Nigel Shadbolt, BCS President

The British Computer Society has enjoyed the most successful year in its history.

Nigel Shadbolt We have a record membership, sound finances, new products and services, and increasing numbers of candidates taking our exams and qualifications. We are leading an extremely successful Professionalism in IT programme.

We are expanding our work with business, government and academic leaders. The BCS is now one of the leading professional bodies and learned societies in the UK, and one of the most significant of its kind in the world.

As the contents of this Annual Review demonstrate, our subject is fundamental to the modern world. The BCS believes our IT systems must be researched and engineered, developed and deployed to the highest standards.

The management and integration of these systems within complex organizational and social arrangements also calls for a set of professional skills, which the BCS seeks to support and promote. Our subject is increasingly multidisciplinary.

The BCS operates through a dedicated staff and the voluntary efforts of its nearly 60,000 members. We have 55 branches - 15 outside the UK - 52 specialist groups and 6 forums, all providing invaluable expertise. We run operations in publishing, examinations, press and external relations, conferences, awards, lectures and seminars.

This demands an effective infrastructure. This year we have taken possession of state-of-the-art headquarters in Swindon to complement our London offices. We have launched a range of new electronic services for our members including a new website.

The energy and excitement surrounding the BCS is well reflected in this Annual Review. There are articles on strategy, training and education, the future of communications, networks and databases, the challenges of security and compliance. On page 13 my own piece puts forward the argument for a sustained effort in the area of public engagement.

During my year as President the BCS will celebrate its 50th anniversary. It can be proud of its achievements to date and confident of its role in the future.

We must continue to foster a strong and respected, exciting and challenging IT profession. We must therefore begin the task of engaging with the public at all levels and through a whole variety of channels. This is a fitting challenge for our Society in its 50th year.

Nigel Shadbolt, BCS President