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CIPS Blog: “The Future of CIPS” - Bashir Fancy, I.S.P., ITCP, Chair of the CIPS National Board

I joined CIPS in early 1980s. CIPS had both an excellent reputation and certification program that was very helpful for my career.  It not only provided learnings but also networking opportunities that were helpful in exchanging valuable information with my peers.  It demonstrated that I had achieved a certain professional standard which was useful with my employers and general Industry.

Over the years, significant advances in technologies have compelled some businesses to revisit how they conduct their operations.  Advancement in technology and globalization has created both opportunities and challenges.  Those who have embraced changes are able to compete with new disruptive businesses or their competition.  Those businesses that have been reluctant to do so are finding their market share eroding and difficult to compete.  These significant and dynamic advances in technology and globalization have also created need for new skill sets.  Many businesses and organizations are working hard to remain relevant and deliver value for money, whilst disruptive and new entrants are creating fierce competition and perhaps better value.

All these developments have led to skills gaps. Organizations spend a lot of money on who they are rather than who they should be.  It is no point doing something well if it is not worth doing in the first place.   Throw Cyber security into the mix and the problems get more complex.  Therefore no one should get impressed if an Organization is spending a lot of money on technology etc.   The question always must be asked as to whether it is being spent wisely.  All the preceding requires that we all take a step back and re-evaluate what the challenges are and what needs to get done.  Technology alone will not solve any problem.

Professional Organizations are not exempt from these developments.  Some have experienced erosion in their Membership numbers.  Their Members are looking for relevancy and a value proposition.  The stakeholders are students/graduates, Educational Institutions, Professional Organizations, Companies that hire them, cities they live in and Governments. 

This means professional organizations and educational institutions are required to understand and anticipate the needs of businesses and eventually the country.   Free Trade can be good if the ability to streamline and optimize the processes, improving the productivity, while at the same time significantly enhancing security through education and therefore improved productivity.  Technology is inherent in all these various approaches, regardless of the Industry.

CIPS is positioned extremely well to deliver value to all stakeholders.   Having been formed 58 years it also has the backing of the legislation.

CIPS will need to continue to articulate and communicate effectively with various stakeholders to remind everyone what CIPS is about and how it has transformed without losing its core values to assist their members and the other stakeholders.   There never was and never will be a one-size fits all or a silver bullet for security.  It requires a 360 degree and multi layered approach to security.  Education will play a critical role in delivering these solutions successfully.  CIPS will work closely with all stakeholders involved to achieve this objective.   Let there be no mistake that technologies and business will continue to evolve and we will need to continue to works closely with educational Institutions around the Country to stay on top.   We will work closely with Government to ensure that the professional designations are recognized by them in their hiring practices to ensure proficiency with the evolving technology world.

My experience, knowledge and skill sets, be it Air Canada, Citibank and more importantly at Visa as the EVP, Risk Management & Security as well as the Global Head of Internal Audit, is very relevant to the challenges that we face at CIPS.  Visa International (Visa Inc.) is a Global multi trillion dollar Organization that has to deal with thousands of Banks, Regions, Countries, laws and jurisdictions, languages, culture and people.  However, my task was to ensure that I was able to bring them together for the greater good of the Organization/Corporation and ensure that all stakeholders understood that what the challenges we were all facing together at Visa.  It was critical to utilize all resources, experience and skill sets that were available to me for us to achieve our common objectives.    This required ensuring all technology, security, processes, oversight, good governance were dynamic and up to the highest standards whilst upholding highest ethics and integrity.  Trust and credibility are critical in Payments business as are security and privacy.  None of these were achieved without challenges but achieved they were.  It came down to understanding the needs of our Members (Banks), their cardholders and their need for security and privacy, Government regulations etc. in delivering those services.  It also meant ensuring that various stakeholders globally had opportunities to voice their concerns, suggest ideas and challenge they faced locally and needed very clear communication from me.

People must have opportunities to express their views and needs before we proceeded to execute in order to get their buy in and therefore increase the chances of success.   This approach creates inclusiveness and trust that led to excellent relationships between the Regions, various Banks across the globe enhancing our product offering. 

I see similar challenges where technology and different stakeholders are involved.   CIPS is a non-Profit Association around technology.  At the same time in Organizations, technology and businesses staff also need  to understand each other’s needs well, i.e. what is our business, who are our customers, what do they want, how can we deliver the services better/cheaper (technology), improve our customer service, be more secure, compliant and above never forget that customer is supreme.  Some Organizations have forgotten that at their own peril about their ultimate customer.  We live in a Global environment and disruptive technologies and businesses can come from anywhere.