Chair’s report 2010

 

The British Computer Society – Jersey International Section – AGM (Thursday 11 November 2010)

CHAIRMANS ANNUAL REPORT 2009/2010

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 sixteen months. I will reflect on the sections activity as I am proud of what has been another excellent year for BCS Jersey.

Since its launch, some seven years ago, we have increased the enthusiasm and commitment which has been demonstrated by both regular events and Committee meetings. We staged some very high quality events in 2009/2010 that ensured the Jersey IT sector continually raises the bar regarding continued professional development.

Our Committee meetings have been consistent, although it is increasingly difficult to squeeze time for BCS matters between our work and private lives. The work/life balance has been particularly difficult in this period and has resulted in fewer events in the latter months.

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 2009/10 period (01 May 2009 to 31 August 2010)
2009/2010 events summary

  • 14 May 2009 : ‘Offshore, onshore, unsure – what should we protect and how ?
    • This event featured the world renown speaker and advocate for cyber security from Microsoft Ed Gibson. This successful evening dinner was hosted at the Grand Hotel and attendance surpassed our expectations.
    • Eds relaxed and humorous presentation style allowed him to tackle the very serious (and scary) subject of Internet security, based on his real world experience of Microsoft and the FBI.
    • We were delighted that Jerseys Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean was able to attend the event.
  • 04 June 2009 : Highlands College BTEC students exhibition
    • There is a strong relationship between Highlands College and the BCS Jersey. As well as sponsoring a Highlands award, the BCS helped to promote an exhibition by the BTEC students of their work.
    • The exhibition was planned by the students and even coped with an unplanned power-cut !
    • This was a great opportunity for the students to show their work and skills to prospective future employees. Attendees were struck by their enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
  • 10 June 2009 : Highlands College IT Foundation degree
    • Jersey BCS worked with Highlands College to put together the IT foundation degree. This event, sponsored by the BCS and jointly promoted by the BCS and Jersey Finance, gave Highlands College an opportunity to present to a different audience, including IT professionals, prospective employers of students and HR professionals.
    • Since the launch, Foundation degree students have been successfully working with Jersey companies in placements, learning valuable workplace skills.
  • 07 July 2009 : Microsoft Server 2008 R2
    • This insight into Microsoft Server 2008 R2 features was given by Justin Rodino. Justin was a frequent speaker for the Jersey BCS and has since moved from Itex Guernsey to Microsoft and we wish him well.
  • 08 October 2009 : The future of mobile technology
    • The BCS partnered with Jersey Telecom to host a dinner event at the Grand Hotel. The guest speaker, James Woudhuysen is a technical expert and Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University and an acclaimed speaker on future trends. This event was a big success and a good networking opportunity.
  • 24 November 2009 : Digimap
    • Digimap provide specialist mapping services for the Channel Islands. They had presented for the BCS previously and this was the ideal opportunity to update us on the service and its deployment locally.
  • 14 January 2010 : Improving quality with an automated build process
    • Simon Brown is a Software Architect and renowned speaker and event organiser from his time in London. Since moving to Jersey he has spoken several times for the BCS. This was the first of two sessions aimed at the development process with a view to improving quality and consistency.
  • 25 January 2010 : Masterclass – Designing and implementing mission-critical systems
    • Colin Butcher is an international consulting engineer who specializes in the design and implementation of mission-critical and disaster-tolerant systems. This popular event focused on the areas necessary to ensure service stability and continuity.
  • 28 January 2010 : A developer’s guide to load testing
    • This was the second of Simon Browns two sessions aimed at the development process, looking at load testing from a developers point of view.
  • 13 April 2010 : The Value of Business Intelligence
    • John Gamble of Altius has spoken on two occasions for the BCS this year. His passion for business intelligence shows through when he speaks and this makes him a popular speaker. John introduced business intelligence and the technologies involved.
  • 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 focused on the announcements from BI-related Microsofts TechEd 2010 conference in New Orleans.

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 Chamber of Commerce and the developing APM (Association of Project Managers).

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 has decided to continue 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.
Membership 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
Membership numbers have continued to steadily grow and we now have 259 members (an increase from 237 last year). This growth of 10% is very encouraging and we are now 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 2009/10 was 3,020.38 and at the end of the (16 month) financial year (31 August 2010) the book balance for BCS Jersey is 2,882.97. The total income was 6,323.00 with a total expenditure of 6,460.41. There are no outstanding creditors or debtors.

Going forward
As previously mentioned, the previous period has been difficult for the Jersey BCS, with increased pressures of work on the Committee, meaning that BCS activities have reduced. However, I am very encouraged by the interest shown by members to be part of the new Committee.

Regardless of whether I am elected as Chairman for the next period, I believe that the Jersey BCS needs to make changes, as summarised:

  • Raise the BCS Jersey profile
    • Raise profile of the BCS in Jersey to that of similar trade organisations, such as the Institute of Bankers and STEP.
    • Rebrand BCS Jersey website and refresh content.
    • Increase press coverage in Channel Island news paper and publications.
    • Make BCS Jersey the default place for press commentary about technology related stories.
    • Use the BCS Jersey LinkedIn site to discuss current topics.

 

  • Maintain quality of events
    • Increase focus on events to continue to host quality events.
    • Forming an Events group will focus on hosting events, calling on other Committee members and BCS Jersey members as appropriate.
  • Benefit the community
    • It is proposed that the BCS work on a project that will benefit the community, by working with education, Jersey States and/or a charitable cause.

 

  • Change Committee and structure to become more agile
    • A large and diverse Committee has benefits but it is also a challenge for meetings. Forming an Events group will allow the Committee meetings to focus on governance, whilst the Events group can focus on the logistical detail of hosting events.

. 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. In particular this year I would like to thank Neil Merritt who has been the Branch Secretary for a number of years and is now stepping down. Neil has managed the Committee meetings and made sure we followed the rules.

I will be standing for election as chairman for 2010/11 as will Ian Jauncey as Treasurer.

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