Chair’s report 2011


The British Computer Society – Jersey International Section – AGM (Monday 26 September 2011)


Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Chartered IT Institute (British Computer Society) Jersey International Section.

I am pleased to be able to report to you the activities and success of the section over the last financial BCS year. I will reflect on the sections activity as I am proud of what has been another excellent year for BCS Jersey, despite difficult circumstances.

Since its launch, some eight years ago, we have increased the enthusiasm and commitment which has been demonstrated by both regular events and Committee meetings. The tough economic climate has seen less UK based speakers, but we have successfully focused on our own Jersey talent and their professional network. We staged fifteen high quality events in 2010/2011 that ensured the Jersey IT sector continually raises the bar regarding continued professional development.

Our Committee meetings have been consistent, although the work/life balance means it can be difficult to squeeze time for BCS matters between our work and private lives. I am pleased at the success of the Committee position of Events Coordinator. Simon Brown has put a lot of work into this role and acts as a very effective focal point for events.

I am pleased with the governance of the Jersey Section and I owe a debt of gratitude to the BCS Committee.

Lets remind ourselves of the events during this 2010/2011 period (01 September 2010 to 26 September 2011)

2010/2011 events summary

  • 14 September 2010 : Business Intelligence for everyone
    • Business intelligence is a very topical subject, with many of Jerseys businesses looking to use it to understand and improve their business performance. This second session by John Gamble of Altius focused on the announcements from BI-related Microsofts TechEd 2010 conference in New Orleans.
  • 19 January 2011 : Building software Where do you start?
    • One of the hardest things about building software is being asked to come up with a solution when all you’re given is a set of requirements and a blank sheet of paper. Many project teams will dive straight into the nitty-gritty of the technologies and while this can initially be very productive, the slippery slope of constant rework is awaiting those teams that haven’t quite found a solution that works. Often, a little forethought is all that’s needed to get the process heading in the right direction.
    • BCS Jerseys Simon Brown showed where to start, whether you are hand-crafting source code in .NET or customising an off-the-shelf product like SharePoint.
  • 01 February 2011 : Turing lecture – an Evening with Donald Knuth
    • Kindly organised by Lorraine Fiander-Hill and hosted by Ogier, this was a live stream of the BCS/IET Annual Turing Lecture Series 2011 with Don Knuth. This BCS only event certainly provoked discussion, even if the significance of 885205232 wasnt revealed on the night.
  • 28 February 2011 : Building Solutions with Microsoft Virtualisation
    • BCS Jerseys Ronnie Isherwoods presentation covered building solutions with Microsoft virtualisation technologies such as Windows Virtual PC, MED-V, Windows XP Mode for Windows 7, App-V, Remote Desktop Services, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Windows Server 2008 R2 environments, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.
  • 01 March 2011 and 08 March 2011 : Tour of Jersey Airport Control Tower
    • This was a special opportunity for a tour of this new impressive and secure facility at Jerseys Airport.
      The Air Traffic Control team at Jersey Airport generously agreed to host two tours of the facility for BCS members only.
  • 23 March 2011 : Lightning talks
    • This new idea for lightning talks was based on the fact that BCS Jersey members have skills and experience they are willing to share but not for the usual hour-long format. Lightning talks allow them to speak for typically 10 to 20 minutes on their chosen subject. This first lightning event featured three topics:
    • Simon Jackson introducing Microsoft Dynamics XRM As A Development Platform.
    • Bob Childs of Itex with a non-technical look at the impact and prevention of data loss, and how data protection security controls can be effectively promoted corporately.
    • David Grady of C5-Alliance focusing on SQL Server 2008 R2 Shared datasets and why you must love them.
  • 12 April 2011 : Business Intelligence in SharePoint 2010
    • SharePoint 2010 is officially Microsofts fastest selling server application ever and in the 2010 edition, there are a host of new features not least in the BI space.
    • In this talk, John Gamble of Altius took a look at the new BI features including PerformancePoint Services, Visio Services, and PowerPivot, and also considered how Microsoft have improved the sharing and collaboration aspect of Business Intelligence.
  • 19 May 2011 : Cloud Computing – Threat or Opportunity for Jersey?
    • The economics of cloud or utility computing look compelling and may herald a seismic shift for information technology delivery, yet enterprise appears attached to on-premise technologies to date. Chris Evans CEO of Foreshore, who has been running IT businesses for 27 years, talked about his views on the implications of cloud on Jersey businesses generally, the IT services sector and the island’s economy.
  • 06 June 2011 : Cloud Security and networking event
    • Coincidentally, this event was just as security issues were published in the press, such as Sonys hackings.
    • This meant that timing was spot-on for this 2e2-sponsored networking event to meet security expert and leading TechEd speaker Andy Malone, Microsoft MVP and MCT.
  • 22 June 2011 : IT Education forum and Student exhibition
    • Jersey BCS is proud of its association with Highlands College and actively supports their IT educational activities. Stuart Philip is the Committee member responsible for education liaison. The objectives of this event were:
    • Provide a forum to discuss IT education with a focus on the development of key employability skills.
    • Explore opportunities to enrich the student experience through increased partnership with industry.
      Showcase the final year projects of students completing their BTEC National Diploma in IT.
  • 11 July 2011 : IT projects; if you can’t beat them, change the game
    • Statistically, IT projects have a high probability of failing. Maybe deadlines will be missed. Maybe budgets will be blown. Maybe the project won’t deliver the intended value because it creates the wrong thing.
    • This is common across many organisations that initiate IT projects yet, despite the stress and hard work caused by the chaos, they fail to learn from their mistakes and repeat the process next time around. It doesn’t make sense. IT projects don’t have to be like this and *you* have the power to change the game. Simon Brown gave some insights into how to avoid project failure.
  • 06 Sept 2011 : Office 365 – Get the 360 on 365
    • Microsoft’s recently launched Office 365 Cloud-based service could help to bring Cloud services onto Gartner’s hype-cycle ‘slope of enlightenment’. It faces competition from in-house hosted solutions, established out-sourced hosted Office services (including some Channel Island offerings) and other Cloud-based providers such as Google’s Docs.
    • Mark Loane, Managing Director of C5-Alliance, discusses how local businesses can make best use of this innovative new product to access the advantages of cloud-based services.
  • 15 Sept 2011 : Adding real value with Business Intelligence
    • Dan Hare, Adrian Tompkins, Peter Warrell and David Grady gave an overview of the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack, with real-life Jersey case studies, plus a look at the SQL Server toolset.
  • 26 Sept 2011 : Managing Private Clouds and BCS Jersey AGM
    • Simon Skinner MVP with a fast paced session of an overview of the System Center Roadmap, then a dive into one of most exciting products in the suite, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012.
    • This demonstration driven experience highlighted some of the core new capabilities of Microsofts Private Cloud management technology.

Working with other professional organisations
We have continued to work with other organisations, promoting their events when we believe this will be of interest to our members. This has included the Jersey Windows User Group, Digital Jersey, Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the APM (Association of Project Managers).

BCS Jersey Website
The BCS Jersey website was relaunched this year, including details on past and future events. Our thanks to Paul Herbert, the BCS Jersey Webmaster, for his hard work to make this happen.

LinkedIn website
The BCS Jersey LinkedIn group has proved very popular and is a good way to advise members of events and related IT news stories.

Jersey BCS continues to use LinkedIn until the (similar) BCS member network is opened-up to non-members. This is because the Jersey BCS has strong links to other organisations and uses Linked-In to attract new BCS members.

The group has open status which means that it is not restricted to BCS Jersey members and has proven to be a good method of contacting both the local non-IT community and IT professionals who should be BCS Jersey members.

Membership numbers have continued to steadily grow and we now have 288 members (an increase from 259 last year). This growth of 10% is very encouraging and matches 2010 growth. We are comparable in size to other professional industry bodies on the Island.

Financial Statement
I would like to thank Dr. Ian Jauncey, BCS Jersey Treasurer, who again has maintained an accurate and up-to-date financial position throughout the year.

The opening balance for the financial year 2010/2011 was 2,882.97 and at the end of the financial year (31 August 2011) the book balance for BCS Jersey is 1,558.77

The total income being 4,260.00 with a total expenditure of 5,584.20.

Community involvement
In 2007, BCS Jersey ran a very successful build a website competition in conjunction with the States of Jersey Education department. Thanks to hard work from Stuart Philip, we are about to launch it for the 2011/2012 academic year. We have secured funding from the BCS parent and already have pledges of corporate sponsorship towards prizes.

If you can help with sponsorship or can suggestion sponsors, please let a Committee member know.

…And finally…
This just leaves me to express my thanks to the BCS Jersey committee who have given up their free time to support the goals of the local society over the last 16 months.

Helen Long from the BCS HQ has again provided excellent support to us for the period. Similarly my thanks go to all of the IT professional members of BCS Jersey who continue to support and attend events.

We always welcome ideas for events, so please let us know any subjects you would like covered.

I look forward to continuing to build the BCS Jersey into an organisation to further IT professionalism at all levels.

Tim Bullock, Chairman BCS Jersey