Helping I.T. Connect
Photo by Daniel Smyth
Organizations depend on information technology. It can often be an arduous and challenging terrain for individuals and companies to navigate. This is why organizations such as The Circuit, the IT association of the Greater Cincinnati region, are imperative to help guide the conversation and drive momentum.
The Circuit’s mission is to unite IT solution and service providers, corporate IT departments and the businesses that support them. They provide education, networking opportunities and online sales channel and advocacy to government for its members and the IT community in our region.
“The Circuit is like a trade association,” says president Brian Berning. “We provide a forum for collaboration with individuals and organizations who provide IT services and who share experiences. We also offer them the opportunity to get input from various vendors who provide support services to their organization: What kind of experience can they expect? Who can they call on? What’s topical?”
The Circuit provides members and the community with education. “We have educational content and invite speakers who have specific expertise to help inform our members,” Berning says.
Another important component The Circuit offers is advocacy. “We have a community of individuals and organizations who collaborate, and from that collaboration agendas are formed,” Berning says. “From those agendas, there is information that can be shared. Whether that interest is state or local government or economic development engines, we are collecting information that can be used in a variety of different communities through an advocacy.
“We also have a strong relationship with organizations such as Technology First in Dayton and Ohio Tech in Cleveland/Columbus. This relationship allows us the opportunity to see if the topics we are facing here are local or statewide.”
Moving forward, The Circuit’s goal is to build stronger collaboration within the IT community and in the small and medium-sized business space. Membership collaboration is imperative. It enables The Circuit to collect better data on the quality and quantity of the IT talent in the community. Specifically, Berning hopes to aggregate more data, identifying what talent already exists in Cincinnati, who they serve and how strong the tech community is in that space.
In addition, The Circuit looks at the region’s CIOs and CTOs. They want to build an inventory of the topics that are important to them and where they feel they are lacking resources in the community.
“For example, if cyber security is a top issue and if there are very few resources in Cincinnati, then there is a need,” Berning says. “Perhaps, then, there is a need to localize that and determine what the broader community can do to strengthen those services in our community.”
This data is ultimately used for decision-making. It helps The Circuit identify gaps in the community and that data is intended to provide intelligence to help ascertain how to proceed in filling them.
The solution is two-fold. It is important to recruit outside talent, but it is equally as important to retain and develop local talent. With this purpose in mind, The Circuit developed the Talent Track.
“In the last year we developed the Talent Track with the purpose of developing programming and education around retaining and developing talent,” Berning says. “It is important that we not only recruit outside talent but we retain the current talent in Cincinnati.”
The informational technology climate is constantly changing and evolving and organizations such as The Circuit are valuable resources to connect this community and create a positive impact throughout our region.
On May 4, The Circuit will hold their annual CEO CIO Dinner Reception at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati. Chris Cole, CEO of Intelligrated will be the keynote speaker. For more information about this event and others, visit www.thecircuit.net.
For information about new membership, contact operations director Patti Jervis at 513.910.0988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.