IT executives' online forum launches

An exclusive, online professional network for senior IT executives was launched in New Zealand last week. The international network - known as the Cambridge Information Network - lets managers discuss IT issues with their peers.

An exclusive, online professional network for senior IT executives was launched in New Zealand last week.

The international network — known as the Cambridge Information Network — lets managers discuss IT issues with their peers. The network, which was set up in the US in 1996, has 3500 members from 52 countries. Sixty percent of those are in the US, 12% in the UK, but only 2% in New Zealand and Australia so far. Membership is free, but restricted to the most senior IT executive in companies with a revenue of $US50 million, or the direct reports to a CIO in a $US200 million company.

"Because of [those] strict criteria," says Ellen Schreiber, director of online products, "we can offer members true peer-to-peer interaction."

As well as online networking, CIN arranges face-to-face meetings, instant answers to questions, management and technical issue discussion groups and news services including reports, surveys and benchmark studies.

The costs of the network are covered by Cambridge Technology Partners, a US-based management consultancy and systems integration company, and by sponsorship of the reports produced.

The largest industry group represented are banking and finance (14%), technology (9%), consumer products and retail (7%), insurance (7%) and healthcare (6%).

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