For a long time, New Brunswick lacked a true industry association which could speak on behalf of and for the IT companies and interests in the province.
Certainly there have been many groups accomplishing great feats in the promotion and growth of IT such as KIRA, Tech South East and PropelICT. Each group had their own goals and operate fairly independently.
NBICT arrives on the scene
In 2009 lead by Larry Sampson the New Brunswick Information Technology Council was formed hoping to be the association to represent NB IT firms and interests. The council has had some success in growing and working to achieve its goals. The council seems to be consulted by government when developing strategies and has developed position papers and has lobbied the government on behalf of the members.
One detail which I found unsettling however was the possible overlap or competing interests of the various IT groups in the province. Were they in competition with each other? How much overlap was there between the groups? Which groups should be engaged with whom? The industry is small enough in New Brunswick that competing and overlapping groups cannot possibly be not very effective.
Because of these concerns, I was very happy to hear read the news: Tech South East, PropelICT, and ITAC Join the NBITC Board . Hopefully all of the groups across the province can come together and work together towards the strengthening of the very important sector to the New Brunswick economy.
From the groups, I would like to clearly see the differences between the groups identified, to clarify their roles in NB’s IT ecosystem and ensure that their energies are put to the best use for the province as a whole. For example as an outside company, which group should I talk to engage with and why? Will the NBITC now act as the primary provincial IT body and direct people or inquiries to the various groups as appropriate? PropelICT seems to be more focused on the entrepreneur and startup side of the industry but at least to me it isn’t clear how all of the associations fit together.
What is your opinion on the various IT groups around the province? Should they be merged into one organization with regional chapters, perhaps?
Will the New Brunswick Information Technology sector finally have a strong and unified voice to speak for them?