Chair’s Report 2013

 

Dear Colleagues,
This is the formal Chairmans report for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Chartered Institute for IT (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 BCS year. I will reflect on the sections activity as I am proud of what has been another busy period for BCS Jersey.

Events
Since its launch, some nine 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 the professional network. We staged seventeen high quality events since the start of this BCS year, ensuring the Jersey IT sector continually raises the bar regarding continued professional development.
For some events this year, we have had sponsors. This doesnt mean we are selling our soul or becoming commercial. Sponsor and speaker guidelines have been produced that ensure BCS Jersey maintains its independent and agnostic position.
For the benefit of the local IT community, the majority of our events have (a restricted number of) tickets available for non-members. This is reciprocated by the other organisations that we work with.

Lets remind ourselves of the events during this 2012/2013 period (excluding Committee meetings and this AGM).

2012/2013 events summary

05 February 2014 vulnerability to infrastructure failure: This lecture will examine the argument that, in the necessary drive for economic efficiency, we may have neglected the resilience and security of our national infrastructure, with potentially catastrophic results. It is clear that our society and economy are now much more interconnected and interdependent than they once were. The speed at which a major failure in one area, such as electricity supply, could cascade into other areas, such as communications, water supply, and public safety, is genuinely frightening. The lecture acknowledges that much excellent work has been done, most notably under the aegis of the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat, and that the UK is better organized than many competitor nations. However, it explores the extent to which national infrastructure still contains many accidental systems where the interdependencies are not fully recognised and much remains to be done. It also details research on the understanding by businesses of infrastructure interdependency where the results are sharply at odds with the genuine reality and suggests further actions required. Our speaker is Professor Jim Norton FREng, BEng (Hons), Hon DEng (Sheffield), Hon LLD (Bath), CDir , CEng, CITP, FIET, FBCS, FIoD. 28 November 2013: Big Data in Jersey Big Data – the current next big thing! But what does it look like? In this talk we walked through an example where we collected and analysed the States of Jersey Assembly Hansard Transcripts, turning free text documents into queryable analytics and interactive visualisations. Featuring technologies such as HDInsight (Microsoft’s implementation of Hadoop), Python, and Sql Server 2012. This was a technical session where we demonstrate how these technologies can be used to analyse and gain insight from inherently unstructured data. The Jersey-based speaker for this event was Charles Robertson.

23 January 2014: Chartered Institute for IT – Jersey International Section – AGM

28: November Big Data the current next big thing! But what does it look like? In this talk we walk through an example where we collect and analyse the States of Jersey Assembly Hansard Transcripts, turning free text documents into queryable analytics and interactive visualisations.

Find out just what goes on in the States Chamber because trust me, you dont want to read the transcripts!

Featuring technologies such as HDInsight (Microsofts implementation of Hadoop), Python, and Sql Server 2012. This is a technical session where we demonstrate how these technologies can be used to analyse and gain insight from inherently unstructured data. The Jersey-based speaker for this event was Charles Robertson.

12 November 2013: Desktop delivery technologies which should I use? Desktop delivery is a really important subject that every companys IT team tackles. It is the most visible to the end-user, is often the most expensive in terms of support but is rarely discussed. This event focused on three different methods of delivering a desktop to the end-user – VDI (virtual desktop), Citrix and Microsofts RDS (previously Windows Terminal Server). Demonstrating that Jersey has real tech talent, our three locally-based experts each presented the case for a technology together with the environments that they suit. This was then followed by a good, lively debate on how and why you should implement desktops in certain ways using specific technologies. The Jersey-based speakers for this event were Ronnie Isherwood, Scott Le Marquand and Jonathan Storey.

23 October 2013: The Internet of Everything and Gigabit Jersey There is an estimated 10 to 15 billion things connected to the Internet and it is predicted to grow to 50 billion by 2020. How will this change our lives? What infrastructure will we need? What opportunities are there? Ian Foddering, Ciscos CTO talked about this exciting future. In addition, Jersey Telecom discussed the challenges of the Jersey Gigabit project, how they are overcoming them and the rollout schedule. This hugely successful event sold-out early on and attracted 130 attendees.

30 April 2013: 3D Printing, The Internet of things, the Maker Community and what this could mean for Jersey People are using 3D printers and scanners to innovate in just almost every field imaginable. From the potential to artificially create organs to the printing of food, items for the home or even buildings; these are just a few examples of what could soon be possible. But how is 3D printing going to evolve in the future? The phenomenon of this sort of technology being available, combined with the possibility of the Internet of Things making objects more useful and an engaged Maker Community taking DIY to a whole new level, is resulting in radical new thinking that could ultimately lead to a whole new way of living. It also has significant implications about how we teach technology in schools, with a movement toward the use of tools like Raspberry Pi’s to encourage practical ‘making’ alongside traditional learning. This very popular event sold-out and attracted 170 attendees and featured live demonstrations and real-world experience of 3D printing from Mark Loane, Tim Evans and Terry Cox.

11 December 2012: Information Security – An incident waiting to happen? “We need to take security more seriously,” say the experts. Consultants, auditors, and the media frequently point out that our controls are weak and it is only a matter of time before we either find ourselves hacked, defrauded or hiring new staff. But do these risks really apply in an island like Jersey? Local security expert, Carl Ceillam, revealed some of the security incidents that have actually occurred in the Channel Islands over the last few years, using carefully anonymised first hand experiences. Many of the events that have taken place never made the news. Beforehand most of the organisations affected would have considered the likelihood of an incident to be remote, if not impossible.

27 September 2012: The Cloud Market is now ‘Open’, how are you taking advantage of it? Russ Miles, author and cloud market broker, took us through the risks and rewards of the emerging cloud market. Using real-world stories and demonstrations from the perspective of the cloud consumer who wants to harness the cost and technical flexibility of the cloud for their mission critical applications and other assets, the talk showed how to prepare for and work the cloud market to the best advantage both strategically and tactically.

12 September 2012: Jersey Careers and Jobs Fair Together with Highlands College, BCS Jersey had a presence in order to help people who want help getting into a career with IT.

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 Digital Jersey and Techtribes.
We are proud of our continued close relationship with Highlands College, supporting the BTEC and foundation degree students with their studies, helping them into a career and with a sponsored award. Our thanks to Stuart Philip for his continued work in this area.

Internet presence
As well as the BCS Jersey internet site (http://www.jersey.bcs.org/), we also operate a LinkedIn Group and Twitter account. The BCS Jersey LinkedIn group continues to be very popular and is a good way to advise members of events and related IT news stories.
Jersey BCS continues to use LinkedIn and not the (similar) BCS member network, because the BCS network is restricted to BCS members. The Jersey BCS has strong links to other organisations and uses LinkedIn to attract new BCS members.

Committee
Our Committee meetings have been less consistent this year, owing to the difficulty in squeezing time for BCS matters between our work and private lives. Some of our Committee members are standing down at this AGM myself (Chairman), Dr. Ian Jauncey (Treasurer), Chris Clark (Secretary) and Paul Herbert (Webmaster). I would like to express my gratitude to them for their work.
Membership
Membership this year is 272 and is comparable in size to other professional industry bodies on the Island. Per capita, Jersey has a significantly higher ratio of members that the UK.

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 2012/2013 was 5,246.49 and at the end of the financial year (31 August 2013) the book balance for BCS Jersey is 7,881.01
The total income being 4,232.70 with a total expenditure of 1,598.18

. And finally .
During the last six years as Chairman of the Jersey Branch of the Chartered Institute for IT, I am very proud of what we have achieved: Elevated the organisation to become recognised as the primary membership organisation for IT professionals. Growth of membership by 150%. Diversification of the organisation to include non-technical subject matter and events. We have expanded the depth of events subject matter to include not just technical matter. We have hosted quality events, with attendance by up to 200 technicians, students, business leaders and politicians. An indicator of the quality of the events is that they often sell-out before the day. Engagement and partnership with both on and off-island businesses. Close engagement with other organisations such as Digital Jersey and TechTribes, plus the Institute of Directors and the Chamber of Commerce for specific events. Partnership with Highlands College, assisting with student training, work placement and getting ready for workplace.
as I move to new challenges. Committee members past and present, sponsors, speakers, the Jersey community and of course the Jersey members.

Tim Bullock, Chairman, Chartered Institute for IT, Jersey