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March 13, 2024 |

CCF 2024: CompTIA Unites Members as One Global Community, Announces New Advisory Councils and Cybersecurity Task Force

CompTia’s CCF 2024 event is a wrap, and it was three-days of announcements, panel discussions, workshops, and peer networking. There was cake, too.

CompTIA has concluded its annual Communities and Councils Forum (CCF) in Chicago, a three-day affair full of member announcements, panel discussions, workshops, peer networking and more that began on March 11th.

CCF has historically been an event designed to bring members together to learn, collaborate, and network. Its Cybersecurity Trustmark initiative remained a key focal point this year, marked by a four-hour workshop on the first day where members learned about the program, what it entails, and how it can benefit both themselves and their customers.

Later, members were invited to participate in a CompTIA Gives Back charity activity, this year collaborating with Feed6 and The Outreach Program, where they packed 15,000 meals to be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and distributed to populations in need.

But aside from workshops and networking, CompTIA’s member keynote on the 12th had some surprising and interesting updates for their members. At this year’s CCF, CompTIA’s chief community officer, MJ Shoer, announced a singular, global brand – CompTIA Community. Going forward, CompTIA will be branded as a singular, global community.

“We’re really going to lean into the fact that we are one global community,” said Shoer. “…and our slogan is ‘We are CompTIA Community’. Over the years you may have heard us refer to our regional groups as communities.”

CompTIA has six global regions it currently serves. Going forward, these will be referred to as regional groups instead of communities. Similar changes touch other facets of its community, like its various committees, that will be called interest groups instead.

A lot of value CompTIA offers its members stems from its numerous Industry Advisory Councils on various topics. After joking that AI might be new in the room, Shoer noted CompTIA’s had an AI Industry Council for many years because “that’s what the industry advisory councils do. They look at what technologies, what trends, may be coming down the pipe that you need to be aware of and you need to thinking about in your business.”

CompTIA is phasing out its cybersecurity advisory council in 2024, opting to start up a global task force on the subject, while adding two new ones. First, the Data Advisory Council will focus on the opportunities around data for MSPs. “Most MSPs are very, very focused on infrastructure support. The network, cybersecurity, all the traditional things. Data is a blue ocean opportunity if you’re not involved in it.”

Its other new council will focus on workforce challenges MSPs face, leveraging its role as the largest independent, neutral certifying body in the world to help connect technology professionals to opportunities in the workforce.

Shoer went on to detail numerous initiatives CompTIA is taking to make the membership experience better and help derive more value from being a member. There will be a new, integrated web experience that will bridge the member portal with the public site, rollout of a volunteer support program intended to help members during a major security incident, continuation of its new mentorship program, among others.

CompTIA vice president, industry, and birthday girl Carolyn April later took the stage, to present its 2024 State of the Channel research report, which gives insight into the CompTIA member base as well as other trends and opportunities. Thanks to MJ Shoer, she also got a birthday song from the room and cake.

In short, the CompTIA member base is in better shape today than it was two years ago, believed to come from a combination of exciting new technologies like AI plus no longer being mired in a global pandemic. “47% of channel pros said they’re going to be selling general API solutions to their customers this year,” said April. “Last year we talked a lot about AI and what the channel is doing with it, and a lot of it was internally based.”

CompTIA’s research shows the IT channel continuing its trend towards selling IT solutions and services as its key offerings, though interestingly only 38% of members reported cybersecurity as a service they’re offering despite it being at the top of the list for most in-demand services. That list also spells out SaaS subscriptions, RMM, storage, and data analytics as the next most in-demand by customers.

April went on to illustrate some of the potential roadblocks that could impede profitability in the next year, which includes macroeconomic issues of your control to specific, talent shortages, changing customer expectations, and keeping up with rapidly changing technology to name a few. However, the business owner itself is another area to look at, as April pointed out that there are many who need to get out of their own way.

“A lot of small businesses, when you go into it as an entrepreneur, you think about your strengths and you don’t think about some of the weaknesses you have,” said April, who went on to point out that not addressing business skills could be costing them more than they’re saving. Their research shows that some are getting better at identifying their need for help and are starting to seek it out.

Lastly, CompTIA closed out its main day with a reception and its North America Spotlight Awards and Dinner Ceremony where they recognize individuals and companies it believes are leading the way and displaying excellence in the tech industry. CompTIA notes that the winners of each category are selected from a list of nominees by a different region to help ensure winners are selected on merit.

The categories and winners were:

Future Leader Award – John Harden, director of product – Auvik SaaS Management, Auvik Networks Inc., for his initiative and innovation to advance the technology industry.

  • Advancing Women in Technology Leadership Award – Julianne Zuber, VP technology ecosystems, Skillstorm, for her significant contributions as an advocate and role model for women in technology.
  • Community Leadership Award – Carrie Green, senior VP of operations, Alt-Tech Cyber Security & IT Management, for her outstanding engagement, professionalism and passion to advance the technology industry.
  • Cybersecurity Leadership Award – Tim Golden, founder and CEO, Compliancerisk.io, for his positive impact on the cybersecurity space as demonstrated by his initiative and innovation in current and past cybersecurity roles.
  • Industry Advisory Councils Leadership Award – Curtis O’Neal, founder, Cybernetics Global, for his engagement, outstanding impact, leadership and passion to advance the technology industry.
  • Advancing Diversity in Technology Leadership Award – N-able for the IT management organization’s impacts and dedication in helping others navigate evolving IT needs with diversity, equity and inclusion.

CompTIA also announced this will be its very last Communities and Councils Forum… at least in name. CCF will stand for “CompTIA Community Forum” as the new name for this event, beginning 2025. Until then!


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