ITSC-Jan2008 The Open Group

Photo Gallery
The conference and the IBM ITSC accreditation ceremony

The inaugural Open Group IT Specialists Conference, co-located with the San Francisco Architecture Practitioners Conference, was held on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.  The event kicked off with a welcome address from Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group. Mr. Brown’s opening remarks introduced the impetus behind launching an event exclusively focused on IT Specialists and what he hoped the audience would gain from this conference.        

Phil Stauskas, Distinguished Engineer, Worldwide IT Specialist Profession Executive, IBM, kicked off the plenary with a keynote presentation asking participants the core question, “Is IT in Your DNA?”  Responsible for leading the 55,000 IT Specialists at IBM, Mr. Stauskas discussed what being a specialist really means, roles, and tips and tricks for managers engaged with IT Specialists.  Mr. Stauskas also examined the core attributes of architects, projects managers and of course, specialists, among other things.  He also examined the differences between “geeks” and “nerds” and if these two words can really apply to IT specialists – posing the ultimate question “So…what are we?”

“The Crucial IT Specialist – A Quickly Evolving Role at the Heart of Technology-driven Change” byRon Tolido, CTO Continental Europe & Asia Pacific, Capgemini, touched on the idea that it’s so easy these days to create solutions that it can even be considered to be fun.  He also discussed how through the use of technology that businesses can choose wherever they want to grow and innovate and that while many people have innovative ideas, their ability to move forward is stymied because existing systems are often roadblocks.   Mr. Tolido also gave his predictions as to what IT specialists will be focusing on in the coming years – including growth areas within real-time business intelligence solutions; open standards will continue to be crucial; and a continued focus on collaboration and the need for people to speak the same “language.”

Scott Radeztsky, Technical Director& Chief Technologist, Americas Region, Sun Microsystems kicked off the mid-morning session with his presentation “Answering the Call:  Business and Technical Drivers for an IT Specialist Profession,” that highlighted things that IT specialists will face as they make new engineering products, and architectures, among other things.  Mr. Radeztsky highlighted consumer and networking computing trends along with the opportunities for architecture and IT Specialists.  He also offered perspective that IT Specialists are fearlessly open-aware, fiercely collaborative, people/biz/programs/architecture; industry, client and client’s client, demonstrated experience. 

A panel session about the IT Specialist Profession closed out the morning session, and was moderated by Tony Baer, Principal, onStrategies.  Participants included Beth Gold-Bernstein, VP Strategic Products and Services, ebizQ; and Ron Tolido, Phil Stauskas, and Scott Radeztsky.  The panel sparked many opinions, including the idea that an IT Specialist is more than just a programmer; the role also includes an expertise in key, non-technology skills such as the ability to communicate effectively to both technical and business-oriented constituents.  The panel also discussed how some have been debating the relevancy of traditional computer science education – but the panelists did comment that this education does provide the contextual overview needed in order to understand how to speak to different groups – such as network engineers, developers, and individuals creating web 2.0 applications.   Panelists also commented about the need to formalize communications training because without proper communication, systems and technology may be in danger of failing.  Another key takeaway was a need to diffuse the myth that IT Specialists are only specialized in particular technologies – because it isn’t true. 

Before ending the morning session, Allen Brown then made the announcement that IBM had successfully completed the process and was the first accredited program within the IT Specialist Certification program and presented this accreditation to Phil Stauskas. 

The afternoon plenary focused on the role of the IT Specialist with a compelling presentation from Sheila Thorne, Worldwide IT Specialist Profession Leader, IBM called “Dealing with People You Can’t Stand.”  Ms. Thorne delved into working with challenging people and offered insight into the best practices of communicating across organizations and job functions, as well as effectively dealing with the different personalities that are part of every organization.  

In a presentation titled, “The Surgery Was Successful, What Happened to the Patient?” Tony Baer talked about making clients “whole” and discussed the business of IT, the disconnect, and provided insight into a case study.  The case study focused on a project portfolio management (PPM) project at a specialized electronics supplier -- tasked with rationalizing IT activity after a spin-off and downsizing.  Mr. Baer also touched on core skills that are not explicitly taught – such as people skills, empathy, collaboration, communication, persuasion and leadership.  The case study example also illustrated the need for such skills and how IT Specialists could have positively impacted this case study – and outlined the recipe for success, namely:  selling, listening, skills assessment, product management, and project management. 

Closing the session was The Open Group’s introduction of the IT Specialist Certification program to conference attendees.  The Open Group’s VP of Certification, James de Raeve, talked about the certification program’s objectives and goals.  He also provided attendees with details on how the certification process works, and who would be an ideal candidate, among other things. 

Overall, the IT Specialist Conference was a great success, and we look forward to the next event.  Please visit the IT Specialist Certification web page for more details on this program.  

Plenary: IT is Our DNA
IT Specialist Profession

Welcome Address
Allen Brown, President & CEO, The Open Group

Is IT in Your DNA?
Phil Stauskas, Distinguished Engineer, Worldwide IT Specialist Profession Executive, IBM

The Crucial IT Specialist – a quickly evolving role at the heart of technology-driven change
Ron Tolido, CTO Continental Europe & Asia Pacific, Capgemini

Answering the Call: Business and Technical Drivers for an IT Specialist Profession
Scott Radeztsky,Technical Director& Chief Technologist, Americas Region, Sun Microsystems

Panel Session – IT Specialist Profession
Tony Baer, Principal, onStrategies (Moderator),
Phil Stauskas, Ron Tolido, Scott Radeztsky, Beth Gold Bernstein, VP Strategic Products and Services ebizQ

The Role of the IT Specialist

Dealing With People You Can't Stand
Sheila Thorne, Worldwide It Specialist Profession Leader, IBM

The Surgery Was Successful, What Happened to the Patient?
Tony Baer, Principal, onStrategies!

IT Specialist Certification

The Open Group IT Specialist Certification Program
James De Raeve, VP Certification, The Open Group

Panel Session - Certifying the Profession
James De Raeve (Moderator),
Brian Mitsuki, Senior Certified Consulting IT Specialist and Americas IT Specialist Profession Leader, IBM;
Gerard Coes, Capgemini Academy, Clustermanager Business & ICT




   |   Legal Notices & Terms of Use   |   Privacy Statement   |   Top of Page   Return to Top of Page