WCIT MONITOR Issue 60 Nov 2013

Issue 60: Nov 2013 MONITOR the newsletter of the Information Technologists MASTER’S LETTER F riday 11th October 2013 was a special day for me because it was the day I was installed as Master and when I effectively brought an end to my 45 year career as a practising lawyer. The two, I felt, were mutually exclusive. I had started as a company/commercial lawyer, having read Law at Bristol University. Ten years after qualifying, I acquired my first software house client, MGE Associates, which sought some help on a supply contract. At that time and probably for a further decade there were few standards. We early practitioners evolved them as best we could, believing-as it turned out correctly-that software was copyright. When my firm heard that I had undertaken computer contract work, I was asked to negotiate a supply contract on its behalf with a software house called AIM. I was subsequently invited to act for AIM, whose then Chairman, Clive Telfer, a Liveryman of this Company, suggested I became involved with the Computing Services Association (as it then was). The CSA’s Director General, Douglas Eyeions, in turn recommended I became a member of this Worshipful Company. This I did in 1993. Thus I became a lawyer to the IT industry. In identifying a theme for my year as Master, an office which I am greatly honoured to have been given a chance to fulfil, I pondered over how mankind’s communications had developed over the centuries. It started with sign and body language, metamorphosing into speech and then writing. Writing was speeded up by printing, and the postal system increased the ubiquity of information. The next century saw telephony, fax radio and television coming to the fore. These in turn were (Photo: Gerald Sharp) complemented by mainframe computers, PCs and microprocessors; developments which themselves co-ordinated the Internet with the World Wide Web. Michael Webster Inside this issue: Master’s Letter 1 A Lord Mayor’s visit 3 Balancing Risk and 5 Reward in the Cyber-world Thought Leadership 2014 6 WWII Bunker visit 7 A Master’s Present 9 Installation Dinner HAC 10-11 A Letter from the Lord Mayor 12 Charity News 13-14 Cadets 15 Education News 16-17 Without understanding history, one cannot conceive of what lies ahead. Moore’s Law dictates that IT’s pace of change will quicken. So should our ability to keep abreast and recognise the good and the not so good impacts of IT upon society. My brief history of information dissemination shows IT and computing (including telephony) as truly ubiquitous today. They have become more than just an adjunct to our lives; they are an integral part of it. You may by now have guessed the theme for my year of office is “UBIQUITY” - “ubique” meaning in Latin everywhere. The word “Ubiquity” conjures up in our minds concepts of equity and fairness. It contains the familiar acronym “IT” and the word “quit”; which is what I shall be doing at the end of my year! The ubiquity and immediacy of computing and the impact of IT on society would be better appreciated by society if it can have the benefit of some Thought Leadership debate between interested persons. I believe, as will be seen from a later article in this edition of Monitor, that there is no more dispassionate organisation to embark on this than The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.