A meeting of ICT company representatives on Tuesday brought the possible formation of a commercial industry group one step closer – but there is still no firm commitment to form the group, says Phil O’Reilly, chief executive of Business New Zealand, who co-ordinated the meeting.
About 40 people attended, from large and small, local and multinational companies, he says.
“We went through some strategy exercises to see whether we could put together a binding purpose for the group.”
A provisional decision was reached to concentrate on software developers, because the meeting saw there was no current industry group for that sector. To make the remit too broad would be to risk overlapping with other groups, he says.
“There was some concern about unnecessarily causing grief by stepping on someone else’s toes, but it was felt that software builders didn’t have a voice.”
Focus is necessary if members are to feel committed to funding the organisation, O’Reilly says.
“It’s important not to underfund it; that’s been the Achilles’ heel of a lot of industry associations.”
O’Reilly is the business sector’s current representative on the Digital Development Council. Backers of the commercial group have long envisaged having a link to the DDC and the Digital Development Forum; but O’Reilly emphasises that his current role with the commercial ICT organisations is in the nature of a “broker”. It’s up to the software developer companies themselves to run the association, he says.
A working group of eight has been established to do the next phase of planning and this should report back to another meeting in about two months, O’Reilly says.