HICTA Reboots Annual Conference


On Tuesday, local professionals in information and communications technology (ICT) will meet at a “first annual” conference to explore the latest technology trends. But anyone who has been in the industry for even a little while will feel a bit of deja vu.

The event is being organized by the Hawaii Information and Communications Technology Association (HICTA), which came together in the summer of 2013. But HICTA is the spiritual successor to the old Hawaii Telecommunications Association (HCTA).

The HCTA had a long and storied history in local tech. Formed in 1975, it was originally focused on telecommunications hardware and services. In addition to private sector members, the group included academics and even government officials who were interested in advancing the telecommunications industry. They would meet monthly at the old Flamingo Chuckwagon restaurant, gripe about the telephone company, and hear from invited speakers.

The group started organizing annual conferences in the early 1980s, first called the “Hawaii Telecom” conference and then simply “Telecom.” (The theme of Telecom ’96 was “The Hawaii Wide Web,” featuring a keynote by Bill White of Netscape.) After the turn of the century, the HCTA started to partner with the Honolulu chapter of the Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP) on an annual event. At least through 2012.

Later that year, the HCTA’s website disappeared, replaced with an online e-cigarette shop. The AITP also held its last event in December 2013. Last year, it seems, was a lost year for both groups.

“It’s kind of a 2.0,” explains HICTA President Art Garbiso (who is also the principal consultant for Intraprise TechKnowlogies). “We were able to put together a couple of organizations to make a larger organization that focused on the convergence of technology.”

And while HICTA has held monthly meetings for a while, Tuesday’s conference will be the main event for the group. The conference is open to the public and aimed at both technical and business professionals. A keynote panel, lunch, and three sessions fill out the day’s program.

The keynote panel will focus on “Technology Trends of 2015,” and feature Garret Yoshimi, Chief Information Officer of the University of Hawaii, James Cowing, VP of Coalfire Systems, Alvin Kajiawara, Assistant VP of Information Systems at HMSA, and Capt. Tony Siciliano, operations officer for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Hawaii IT Services (HITS) office. The moderator will be none other than Burt Lum.

After lunch, sessions will cover “Minimizing the Impact of a Data Breach” (featuring my friend Vincent Hoang and his colleague Dave Morris from Hawaiian Telcom), ““Implementing a Successful Cloud Strategy” (with CloudSigma CEO Robert Jenkins) and “Preparing for the Evolution” (with Iron Bow data center director Todd Cowles).

For more information, visit the HICTA website , or connect with the association on Facebook or on Twitter. You can also watch this interview with Garbiso and Hoang on ThinkTech, or listen to our conversation with Garbiso yesterday:

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