Major Changes Ahead for the CMA

1 November 2012, CMA

I am writing to let you know about the major and, I believe, very positive changes which are now taking place in the way that the CMA operates within the BCS Group. The changes, which have been approved by your Strategic Board and the BCS Membership Board, will help us to deliver more value to you, our members.

It has been agreed that over the next year and going forward, the CMA will operate as a BCS Specialist Group open to all qualified BCS members in addition to the CMA existing membership. This will enable the CMA to use more of the BCS support capabilities whilst reducing our overhead.

To all intents and purposes from an external and membership viewpoint the current CMA identity will remain; our membership activities will be enhanced, the increased benefits of BCS membership becoming available to all CMA members, and for most members a reduction in renewal fees. A detailed briefing will be sent you in the coming weeks which will set out these membership benefits and transition process and will be posted on the website.

The CMA Board and BCS believe that there remains a clear need for an independent “voice” to support UK digital transformation and that CMA has a major part to play in this. CMA’s unique value lies in its independent voice in "the use of" Business ICT.

It has a recognised and demonstrable lobbying influence on government, the regulator and major service suppliers. The CMA provides value as a Forum for senior Business users supporting “online Business Transformation” and increasingly is seen as a source of support by SMEs involved in the developing digital economy.

The wide spread of our senior professional membership taken from government, local government, transport, Police, banking and industry at large assists in developing “good practice” for those involved in transforming their online businesses.

In this respect our representation in the Nominet.UK Policy Committee, representing business users interests in the domain name environment, and our participation with the Communications Consumer User panel which until now was very citizen-consumer oriented, speaks to the CMA intention to continue as a voice of the ICT business user.

The past year has also been a successful one for the CMA but we could do better. We had a very successful and oversubscribed conference in May, as well as a number of well supported half day and evening sponsored networking events. The success of the Annual Conference demonstrated that the CMA voice is being heard and that we have a role of increasing importance in supporting the development of the UK digital economy.

By closer integration inside BCS your Board will be able to create more opportunities for members to network, arrange more CMA member focussed activities, drive ideas for Good Practice for members and suppliers, and make better use of the tremendous membership support infrastructure of BCS.

This support will enable us to undertake more membership focussed activities and networking events over the coming months and plans are already in place for events from November until June next year. The initial events will as London based.

However they will in future make use of the BCS content management (presentations and videos) and webinar capabilities so that those who are unable to travel into London will nevertheless be able still to benefit from the events. We will be shortly posting on the website a calendar of events for the next 9 months.

The key change is the setting up of volunteer user expert led Colleges. They are:

  • Regulatory Affairs - currently led by David Harrington, ex DG of CMA and a specialist consultant in international regulations
  • Enterprise Mobility - Led by Mike Daly of HSBC
  • Cloud, e-commerce and the digital economy - Led by Simon Barton, recently of the Met Police IT Directorate
  • Telecoms and Networking - The leader is in the process of being agreed, and I will lead for the time being

These colleges will be looking for up to 20 members each to engage in dialogue and to assist in developing “Good Practice” in the specialist areas for our members. We have not set up a specific Security College, which though an area of serious interest is well addressed by other groups in BCS.

Peter Wenham, a CMA Board member, is also a member of the BCS Security Community of Interest. So should you or your colleagues be interested in becoming a member of one or more of these colleges (no travel - mainly web and conference calls!), please let me or the college leads know.

So in conclusion please:

  • Watch out for further announcements which will be e-mailed and posted on the web site.
  • Look out for the calendar of CMA forthcoming events
  • Attend the workshops
  • Contribute to the blogs, and
  • Expand your horizons through the College Volunteer activities.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me or use the CMA blog facilities. I look forward to seeing you all at our events in Southampton Street.

Michael Rowbory
Chairman, CMA

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