At IIA Conference 2003 John O`Shea, IIA Chairman, outlined the IIA Strategy for 2004:
The Irish Internet Association was founded in 1997, with an initial mission around the education of companies about the existence of the Internet and how it could be of assistance to them.
Nearly 7 years on, our educating job is not done as the sector faces the challenges of success. The Internet is at the heart of so many businesses that issues such as worms, viruses, spam,search engine optimisation and migration to mobile are mission critical, not just to the IT department. A not-for-profit, independent organisation like the IIA can be seen as an honest broker in trying to establish best practice in dealing with all these new challenges.
The range of challenges is immense however, so that like many companies, we have chosen to focus on a smaller number of areas and to excel in them. Our focus for the next year is twofold
Firstly we will continue to concentrate on membership benefits. We will run highly targeted events around the country delivering educational and networking benefits – and will also deliver content and interaction via our website. More than ever, in tougher times we have to pander to the basic wants of our members who will ask “is paying this membership fee of benefit ? will I sell more, learn more or improve my business?” I truly believe that we will continue to deliver excellent value for money in this respect.
Secondly, we will be a voice for the industry focused on 3 key issues.
Cost and ease of Internet access. We plan to provide transparent information regarding all forms of internet access costs – be it broadband, mobile or wifi etc. We want to educate the debate, make it easier for people to understand what options are open to them and at what cost. We would like to ensure that Ireland rises way above 51st worldwide in broadband usage statistics, and also position us to avail of advances in mobile internet by encouraging experimentation by users. What could these advance be? South Korea is at the forefront of broadband roll-out and now has a $400M broadband gaming industry with many companies set to be world leaders in the field, based upon their domestic experience. We certainly feel that if we build a wide user base of broadband uptake, innovation will come. This focus will be led by our board member Professor Marie Redmond.
The Internet is an increasingly complex area for doing business. We will continue the excellent work done by Don McAleese’s legal group to build on and package together an eCompliance offering – all around issues such as data protection, acceptable email usage practices, ecommerce laws, records management standards, SPAM and virus issues. Don and ex chair John Pierce will continue to educate the industry and increasingly influence our lawmakers in developing simple, powerful Internet-related laws.
We will run a back to basics campaign centred on “Championing the User Experience”. I was delighted, last Monday evening, to see 110 people turn up for a Web Design event we ran (Best Practise Web Design – 22nd September). As many companies now build and maintain their web presences internally, it is now more important than ever that they are kept abreast of how to put the user at the centre of everything they do. Our working group, led by Morgan McKeagney, will highlight how best this should be done.
And how will we implement this?
Firstly our working groups are open to members to join in formulating our approaches. These are then discussed in public debate at our events, culminating in the publication of white papers
We invite your views and involvement to ensure that the best results are achieved. Our strategic aim is to continue the growth and range of use of the Internet in Ireland and to help the country’s competitiveness by delivering advantage through best use of the Internet.