BICSI past president peeks into the industry’s future

In an interview with CABLExpress, Jerry Bowman discussed the industry’s skills gap, professional credentials, and what will happen when convergence meets outsourcing.

BICSI’s immediate past president Jerry Bowman, who is president and chief operating officer of Square Mile Systems, LCC, recently paid a visit to the office of CABLExpress and during that visit, agreed to be interviewed about current dynamics and challenges within the information technology systems (ITS) industry. He also discussed how the industry has progressed over the past several years.

Speaking about the industry’s evolution over the past decade, Bowman commented, “The biggest changes I’ve seen have been with the end-users, the clients. … Years ago it was all about selling the technology or product. But I’m seeing today, it’s more about the outcome. People are buying results and they’re no longer buying just a technology or just a service. … They want results; they don’t just want the technology or the service behind it.”

Bowman also addressed the existence of a skills gap in the industry, saying the gap that he sees has a lot to do with international organizations whose formerly siloed local or regional operations are now part of larger, global operations. Getting these siloed pieces to modify their legacy, local practices and adapt to a larger-scale set of standards or principles often proves challenging. In the interview Bowman elaborates on his observations in this arena.

Jerry Bowman may be one of the best individuals in the industry to answer questions about professional credentials. No fewer than 21 credential-based letters follow his name: Jerry Bowman, RCDD, RTPM, CISSP, CPP, CDCDP. As a professional who has earned all of these credentials, and as an individual who served for years on the volunteer board of directors for BICSI, he has a perspective matched by very few on this area. In the interview, Bowman explains that each of the credentials he has earned has required verifiable experience in the respective professional trade. He also was asked about the application of these credentials, and the advantages they may have provided him, in his own professional career.

In closing, Bowman was asked about what lies ahead for the ITS industry. His insights here are keenly interesting: “The one question that looms above all others, that I’ve asked a lot of professionals in different industries, is, ‘Who will you be working for in the next five years?’ If you look at the IT industry, we’ve gone from local, to regional, to global IT control. The next evolution of that is in the outsourcing or managed-services arena … What I see changing is that once a company adopts outsourcing and once convergence runs its full cycle, with audio-visual or security as an IP appliance, the logical question is: Can the outsourcing or IT managed-services company manage security, and manage AV? It could be that the local company managing security for a Fortune 500 office today could be a subcontractor to an outsourcing firm in three or four years. I think that’s going to be an interesting challenge, for everyone who’s a stakeholder in the IT industry and others, to address.”

We’ve embedded the video here so you can see and hear Jerry Bowman’s full interview with CABLExpress.

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