Former sysadmin industry body, Australian Systems Administration Guild (SAGE-AU), has soared past 10,000 members since it rebranded last year as the IT Professionals Association (ITPA) and took on a new direction facing towards the channel.
In August last year, the Australian peak body for IT systems administration professionals ditched its long-time brand and embraced a new name and strategy in a bid to regain relevance – and member numbers – in the local IT market.
At the time, it set out on an ambitious goal to boost its membership numbers, from less than 1,000 to more than 10,000 individuals in 12 months, in addition to reorienting itself to target general IT providers rather than just sysadmins.
And the body has achieved its target within just 10 months.
ITPA President, Robert Hudson, said in the 23 years prior to the relaunch, the total number of active or past members that SAGE-AU had attracted was just over 5,000 individuals. But with the transition from SAGE-AU to ITPA in 2016, he said it has reaped a large, new membership base and a growing informed voice for people who work in the IT industry.
According to Hudson, ITPA undertook numerous activities to achieve its 10,000 membership goal.
“These included initiating our Certified Practicing Member professional development program, migrating to a new website and membership management system, rebooting our eNewsletter and offering free online short courses on industry-relevant technologies and subjects," Hudson said.
“We have also been proactive in releasing regular public comments on several topics of interest to our industry including the NBN and the explosive growth in IT 457 visa approvals, all of which served to increase awareness of the organisation and to offer a new authoritative, independent voice to the debate,” he said.
Going forward, Hudson said he is committed to driving the organisation forward to better represent the industry and to improve service to members.
He added that he intends to do so by providing a “reasoned, yet prominent voice on IT issues” critical to IT professionals and the broader business and residential communities.
“Our commentary will always be independent and we are fortunate to have a tremendous diversity of industry knowledge and experience to draw upon which allows us to weigh into issues with authority and integrity,” he said.
In addition, he said it intends to provide clear professional development pathways for members to acquire skills that are current and relevant to the demands of the industry today and in future. It also wants to engage regularly with government and education institutions to help develop strategy and curricula.
“[We want to] ensure our members are rewarded with long and fruitful careers in the IT industry.
“Meanwhile, based on the response we have received from IT graduates and working professionals to date, we are confident of achieving our new goal of 20,000-plus members before the end of 2018,” he added.