An international standard
The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) is the IT industry’s international competency framework. It’s used by a whole host of organisations for mapping out the skills they have in house as well as where any gaps may lie, to inform recruitment plans, training programmes and their wider IT strategy. SFIAplus enhances this framework still further with detailed training and development resources - and it was here that BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, required our help.
Best foot forward
BCS approached us with the requirement to help them make better use of the fantastic resources they have available, to maximise the value being delivered to the organisations they serve. Before we could define a plan to achieve this, however, we first needed to know what we were starting with. We therefore kicked the process off by running a sustainability exercise that looked at:
- The viability of the existing system
- Any particular strengths and weaknesses
- What BCS’s competitors were doing
- The potential risks and threats from within and outside the industry
This activity formed the backbone of a discovery phase where we explored the cost/benefit impact of various different development options - from doing nothing right through to replacing the entire system. From this analysis, we concluded that building valuable additional functionality onto the existing system would deliver the greatest value to BCS’s clients in the shortest possible time (while ensuring the solution maintained the highest levels of performance and quality) so it was around this vision that we built our strategic roadmap.
One of the biggest assets BCS possesses is its access to subject-matter experts - ‘superstars of IT’ whose knowledge and experience informs the resources that are delivered through SFIAplus. Consequently, much of the proposed functionality was geared towards making the most of this expertise. This included building a centralised hub that makes it much easier to contribute content to the system, taking away the bulk of manual effort so that updates can be made more frequently and efficiently, and ensuring that BCS can always be confident in the relevance and timeliness of information as a result.
Another asset that offers incredible value to BCS’s clients is the data the membership institution is gathering into the trends and patterns across the IT industry, and it was clear that this needed to be made as accessible and usable as possible. This called for a sophisticated management information system with built-in reporting capabilities to replace the often highly manual processes that had been used previously. Organisations can now conduct skills gap analyses within SFIAplus directly - and the system also offers the potential for benchmarking data to be made available in future, to give added context to any performance insight.
Making IT good for society
BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT now has a long-term strategy in place to safeguard the continued success of SFIAplus - ensuring they are perfectly primed to become the de facto skills tool for IT professionals across the globe as the new functionality is rolled out, and the system is introduced into new geographical markets. Additionally, with further discovery activities taking place to plan out future additions such as dedicated ‘Careers Paths’ microsites, BCS will be able to support the on-going growth and diversification of the IT profession for years to come.
If you too want to unlock the true transformative power of your digital systems, take your lead from BCS - and get in touch with a member of our team today.