IT leaders come together to chart future direction for leading industry trade group
CHICAGO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The information technology (IT) industry is in the midst of an "incredible chapter" marked by innovations that make the world more mobile, more social and more productive, the top executive of CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry, said here Tuesday.
"Despite all the political haggling, economic malaise, natural disasters and challenges you face running your business, we're in the middle of an incredible chapter in the short history of the IT industry," Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer of CompTIA, told attendees at the association's 2012 Annual Member Meeting.
"IT is everywhere, powering aviation and manufacturing, healthcare and small business, political and social movements," he continued. "The last 10 years has been truly revolutionary. And the coolest thing is we'll probably look back 10 years from now with the same kind of amazement."
Thibodeaux's remarks came on the opening day of the third CompTIA Annual Member Meeting. The conference, which continues through April 12, offers extensive opportunities for IT channel business owners and executives to network with peers; discuss and strategize on issues affecting their business; and learn about the trends shaping the IT industry.
While growth forecasts for the industry are generally positive. Thibodeaux noted that IT companies face some significant challenges; the most critical being the need for new IT workers.
"The IT channel will need thousands of people and hundreds of professionals who understand how technology works, how businesses operate and how to bring it all together for customers," he said.
The IT jobs crunch was also discussed extensively during CompTIA Colloquium, a gathering of leaders in the IT training and certification industry also being held here this week.
The IT training industry needs to stress the importance of hiring skilled workers and providing additional IT training to the employer audience, speakers at CompTIA Colloquium said.
"We haven't necessarily sold this to the employing world, that if they get a skilled person, it's much better for them long-term," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. "And certification is a good metric of that."
Even a small increase in the skill and dedication metric of a project team can dramatically increase the chances of success, according to Cushing Anderson, program vice president for research firm IDC. "You don't need to move (the skill level) a lot to get a lot of impact," he said.
CompTIA Communities Set Directions for 2012
Also meeting this week are members of several CompTIA Communities. These member-driven groups help shape the association's initiatives, programs, education and research in specific technologies, vertical markets or business segments that are vital to the IT industry.
The CompTIA IT Services and Support Community discussed how the key to building valuable technology solutions is in understanding the specific needs of customers, and making sure the offerings are really ready before implementing them at the customer's site.
Security considerations dominated the discussion during the CompTIA Cloud / SaaS Community. IT solution providers need to do their homework – especially when it comes to security – if they plan to do business in the cloud computing market.
"You need to educate yourselves on what your cloud provider is including or not including in a service level agreement," advised Wendy Frank, president, Accell Security Inc. "Customers are going to rely on you. You need to understand what's included and what happens if something goes wrong."
The CompTIA IT Business Growth Professionals Community – consultants who provide coaching and business services to the IT industry – discussed opportunities to engage in thought leadership education, as well as opportunities to provide information to CompTIA's solution provider members.
The CompTIA Annual Member Meeting continues today with panel discussions on the explosion of mobile technologies in the workplace and the IT jobs market. Best-selling author Steven M.R. Covey delivers a keynote address on why trust is the critical leadership competency in the new global economy. This year's IT Hall of Fame inductees – the late Jacob Goldman, a chief scientist for Xerox Corp., and the founding members of the VentureTech Network, Jane Cage, Steven Harper, Myles Schacter and Ted Warner – will be honored.
CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA on Twitter at Http://www.Twitter.com/comptia.