ISACA SA chapter: 2018 year in review

Johannesburg, 07 Dec 2018
Read time 6min 10sec

I am staring outside the office window and watching the trees move sweetly in the cold Cape Town wind, while the sun struggles to present itself between the grey clouds, and I am thinking of 'time, busyness and legacy', says Arlene-Lynn Volmink, President of ISACA SA chapter.

I read something really profound recently, that when we feel like there isn't enough time in the day for us to get everything done, then what we actually need is not more time. Instead, what we need is more stillness. Stillness to recharge, mindfully reflect and reset. If you have reached the end of the year feeling tired and overwhelmed, stop. Time is not within your control, but downtime is. Be kind to yourself. Spend time with your loved ones. Live purposefully. Work to build your legacy. Life is short.

On that note, we have been guilty of being very busy at the ISACA South Africa chapter, with a purpose-driven and committed team. Often, this work is done behind the scenes, so I am glad I have this opportunity to share some highlights with you, which Kenneth Palliam [Vice-President: ISACA SA Chapter] has also shared at the recent year-end events.

Time has gone by swiftly: the 2018 to 2020 Board of Directors are entering month eight of a 24-month tenure. We are a strong, passionate and positive team, and I am delighted to work alongside each director, staff member and volunteer to deliver on ISACA's purpose and on the vision of our chapter.

The ISACA team is a family. During the year, we've welcomed some, we've said farewell to others, and sadly, we've had to pay last respects to some. We were saddened by the passing of Rob Stroud, Tim Mason and John Lainhart, and will look back fondly on the memories shared.

As with any family unit, we are drawn to each other on purpose and by purpose. ISACA's purpose is to help business technology professionals and their organisations realise the potential of technology; it is why we exist and the impact and legacy we seek to leave in the world.

After the inauguration of the new board on 20 April 2018, we came together the very next day and defined the SA chapter vision and strategy. Our vision is to be the leading professional organisation in South Africa for business leaders in technology, information and cyber security, governance, risk and innovation.

This is underpinned by the following pillars:

* Growing membership;
* High membership retention rate;
* Sustainable organisation;
* Effective communication; and
* Excellence.

We took some time to identify strategic initiatives and outcomes we would like to see, and linked these to this vision.

At the follow-up strategy session on 1 December 2018, the Board reconnected to the ISACA purpose by hearing from two inspirational members and reflecting on key focus areas and initiatives. This allowed us to bond further as a close-knit team, and we took some key decisions with forward planning for 2019.

Key highlights for the year

* We held a number of regional events throughout the year across many regions, with insightful speakers and topics.
* We hosted a first-ever one-day seminar jointly with the ACFE SA in July 2018.
* We recently held year-end events in the Gauteng and Western Cape regions, and the KZN event will be held shortly to an Arabian nights theme; with sought-after speakers and some slithering entertainment.
* Our annual 2018 national conference, themed: The future is now! was thoroughly enjoyable and informative, with a range of knowledgeable speakers on varied topics. A special thank you to our 2018 conference sponsors, speakers and volunteers.
* We celebrated our chapter awards for the second year running, and this was well received with a circus-themed event and entertainment.
* We are 'lit' on social media, with 2 449 Twitter followers, 1 125 followers on Facebook and 7 554 followers on LinkedIn.
* We entered key partnerships through memorandums of understanding with the Wits Link Centre and CISO Alliance. We also hosted a number of joint events with like-minded organisations such as the ACFE SA and IIA SA.
* In October 2018, Jo Stewart-Rattray (Women's Leadership Council Chair, Former Director ISACA International Board) and Alisha Wenc (SheLeadsTech Programme Coordinator) visited the Africa region, travelling all the way from Australia and the US respectively; and we hosted the first SheLeadsTech function in Gauteng.
* We represented the SA chapter at the Global Leadership Summit, with over 450 leaders from different parts of the world.
* We also strengthened our relations with ISACA Africa leaders by attending the CEO Working Group Session in Windhoek, hosted by then CEO Matt Leob; and attending the Africa CACS 2018 conference in Lusaka in October 2018.
* In observance of Mandela Day, we arranged for donations for two organisations, AfricaTeenGeeks and Thope Foundation. These organisations are educating and raising young girls to be future leaders in STEM.
* We also donated funds to ITGI in support of the ongoing research on IT governance and related topics.

Looking ahead

* Following the recent release of COBIT 2019, the ISACA SA chapter is proud to host the COBIT 2019 conference on 11 March 2018.
* We are also extremely proud to host the Africa CACS 2019 conference which coincides with ISACA 50, the 50-year anniversary celebration of ISACA. I encourage you to register for this event. The call for conference speakers and sponsors is out and registration will open soon.
* We have experienced ongoing challenges with our Web site, and we are working behind the scenes to consolidate our Web channels and bring you a fresh, new Web site in the new year. This is part of our digital journey.
* Last, but not least, we continue to work on SAQA accreditation and we look to you for support in this huge endeavour.
* We have established a 2019 events schedule that covers our planned events and this will be published early in the new year to allow you to diarise events in advance.

Please continue to support the chapter by renewing your membership and continually engaging with us at chapter events.

You are welcome to get in touch with me or any of the directors for suggestions and comments on how we can continue to grow and improve as a chapter.

The SA chapter is a success because of the passion and dedication of its members and supporters. A heartfelt thank you to you all.

I wish you a safe holiday and a wonderful new year.

Take care and God bless.

Arlene-Lynn Volmink

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