Paul D Jagger FBCS discusses the role of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and their part in the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show.

On Saturday 14 November the City of London witnessed the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show - a remarkable feat of continuity and a testimony to unbroken history of the world’s oldest democratically elected government office - Lord Mayor of (the City of) London.

This year’s Lord Mayor’s Show was joined by the City of London’s Livery Company for the IT Profession: The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. It was a proud day for the Company in a year full of anniversaries connected with the City and its Livery Companies (800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta, 600 years since Agincourt, 500 years since the Order of Precedence of the Livery Companies).

The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists entered a float in the Show to showcase the Company’s long-standing role supporting over 450 Royal Signals officers and soldiers in the transition from military life to civilian employment - or ‘Camo to Pinstripe’ as the messaging on the float heralded.

The float was titled: ‘Talent Unleashed’ - a succinct description of the role the Company plays in supporting IT professionals in the military as they leave the army and embark upon a new career in the wider IT profession.

The Company’s relationship with the Royal Corps of Signals commenced over 23 years ago and has grown over that period to become a strong and multi-dimensional relationship. Members of the Company who have served in the Royal Signals include several very senior officers such as BCS Past President Alan Pollard (a former Brigadier and Royal Signaller in Chief).

In addition to providing career advice and coaching to soldiers and officers as they prepare for a role in civilian employment the Company also gives prizes for excellence in military skills, presents awards to recognise exemplary service and invites Royal Signallers to regular social events where they can learn more about the work of the Company and the wider IT profession.

Leading the Company’s float team was Liveryman Andrew Parsons, himself a former Royal Signals Lieutenant Colonel who has benefitted from the coaching programme run by the Company’s employment panel. Many other members of the Company were involved on the day either on the float or walking alongside with soldiers from the Royal Signals.

The Company’s float (see photos) broke new ground in digital communications by the use of vast LED panels on either side that acted as a mobile cinematic display that wowed the crowd of over 500,000 that lined the route. The float also provided the first live video broadcast of the Show from within a float.

The float also had its own dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS devices (search for ‘Talent Unleashed’) providing further details of our work with the Royal Signals and allowing users to watch the live broadcast from the float on their mobile devices. In addition to the live video broadcast the highlights of the day were shared on the Company’s Twitter account (@it_livery) - all together a nexus of technology meeting with tradition!

Proceeding the float was the Royal Signals White Helmets motorcycle display team who provided two daring quad bike outriders. They put on a marvellous display of spins, skids and wheelies for the crowd that set the tone for plenty of cheering and interaction with the public. As the float approached the Mansion House the full White Helmets display team formed their 15-man fan which saluted the Lord Mayor and provided one of the highlights of the Show.

The float was the result of a collaborative effort with volunteers being drawn from the Company, support from the Royal Signals, and sponsorship from FDM GROUP, Howard Tenens Logistics and Unusual Rigging. Substantial support was also received from MVINE, one of the Company’s strategic technology partners and the Tech industry PR Agency Whiteoaks. The result of this teamwork within was a float that exemplified the Company’s tagline: Tradition - Innovation - Success.

The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Lord Mountevans, recently said of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists that it was ‘the very model of a modern Livery Company’ - who are we to disagree with the Lord Mayor!

Notes

The Royal Signals

The Royals Corps of Signals is the Information and Communication Technology combat support arm of the British Army. Founded in 1920 the Royal Signals provide military commanders with the information and communications capability to command and control their troops. The Royal Signals have their own professional body: The Royal Signals Institution, which fosters professional development in soldiers and officers. Through the Royal Signals Institution the Corps is connected with BCS, The IET and SFIA.
www.army.mod.uk/signals: @R_Signals

The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists

The Information Technologists’ Company is the 100th Livery Company of the City of London. Founded in 1984 and achieving Livery Company status in 1992, the Company is active in charity, education, industry and fellowship. With over 800 members the Company is among the more active and visible of the City’s 110 trade, craft and professional guilds. The current Lord Mayor of London recently described the Information Technologists as ‘The very model of a modern Livery Company’.
www.wcit.org.uk: @it_livery

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