Computing Canada, CIPS partner on IT supplement

Computing Canada magazine and the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) have embarked on a partnership to reflect on the meaning of IT professionalism and maybe even help redefine it.

The two organizations will co-publish a supplement called The Professional, which will appear as a bi-monthly special section of Computing Canada, starting with the Sept. 15 issue.

“It really is a joint effort,” said Computing Canada publisher Joe Tersigni. “We believe that one of Computing Canada’s roles is to help grow the community. That’s one of the things that a good industry publication should do. We felt that was something we could achieve by helping CIPS put this out.”

The CIPS members who don’t already receive Computing Canada will be added to the subscription list, which is already distributed to approximately 40,000 IT managers and decision-makers across the nation.

As its name suggests, The Professional is designed to address topics that affect serious practitioners of IT in Canada. Among those topics will be: ethics, governance, liability, best practices, regulatory issues and certification – namely CIPS own Information Systems Professional (ISP) designation.

Articles appearing in The Professional will be written by Computing Canada staff members, as well as CIPS members. The first installment will focus on risk management in the enterprise.

Until recently, CIPS published its own magazine called CIPS Across Canada, but the time was right for a change, said CIPS president John Boufford. The market is changing and so is CIPS, he said.

Gone are the days when IT was an isolated discipline, said Boufford. Organizational departments overlap, creating alliances between IT and the overall business goals of an enterprise. Likewise, practitioners are joining IT from different work backgrounds, creating a new richness in the field, but also creating new definitions of what it means to be an IT professional, he said.

Given the influx of professional diversity, CIPS is currently re-evaluating its ISP application process. A new ISP application, one that takes a range of experience into account, will be available this fall. CIPS has also updated its code of ethics, which was originally drafted in the 1980s.

“We have now opened the door to people that don’t have the traditional IT education that we required in the past,” said Boufford. “We’ve tailored applications for certain parts of the profession in a way that allows them to focus on things that are most relevant to them.”

Computing Canada also strives to be more flexible in its approach to professionalism in IT, said editor Martin Slofstra.

“IT professionals are too focused on technology. They need to round out skills like improving their relationship with business users,” he said. “They need to be more well rounded and look beyond just having just specific technical skills. They need to look at being much more a part of the profession. Certification is one aspect of that.”

The Professional will take the pulse of the IT industry, but also help to keep it steady, said Boufford. The publication aims to do that by addressing the subjects that are important to the industry, while also recognizing that they require constant re-examination.

“It’s very important that we protect the public interest, as all professional organizations do, and we take an advocacy role to be the voice of the information technology professional,” he said. “With our relationship with Computing Canada, we think we’re better able to do that.”

Computing Canada is published bi-weekly by the IT Business Group, a division of Transcontinental Media.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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