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Subject: Re: UKNM: State of The Nation 2 - Total rant but worth reading.
From: Craig Pickup
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 15:54:14 +0100

Sean Clark wrote:

> >Moves are already afoot to organise such a professional body. Watch this space
> >for more details over the next week or two! In the meantime if any one has a
> >particular interest in being involved in developing the initiative please let me
> >know.
> Excuse my cynicism, but my experience of self-proclaimed bodies such as
> these is that their primary goal is to forward the careers of the
> organisers ;-) Don't you think the market should be left to sort the
> wheat from the chaff? Please feel free to convince me otherwise...

The difficulty of allowing the market to sort out "the wheat from the chaff" is
several fold.

Firstly before this would happen there will be a good number of companies that throw
away good money on bad service. Many of these companies will be SMEs with limited
finance. Currently they have a much more level playing field when competing with the
larger companies in the field of ecommerce. If they waste several thousand pounds on
an ineffective solution (no solution?) then the playing field is tipped against them.

Secondly, the nature of the Internet is such that for "cowboy" developers the cost of
entry is relatively low. This means that even if the market sorted out all the current
cowboy firms today, tomorrow there would be more on the market. This might change over
time as web development speeds away from the simplicity of HTML to the complexites of
Java programming etc.

Even so the majority of those on the market with these new skills are often just out
of college and while they may be able to program they have little concept of
integrating solutions into business and dealing with all the business criteria that
needs to be addressed.

There are also other reasons for professional bodies in that they provide a focus
point for collective lobbying, promotion, etc.

Having said all that, and to allay Sean's fears of "self-proclaimed bodies" for a
professional organisation of the type envisaged to be successful it needs the support
and backing of a wide section of the profession. If only a few support it then the
public will have little confidence in it and its membership will be pointless and in
part self defeating.

The other point to make, and perhaps my initial comment on this was a little
misleading, is that this is still in the very early stages of development and will
still be sometime off in being launched. What is currently happening is the intial
parameters are being drawn up, focus teams are being recruited, and lobbying of both
the UK government and the European Commission (the proposed organisation will be
European as opposed to British based) for support is taking place.

What will be happening over the next couple of weeks is the establishment of some web
support pages, outlining the parameters we are working towards, along with the
facility to register an interest in the project. We will also be recruiting people to
assist with developing the concepts from a cross section of the industry.

Craig Pickup

  Re: UKNM: State of The Nation 2 - Total , Sean Clark

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