by Richard Steel

Socitm rebranding on the agenda

Jan 18, 20093 mins
IT Leadership

There are a lot of organisations called “CMA”, I’ve found – such as the Complementary Medicine Association, The Christian Motorcyclists’ Association and the Community Media Association.

Anyway, I met, this morning, with Glenn Powell, Chief Executive of The Communications Management Association, which was formed in 1958 but became part of the BCS Group 18 months ago.

Having brought one another up-to-date on our organisations’ developments, we discussed the potential for collaboration, and concluded that it will be worth a further meeting to formalise a relationship. The CMA currently has no “vertical sectors” within its organisation, but I believe a shared expert panel focussing on public sector network and security would benefit us both.

Following the FOI request lodged, last week, by PSF the Socitm Board of Directors brought-forward branding considerations that have been on the “back-burner”. We agreed not to seek renewal of the .gov domain name, due in August this year, but to adopt a new domain to reflect recent developments in the Society. The following broadcast was sent to the Socitm membership:- Members may be aware that one or two commentators have raised questions about the appropriateness of Socitm’s designation. The was granted to Socitm after a formal application to the relevant authority in the mid-1990s. Socitm applied for this designation on the basis that it was a membership organisation representing individuals in the public sector who themselves had addresses. Since that time Socitmhas opened up its membership, and in October 2008 took this a significant stage further when it voted to allow members in the private sector to have equal status to that of public sector members. Late last year Socitm completed a merger with the charity IT organisation CITRA, which brought into Socitm membership a significant additional group of members also not working directly in the public sector. Given these developments, as well as the decision to open Socitm membership to ICT and related professionals at all career stages, Socitm has started to consider a range of issues around its name and branding – including the designation. Stimulated by a FoI request lodged with the CoI in the early January, Socitm brought forward the discussion about the designation and considered it at its board meeting on January 15. The board agreed that it will not seek renewal of the designation when this comes up in the Summer, because a .org or .net designation will better describe the current and future scope and purpose of the organisation. Changeover to the new designation is likely to coincide with the launch of a new website for Socitm scheduled for the summer.

I had hoped that our new CMS, and website, would be ready to launch by April, which was the original plan… and yes, I suppose that was for partly egotistical reasons! However, it became evident that with the amount of work required, and the limited resources available to us that would be extremely ambitious and we agreed on a more realistic schedule. All the same, I’m hoping that my final act, as President, will be to preview the new website at our AGM in April.

The CRM implementation has also slipped a little, as a result of the takeover of the supplier of our financial management system, requiring work that impacts upon the required integration, but the new CRM should still be live by the month-end.