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Corporate IT Forum Chairman Plots a New Course

Corporate IT Forum Chairman Plots a New Course

Ian Campbell believes the IT profession has gone through a number of evolutionary stages

As someone who enjoys yacht racing, Ian Campbell seems very well placed to be at the helm of The Corporate IT Forum (tif.), helping to map its future strategy, and giving its members what they want.

And for the former group IT director of British Energy, the waters over the last three years have been particularly choppy. Not only did he spearhead a complete change program there, but he also took on a new role at the Royal Mail, as well as becoming an integral part of one of the IT profession's most effective member groups.

The Corporate IT Forum is a rare beast in the IT industry -- a member organization totally devoid of vendors or consultants, and it is highly protective of that independence. It relies solely on its corporate members to pay for and dictate its agenda, and does little in the way of marketing.

Campbell only became aware of tif. in 2005, when he began working for British Energy and he attended a member workshop on Business Process Management. "I was blown away by how people used the forum," he says. By the end of 2006 he had become its chairman. "The Corporate IT Forum doesn't have a peer-to-peer networking ethos in the same way that other organizations like CIO Connect do, and in a way that is one of its strengths. The industry is incestuous so you do tend to mix with your peers through the forum, but that is not the main purpose." --

His reaction to tif. was all the more convincing given his wide experience. Campbell is an IT person through and through, and he has worked for some of the leading global organizations, including Citigroup, where he had a global role growing corporate and retail financial services, Energis, PA Consulting and Logica.

Tif. has a special place in the IT profession, according to Campbell. It does not compete with other CIO forums, but complements them, and offers members important, practical benefits. "My target as chairman of The Corporate IT Forum is to work alongside the CIO groups, like CIO Connect. We have a CIO meeting once a year, so we are not competing with the other individual forums, we have an affinity with them."

Membership of tif. comes through corporations and companies, which are the subscribers, not the staff themselves. It is very much a practical body, not a consulting group, Campbell says. The knowledge exchanged within tif. is drawn from the practical experience of users in meeting real corporate business needs with IT solutions. And this knowledge is shared in a trusted, sales-free environment. "tif. members are practitioners not consultants, so workshops and activities are member driven, with the members deciding which issues they look at," he says. "A principal in each company organizes membership within the company, with access to documents and research from tif."

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