CIO Zone

IITPSA introduces professional global CIO certification

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The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has introduced a professional chief information officer (CIO) designation for South African ICT professionals who meet the required levels of academic achievement and professional experience.

This designation, endorsed by the CIO Council of SA, means the candidate has been assessed and successfully qualifies to be a professional CIO at level seven, which is the top level of competence.

Applicants admitted to this designation will be certified, and may now use the post-nominal designator “Pr.CIO” in addition to the post-nominal designator for the IITPSA Professional Member grade.

International framework

Speaking to ITWeb on the side-lines of an IITPSA event in Johannesburg today, Adrian Schofield, production consultant at IITPSA, explained the new CIO competency level is measured against the international framework used by many employers and industry associations around the globe.

“The professional CIO designation certified by IITPSA indicates levels of competence across the different skills that are required to practice in an IT profession. These levels go from level one, where someone may require guidance to carry out their task, to level seven, where they are setting strategy and negotiating at board level to steer a business in relation to technology, governance and everything that goes with that requirement.”

There are currently less than 500 CIOs in SA, with only around 200 registered with the CIO Council.

There is a cohort of practitioners who understand that to be effective, they are required to practice in a professional manner and have a commitment to their employer, said Schofield. However, he pointed out the challenge with the current ICT practitioner levels is that there are no mandatory guidelines that provide the ability to practice, which means anybody can be appointed to any ICT position in a local organisation.

IITPSA CEO Tony Parry explained the standards required for admission to the professional CIO designation ensure the admitted professional practitioners have appropriate qualifications and demonstrate a very high degree of relevant professional experience in a range of disciplines within the ICT spectrum.

“These disciplines include software, network or telecommunications engineering, information security, ICT governance, business analysis, big data and data analytics, database management and administration, ICT management, ICT lecturing and research, project management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, software design and development, Web development, artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber security and mobile technologies, among many others,” he noted.

IITPSA membership grading and admission criteria are continuously evaluated in accordance with international practices and are maintained in line with these requirements, by gaining the right to use the respected letters such as AMIITPSA (affiliate or associate member), MIITPSA (member), PMIITPSA (professional member) and now also Pr.CIO after their names.

ITPSA members are identified as belonging to the South African Qualifications Authority and the global International Professional Practice Partnership global accredited body and professional community.

IITPSA CEO Tony Parry.
IITPSA CEO Tony Parry.

Changing role

Professor Pete Janse van Vuuren,co-founder of the CIO Council of SA, explained that digital transformation is changing the role of the CIO, with today’s CIO expected to play a pivotal role in determining the future success of the organisation.

“The biggest challenge facing CEOs in SA is to get their CIOs on the board of directors, because CIOs not only run the biggest budget in an organisation, but they also take over all the technology operations.

“The role of the CIO has evolved from being the chief engineer to being the chief digital officer to chief technology officer. The CIO of the future is the business value creator who guides the chief digital officer, working alongside the chief operating officer. Therefore, it’s important for the CIO to understand business technology, information technology and operational technology, and to have a strong business mind-set,” he explained.

Six CIOs from local organisations, including Absa Insurance, Barloworld SA, AfriSam and Premier Group, were the first recipients of the professional CIO certifications awarded at today’s event.

IITPSA is a professional body recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority.

Established in 1957 as the Computer Society South Africa, the institute aims to further the study, science and application of ICTs; maintain and promote codes of conduct and ethics for its members; define and promote standards of ICT knowledge; promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters; and extend the knowledge and understanding and usage of ICTs in the community.

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