areas such as Health Informatics NZ, Project Management Institute, Testing Professionals, Web Meetups and many others.
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