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The IAB - Building a Bridge to the Practitioner

During a 2007 organizational review, the IEEE-CS leadership determined that a change in the Society’s external focus and its market position was needed. We wanted to become more industry and practitioner-focused.  Our desire was to increase the quantity of relevant products and services for industry and practitioners while continuing to retain the high level of researcher and academic involvement that remains a major contributor of Society technical expertise and information. The IEEE-CS has a broad base of members, and we wanted to clarify our business model so that we might better serve our entire membership base.

In 2008, the IEEE Computer Society focused on our internal strategic plans. We have made significant process in moving from static strategic planning; plans that were previously developed in 2-3 yearly cycles. We now work our strategies dynamically allocating targeted plans and activities on a yearly basis. It is vitally important for any organization to understand what high level goals they would like to set, how these goals align with their mission and vision, and then set about to reach these goals by defining correlating activities with specific, measureable, targets. The IEEE-CS has defined both short (3-5 year) and long (5-10 year) goals. One of these short term goals was to reach out to industry to support the development of targeted solutions to their technical challenges.
 
The IEEE-CS Board of Governors authorized the creation of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) in 2008. The purpose of the IAB is to help the Society build its relevance by serving as an advisory body to guide the development of Society products and services relevant to the industrial audience and by reviewing the Society’s plans that engage industry. The IAB will also assist in the dissemination of the Society’s information to industry and help the Society obtain support from the industrial sector.   The IAB exists separately from the IEEE-CS governance body, the IEEE-CS Board of Governors. The IAB’s function is solely advisory in nature. [1]
 
We are fortunate; our IAB is comprised of a very impressive group of senior executives from key corporations. These individuals are committed to the IEEE-CS and provide us with 'straight talk' about how they view the Society, the efforts we put forward, and suggest things we should consider doing. They have been busy working in 2009 on several key initiatives that will provide the IEEE-CS Board of Governors with insight into how industry thinks, and what practitioner’s value from associations. Although we have many well known volunteers from industry who do sit on our Board of Governors, the IAB provides our senior volunteer leadership with an untarnished view of how well we are performing, what we might do to improve, and how best to support the industry practitioner. I am looking forward with much optimism to 2010 when many of the current IAB efforts will mature and bear fruit and help the IEEE-CS improve how we accomplish our mission.
 


[1] IEEE Computer Society Industry Advisory Board Charter, May 2009
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