By rights I am not sure if I should still be the chair of Socitm North East. Since moving from the public to the private sector, or the dark side as I hear it called my position has become questionable. According to those who know such things in Socitm, the chair should be a public sector practitioner yet they have only issued such advice as guidance. They are happy to go with whatever the North East group wants to do.
The first item on the agenda this time was therefore, should I continue, at least until the AGM in January, or step down. I am still in the chair but whether this is a vote of confidence or hesitancy on the part of others to take on the role I will leave you to chew on.
It was another packed meeting. At the last one Richard suggested that we should move from a long table to more intimate round tables. The group had spoken and we listened. The round tables are much better and allowed greater interaction between the guests (attendees, delegates?). We will make more use of the new set up in future. Graham had also managed to swing some improvements to the WiFI.
The theme was regional resilience. Graham came up with the snappy acronym BC4IT > DR. If you need a translation then it stands for business continuity for information technology is greater than disaster recovery. There were presentations from McAfee, a leading vendor of antivirus products, the North East Fraud Forum and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue. Resilience is such an important issue yet is rarely a technical one. The recent ransomware attacks that affected the National Health Service, among others, and the debacle with British Airways when they lost power shows that it is a corporate issue. I’ll come back to the content of the speakers in future blogs.
Geoff, the Socitm President and Adrian the Chief Executive were also there to give us an update on the organisation. It was Adrian’s last North EASt meeting before he retires and it was good to see them both there.
We are now planning for the Northern Socitm conference in November. I’m still in the chair and things are shaping up nicely.