The first meeting of the new Socitm National Advisory Council, today was another big day for me and, hopefully, Socitm.
There were no nominations for Chair as, it seemed, Members had expected this to be pre-arranged, so John Serle volunteered. Colleagues accepted his offer for the meeting, and reconfirmed his "election" as the first Chair at the end of the meeting.
Members had a lot of catching-up with progress in Socitm reorganisation to do and, understandably, some felt the NAC should have met sooner, particularly given that Socitm Futures, which is accountable to the NAC, is already active.
However, there was acceptance that we are where we are, and we did our best to bring the group up-to-speed with presentations on the new organisation, the membership system proposals, updates from Consulting and Insight, and a report from Events.
Discussion and refinement of the terms of reference will continue online through the NAC's GovX Space, but there was broad agreement of the central role it has in representing Members, maintaining oversight of the delivery programme and services, and scrutiny of the organisation and management of Socitm's business.
The Group also agreed to include finalisation and adoption of Society Values, and updated ICT Strategy as items it will lead on.
Crucially, the NAC agreed to realistically scope its own work. i.e. Unlike the previous National Council, it should not attempt to "do everything". Its primary role is to ensure that Member interests and requirements are effectively represented – which includes scrutinising the management of the Society, but not managing it.
Similarly, although it may take lead responsibility for key agenda issues that does not mean it has to do all the work; there will be a focus on commissioning work to be done, and prioritising, work by the paid workforce, and Socitm services and contractors.
The NAC will meet physically three times a year, but arrange virtual meetings, as and when required between times, as well as working collaboratively through the GovX Forums.
I think we agreed upon the diagrammatic representation of the new Society structure that I presented, although there was clearly a need for some text to clarify relationships, which we agreed to produce. As soon as this has been agreed with the NAC we will publish this to the wider membership – before the Annual Conference.
In the evening, I attended the CNET Networks UK Business Technology Awards at the London Hilton on Park Lane. I was invited, by Silicon, to meet fellow Silicon.com-rades Byte Night Team members, but the only other Team Member to attend was Nic Evans – European IT Director of Key Equipment Finance.
The evening's compere was John Culshaw, who entertained us hugely with the "nerdy" material at his disposal… You know the sort of thing – Hokey Cokey MTG8.12 SmartMesh Nested Server (not a real product!) My favourite winner was Bighand Mobile – a digital dictation facility on a PDA – simply because effective deployment of voice processing technology seems long overdue.