ISACA can rescue itSMF

itSMF International is broken. At a chapter level itSMF is just fine in a number of countries. What we need is an international federation mechanism driven by a healthy organisation. Ooh wait, ISACA has one of those. And ISACA's problem is a failure to cater for general IT practitioners at a conference and local level. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me: could ISACA save itSMF?

I really think it is end of days for itSMF International: it is in its death throes unless something radical happens. Communications have broken down completely: the International Executive Board just elected a new chair and nobody knows. A governance committee rearranges the deck-chairs. There is debate over the most basic constitutional issues. More importantly, the organisation is so dysfunctional and the petty politics are so toxic that it hurts the individuals who try to do something about it. Pretty soon nobody will put their hand up for these volunteer positions.

At a country level, many chapters are functioning just fine, performing their role as a networking mechanism. And of course chapters like itSMFUK, itSMFUSA, and itSMFAUS are also performing the role of itSMF International: publishing stuff, running international-standard conferences, creating professional bodies etc etc

Meanwhile, ISACA have an effective and functional international mechanism that has always been better than itSMF's. Local chapters get plugged in seamlessly to the international machine. ISACA's problem is that they can't shake their assurance culture: ISACA is still all about audit, risk and security, despite Lynn Lawton's fine vision years ago of changing that.
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So here's a fix to both problems: itSMF merges with ISACA. I've been proposing it for over six years. At an international level the existing ISACA organisation runs things. At a local level, itSMF chapters can either plug in alongside the local ISACA chapter, or merge.

So in the bigger countries, there would be one group for the spooks and one for the geeks: ISACA for the GRC crowd and itSMF for the ITIListas; two country chapters side by side. While in smaller countries where the itSMF chapters struggle to get critical mass and momentum (and the ISACA chapters probably have the same problem) they could merge into one body with enough members to manage monthly meetings.

COBIT is logically the parent framework to ITIL, something else I have been saying for ages, which seems finally to be getting some traction worldwide (except in the backwaters of the USA but hey they still use magnetic stripes on their credit cards).

[Update from comments: Note that itSMF has no link to ITIL like ISACA has to COBIT, as i suspect itSMF are soon to painfully discover. So a merger of itSMF and ISACA (at whatever level) would have no impact on ITIL as a framework.]

The biggest challenge is that I doubt ISACA are crazy enough to take the itSMF rabble on. There's a grand goal for Rob Stroud during his new tenure as ISACA President.

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