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Oct 24, 2012

Focus on Cybersecurity, Business Transformation Strategies at CompTIA EMEA Member and Partner Conference

LONDON, 24 October 2012 – A sobering examination of the cybersecurity landscape and candid discussions on strategies for transforming information technology (IT) businesses highlighted the 2012 CompTIA EMEA Member and Partner Conference, the annual gathering of the global, non-profit trade association for the IT industry held here this week.

Executives from leading technology solution providers, value-added resellers, vendors and distributors, training companies and academies attended the conference to connect, collaborate and gain insight into the latest technology and business trends.

One of the most anticipated conference sessions was a cybersecurity panel led by Pauline Neville-Jones, patron of the Cyber Security Challenge and former UK Security Minister. Other panelists included James Lyne, director of Technology Strategy at Sophos, Sarah Winter from the Bank of England and Clinton Walker of Security Aware.

Neville-Jones described the UK’s IT security skills shortage and her concern as to how the UK might source the 500,000 people needed to be trained in IT security to fill the current gap. A lack of British students, apprenticeships and career prospects as well as undervaluation of the IT role, were all identified as challenges to reaching that target.

The panel focused on businesses generally, rather than just the IT industry. Companies were encouraged to ensure they understand the levels of cybersecurity ignorance amongst their staffs, and to identify the key issues and resolve them. Cybersecurity is transformative; it is changing and will continue to change the way we run our daily lives, both professionally and personally. Speakers concluded that cybersecurity grows most effectively through the personal experiences of individuals.

Another panel examined the need for business transformation by IT channel organizations. The consensus among speakers is that business transformation is not at all straightforward, nor is it a one-size-fits-all proposition. Rather, it’s likely to be an intelligent combination of providing customers with onsite products, cloud services and remote management from end to end.

The panel also agreed that the critical factor for a successful transition to this combination is not to offer a single solution that encompasses all three aspects, but to tailor the levels of that combination according to each customer’s demands.

Conference Keynotes
The conference’s opening keynote was delivered by Olympic cyclist, gold medalist and three-time world record holder Chris Boardman, who inspired his audience with a direct and clear lesson on what makes a truly high-performing team.

Boardman asserted that success is not about being the one with the best ideas, but rather being “the one who could ask the best questions” and having an open mind to innovative ideas. To Boardman, a key characteristic behind a successful high performing team is an atmosphere that cultivates the best ideas.

In the closing keynote advertising mogul Rory Sutherland spoke about behavioural economics and their impact on the decisions made by people in business.

Sutherland’s premise was simple: too many decisions at work are based on how we think individuals will respond, not how they will actually respond. His critical point was a simple one – understand people and their behaviors and you will make better business decisions.

New Channel Training Options
CompTIA this week introduced new education and training options tailored specifically to the needs of IT companies in the UK.

The CompTIA Executive Certificate in Mobility (Foundations) is an interactive workshop that examines different opportunities in the mobile space. It includes three courses: The Mobility Market; Developing Mobile Management Solutions for Customers; and Building Mobile Application Solutions.
The CompTIA Executive Certificate in Social Collaboration (Foundations) explores how “social” is not just about marketing anymore. Using a case-based approach, attendees investigate how other channel businesses have leveraged social technologies to optimise core business processes, examine different types of social technologies and tools, and discuss strategies for utilising social technologies within your business as well as your customers’ businesses.

Additionally, CompTIA offers several Quick Start Sessions – 45- to 60-minutre programs – on emerging technologies, markets and business strategies. Quick Start Sessions are available on Crafting a Mobility Offering, Social Strategies for Business Use, Entering a New Vertical Market and Social Media for Marketing.

All CompTIA channel training classes are presented by industry leaders, cover a practical, how-to approach to entering a particular market, such as mobility. All classes can be taken in-person, and many can be taken online.

Also at the conference, CompTIA announced that it is merging with Accredit UK, an IT skills credentials organization that focuses on the UK-based ICT market. Accredit UK’s credential certifies its holders have mastered proven best practices and standards – not dissimilar from CompTIA’s own set of Trustmark credentials. The merger is aimed at bringing a wider network of high-skilled members into the CompTIA fold, strengthening the association’s global reach and bolstering its existing Trustmark credentials.

CompTIA this week also launched its newest business credential. The CompTIA IT Business Trustmark™ identifies companies that have pledged to follow a robust code of practices that meet or exceed the industry standard level of customer service. The Trustmark shows that accredited companies meet industry-agreed standards in areas such as data security practices, staff competencies and holding of adequate insurance.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organisations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit http://www.comptia.org/global/en-GB/home.aspx or follow CompTIA at http://www.facebook.com/CompTIAUK and https://twitter.com/comptiauk.

David Lewis
Proof Communication Ltd
0845 680 1865 (direct)

Steven Ostrowski