Chat: Leon Strous, IFIP President's Insights on the World IT Forum and World Computer Congress
Leon Strous was born in 1960 in the Netherlands and he is still residing there today with his wife Pattry.
Leon has bachelor-equivalent degrees in business economics and business informatics, a postgraduate degree in EDP-Audit, he is qualified as a registered EDP-Auditor (RE) in the Dutch Association of Registered EDP-Auditors (NOREA), and he is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
Leon started his career in metal and plastics processing and then went on to eight years with the sales organisation of Philips Electronics in the Netherlands. His focus areas were administration, internal control and information security. Since 1993, Leon has been with the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which is the central (or national) bank of the Netherlands, in different positions as IT auditor in the internal audit department and as overseer in the oversight department of the cash and payments division, focusing on the security of payment systems. His work also links to the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). Currently his main jobs are advancing business continuity and crisis management arrangements with the key players in payments and securities, clearing and settlement processes in the financial sector in the Netherlands, and liaising between the financial sector and the government concerning critical infrastructure protection programs.
Leon is a member of a number of professional societies and has been active in many different positions in the Dutch Computer Society (NGI) since 1988, including member of the Board for five years, and in the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) since 1994, including a vice-presidency and in August 2009, he was honourably elected as president for the 2010-2013 term.
Leon has co-authored and co-edited publications in the area of information security and chaired/organized several international security conferences. Since 2001, his significant contributions include work with the IFIP World IT Forum (WITFOR), a conference focusing on the application of ICT in developing countries, and the IFIP World CIO Forum (IFIP WCF), the first forum that combined global CIOs, senior academics, industry and government leaders and experts. Currently he is the chair of the WITFOR International Steering Committee and past-Chair of the WCF International Advisory Board. In 2012, two areas of focus are the 2012 WITFOR and2012 World Computer Congress.
IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing, was founded under the auspices of the United Nations Educational Scientific Organization in 1960 and now has 56 country member bodies and affiliates representing over 90 countries. The membership is nearly 1 million leaders, academics, and professionals. IFIP is a consultative body for IT for the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization, Sector Member for the International Telecommunications Union or ITU, Scientific Associate Member of the International Council for Science or ICSU.
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for IFIP in 2012 and 2013?
"....Showing to stakeholders what IFIP is and what we can do....To provide others with the knowledge of our work and benefit from it....For ourselves, to create bigger opportunities to co-operate with other societies, professionals and different types of stakeholders...."
You mentioned co-operating in some way with other stakeholders that are out there. Do you see the ability to partner in some formal way with some groups or other major associations?
"....We are definitely investigating new possibilities for formal partnerships...."
What are recent "wins" for IFIP?
"....The interest from younger IT professionals....Also an increased co-operation and visibility in United Nations bodies...."
What are your goals for the 2012 WITFOR?
"....The idea is learn from each other and see what the effect of practical implementation is on the thinking in policy direction. In 2012 we have deliberately limited the number of themes to make it even more effective. We are focusing on agriculture, education, health and eGovernment...."
The next series of questions are going to focus on the World Computer Congress 2012.
What are the vision, mission, goals and the major theme of the WCC2012?
"....One of the strategic goals of IFIP is to promote in whatever way we can, the professionalism of the ICT person....The main theme is innovation, risk and professionalism...."
Who will be attending and why?
"....Policy makers who have to work on the vision for a country....Decision makers in academia....Industry who are employing these professionals and who have to contribute to their development and to the innovation....The decision makers on human resource strategy....It's a high level mixture, but supplemented by IT professionals themselves...."
Leon provides examples of speakers and what value they will bring to the attendees.
"....There is a big variety in the backgrounds of our speakers. They are from academia, industry, government and they bring specific views and experience in those areas that I mentioned...."
We covered this question somewhat before, but do you have any additional comments as to why should government, academic and industry leaders and IT professionals participate in WCC2012?
"....It's my firm belief that if you have an event with only one of those groups of stakeholders you will get a limited vision. The stakeholders have their own goals, backgrounds and strengths....We are starting a discussion a few months before the event takes place. We will raise some issues, open up the floor for everyone to participate and bring in their points of view so we can have a concerted effort at the conference to have some ideas and enhance the goals. After the event, there should be a roadmap or list of actions to achieve what we have discussed...."
What is the value in professional associations for computing professionals? Why should computing professionals get involved with IFIP?
"....Sharing your ideas and sharing your concerns with colleagues in your own country, but also with colleagues on an international level is very valuable and necessary to solve the concerns and address issues that will help enhance the profession...."
What are your thoughts on computing as a recognized profession with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, and recognized non-licensing based credentials?
[See http://www.ipthree.org and the Global Industry Council, http://www.ipthree.org/about-ip3/global-advisory-council]
"....I believe, and IFIP is definitely contributing to that goal that we should move slowly. We are still a young profession so there's still a lot of discussion as to what is the best way, but let's continue the discussion and let's do it within the concept of associations who make it easier. We should move towards a more structured model for the profession...."
Leon provides a summary on the upcoming World Computer Congress 2012.
"....September 24 - 26, 2012....Amsterdam, Netherlands....Themes: Innovation, Risks, and ICT Professionalism....For more information see:http://www.wcc-2012.org"
Music by Sunny Smith Productions and Shaun O'Leary