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Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)
Ron McLaren, Director, e-Skills Management Ltd
Ron explained what SFIA is, how it came into being, and why it is a worldwide success among IT users and service companies. He also touched on how SFIA is used (for example by BCS) and gave us an insight into how employees should be viewed as assets.

A PDF version of this presentation is available.

An introduction to CCPM - The biggest change to project management for 40 years
Gary Palmer, Critical Point Consulting
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is fast emerging as a major improvement in project management, dramatically improving project speed and predictability. Although currently relatively little known in the UK, it has become well-established and highly successful in America, India and Japan, and is predicted to become the dominant project management methodology within the next few years.

Gary Palmer described how CCPM changes many project management practices and behaviours, and by these changes removes the in-built inefficiencies in 'traditional' project management, enabling projects to run faster and with more effective protection against uncertainty, whilst providing much improved visibility of progress and monitoring both at the single project and multi-project (programme and portfolio) levels.

A PDF version of this presentation is available.

Branch AGM, followed by the new president of BCS
Roger Marshall, BCS President
Roger Marshall talked about his theme for his presidential year, Engagement with Students and Young Professionals. Roger first explained how he fits into the BCS Governance Structure. He then talked enthusiastically about his vision, mission, strategic priorities, values, challenges and key initiatives.

A Powerpoint version of this presentation is available.

Our Branch AGM preceded this talk. Doug Edworthy, Graham Crane and Andrew Norris were re-elected to their respective officer roles as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

Where is the UK IT Industry going (part 2)?
An open discussion hosted by Doug Edworthy, Chair of BCS Sussex
Following on from the success of our open discussion in May, we held a follow up session to continue the debate about the problems facing the IT industry in the UK. Unusually, the specific topic for debate was decided by an onlne vote by our members, from a choice of 6 options. The chosen topic was The Promise of Cloud Computing in which we debated the practicality of Cloud Computing for SMB's, schools and government based in a rural area of the UK where fibre-optic is not available.

Data Protection – the escalating cost of getting it wrong
Clive Bonny, MD Strategic Management Partners, and Richard Jeynes, MD Voyager Solutions
The Information Commissioner is significantly increasing the focus on investigating the performance of companies against the regulations. Last year over £10 million in penalty fines were imposed by the ICO for failings in information systems and governance. More recent powers have increased potential fines up to £500,000, with the added problem of public listing, reputational damage, and compulsory audits for some sectors. Data managers, data controllers and data processors are all in the firing line.

This presentation provided an understanding of Data Protection and its associated responsibilities. Delegates were shown how to assist their organisations in managing the regulatory issues, and how to assess and mitigate risk.

Where is the UK IT Industry going?
An open discussion hosted by Doug Edworthy, Chair of BCS Sussex
The first in a series of open house “round table” discussions, where members and non-members had the opportunity to debate the topic of the evening (which is just the starting point to get us going) as well as any other matters relating to our industry which affect us. Doug Edworthy was in the hot seat to oversee the proceedings.

Many people feel that the UK IT industry is going through worrying times. Some areas of concern are:-
  • Overseas outsourcing
  • The cloud changing the landscape of many IT departments
  • How green is our industry?
  • Is teaching kids to write an app really programming?
  • Data security
  • Does the UK IT industry still hold its pre-eminent position on the world stage? We led the field with the pioneering work done at Manchester University (Baby) and Cambridge University (EDSAC), we had the first commercial computer installation LEO (Lyons Electronic Office), not forgetting Sinclair's revolutionary ZX80, 81 and Spectrum, and the BBC Micro.
  • How far, if at all, have we fallen behind the USA, India and the rest of the world?
There was plenty to discuss on all of these subjects, so the evening was most interesting.

Four Presentations by Brighton University Postgraduate Students
1. Does the Shape of an Euler Curve Affect the Comprehension of an Euler Diagram? Andrew Blake.
Andrew Blake is investigating the properties of diagrams that might affect user comprehension. A variety of shapes are used to draw Euler curves. Circles, ellipses, squares and rectangles are among the most common. Currently there is a lack of insight within the research community regarding which of these shapes optimise comprehension of Euler diagrams. With this in mind we present the provisional results of an empirical study designed to address this gap in knowledge.

2. Data mining in the online advertising industry. Maria Diapouli.
Maria Diapouli is engaged on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between the University and Crimson Tangerine Ltd, known as Crimtan. The company is an online advertising provider working for clients such as Marks and Spencer, Santander and Sky to provide precise audience targeting, campaign optimisation and reporting. This project aims to develop innovative data mining and modelling techniques to enhance customer segmentation and profiling process enabling the company to optimise web advertisement performance.

3. Creating Believable, Emergent Behaviour using a Synthetic Psychology Approach. Micah Rosenkind.
Micah Rosenkind’s PhD project aims to make simulated characters in interactive real-time software scenarios more believable by increasing the personality of their behaviour. To do this he implements biologically-inspired artificial life (A-life) mechanisms into their control mechanisms, inspired by the thought experiment “Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology” by cyberneticist and neuroscientist Valentino Braitenberg.

4. Digital Signage for Ubiquitous Annotation. Marcus Winter.
As applications of ubiquitous annotation rapidly evolve from static content delivery to dynamic, social, user-generated content, the user experience for accessing and creating annotations still involves touchpoints with static displays that cannot show dynamic content and need to be scanned with a mobile device before they reveal up-to-date information. In this brief presentation, Marcus Winter will discuss user experience problems with static display touchpoints and set out a research agenda for dynamic display touchpoints that can show state information, interaction feedback and aggregate data to encourage and support interaction with ubiquitous annotation services.

Cloud Security, Social Networking and BYOD
Peter Wood, Chief Executive Officer, First Base Technologies LLP
Everyone is talking about three big issues: cloud security, social networking and 'bring your own device' (BYOD). Peter Wood has been asked to speak on these subjects and numerous related topics over the past year, but never on all three at once. Working with a variety of multi-national organisations has shown Peter that conventional security thinking has failed to address the challenge that the product of these areas has presented us - so how do we deal with this brave new world?

Peter is a world-renowned security evangelist, speaking at conferences and seminars on ethical hacking and social engineering. He has appeared in documentaries for BBC television, provided commentary on security issues for TV and radio and written many articles on a variety of security topics.

Time and Place
Unless otherwise stated, we meet at the Fulton A lecture theatre, University of Sussex. Complimentary refreshments are available from 7:00pm, and our presentations start at 7:30pm. Free admission. Non-members welcome.

Events Diary
Choose a year to see a synopsis of our past or future events. You will also find handy links to further information for many of our previous presentations.

Mailing List
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