In the face of widespread, even global agreement that IT needs an image update, the Australian Computer Society, the Queensland government and its ICT working group want some answers.
They have teamed up to stage a conference, to follow hot on the heels of the National ICT Skills Summit (June 21-22), on how to define and promote both IT careers and the industry.
Mark Lloyd, Queensland ACS chairman, said the industry, unlike traditional professions - such as civil, mechanical, chemical engineering - doesn't even have a "nice noun to describe what we do nor a framework on how we are structured and to market ourselves behind.
"The industry has not even defined for the education sector precisely what we want them to pump out," he said.
"We need to fast track our maturity as ICT is very young compared to traditional professions."
Lloyd listed IT's image barriers, saying that IT is ill defined, un-sexy, with no ethical framework and a poor image. "We owe it to the public to get ourselves better organized," he said.
"At the moment the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Department of Workplace Relations has tremendous inconsistencies about classifying the IT workforce.
"But to drive all that you need a better form of governance as the ICT industry is made up of a lot of associations all competing for airtime."
Early proposals on structure had brought collective support and is "almost accelerating our capacity to solve the problem", Lloyd said.
Called Technology in the Public Interest (TIPI), it will be held in Brisbane on June 23 at the Brisbane Hilton Hotel on Friday, June 23 and aims to promote ICT codes of conduct, a national competence framework as well as an identity for ICT and a governance structure.