What Does Accreditation and Membership Means for Your IT Partner?
Many organisations outsource service provision to their parties, especially for IT Support. They may do this as a way to meet a need for one-off skills, or to manage day-to-day tasks, thereby releasing their own staff for other more pressing tasks. It is particularly common in large metropolitan areas such as supplying IT Support in London.
As in many other industries, there are organisations who stretch their credibility by claiming skills and experience they either don’t have at all, or only slightly, and clients are justified in taking some claims with a pinch of salt.
In all cases, they are relying on the skills and experience of the third party. There are two methods to verify that the outsourcing partner has the skills and experience they claim, by word of mouth from other clients, or by the membership of a professional body who provides accreditation.
If you are the IT Partner who is providing the IT Support outsourcing service, how do membership and accreditation help you in your business?
The Benefits of Professional Organisation Membership
There are several types of a professional organisation, from industry specialists to broad special interest groups. Some, such as accountancy and the legal profession require membership of a professional organisation before being allowed to practice, others require demonstrable competency in their particular field before being allowed to join, other simply that you sign up and pay the membership fee.
Some are country-based, and some offer international coverage.
There are many IT professional organisations such as ISACA, and in the UK, the British Computer Society who offer internationally recognised certifications and accreditations.
However, some care is required. Just as it is possible to buy and use worthless degrees over the Internet from non-existent Universities, it is possible to acquire seemingly prestigious memberships and accreditations from fly-by-night organisations for a nominal fee. If you are a client and have any questions about the validity of accreditation or membership, carry out some research on the awarding organisation to make sure that they are genuine.
The benefits to an IT Support organisation are that they have easy access to information sources and networks of similar professionals. Some provide specialist members-only services such as discounts on goods and services, training programmes, and regular local update sessions on matters of current interest.
At an individual level, corporate membership can also provide access for employees toi career-development programmes and individual accreditations.
Information Systems Audit Control Association (“ISACA”)
ISACA provides education, training and internationally recognised certification in several IT specialisms, ranging from IT Audit to being an accredited Cyber Security practitioner. They have been established for about 50 years, providing consultancy and advisory services to clients.
In addition, members receive discounts on goods and services, regular newsletters, and continuing updates on matters of current professional interest.
Over the last couple of years they have had an increased focus on skills development through digital technologies with online events and virtual training.
British Computer Society (“BCS”)
The BCS is a well-established organisation, operating under a Royal Charter for at least 50 years, claiming to support IT professionals at all stages of their career from student to greybeard.
As with ISACA, they provide internationally recognised accredited qualifications in a broad range of IT Skillsets.
THE BCS Are similar in promoting continual professional development through individual career plans, both in traditional methods and by using online methods.
International Standards Organisation (“ISO”)
The ISO was founded in 1947 and brings together representatives of standards-setting bodies for several countries. Currently it has some 165 members and is based in Geneva.
They develop and publish internationally-accepted standards in many IT and management fields such as Quality Management, Environmental Management, and Information Security Management.
The Benefits of Accreditation
Where professional memberships and accreditation give comfort is in demonstrating that the organisation has the skills and experience that they claim. This helps a client in trusting a potential IT Partner and helps the IT partner in demonstrating to a potential client that they have the skills and experience that the client requires.
At an individual level, it demonstrates to employers and clients that you have the skills you claim. It also allows your company to put your skillset forward, in the full knowledge that you can back up your claimed skills and experience.
While professional memberships and accreditation might not seem essential, they can provide an IT Partner with the appropriate proof that they have the skills and experience that they claim. This will instill confidence in clients and potential clients that they are a reputable organisation who can do what they claim to do.