Cigref publishes a review of its activities for 2022, in english. This institutional document presents the life of the association. Please find below the Chairman’s editorial, written by Jean-Claude Laroche.
It is already a year since the Cigref Board of Directors did me the honour of entrusting me with the presidency of our association, and I would like to thank the directors for their confidence. In his editorial for the 2021 activity report, my predecessor, Bernard Duverneuil, offered a review of Cigref’s activities during his five years as President. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him. Now that he has just left his position as Chief Information and Digital Officer at his company and resigned as a director at Cigref, no doubt to move on to other professional horizons, I would like to speak on behalf of all those who know and appreciate him, and warmly thank him once more for his commitment to Cigref and its Board of Directors for more than twenty years, as director, Vice-President and then President of our association. As Jean-François Pépin, who joined the Cigref community at the same time as Bernard in 2001, Jean-François as Managing Director, Bernard as a young CIO of a large group, might have said in his day: “Without you, Bernard, it won’t be as good!”. For me, of course, the time for taking stock has not yet come, and the handover gives me the opportunity, more than ever, to ensure that Cigref’s actions have a lasting effect in the long term.
This 2022 activity report provides an overview of the main courses of action that we have taken collectively during the 2021/2022 financial year, for the benefit of our members, of course, but also in the general interest, and this aspect of Cigref’s community project is one that is particularly close to my heart. While it is true that membership of our association is intended exclusively for large private and public organisations with French roots, as users of digital technology, it is also intended to pay close attention to the main digital issues that affect society and its economy, both on a national and European level. For this reason, Cigref devotes part of its work each year to subjects intended to provide very functional support to digital departments.
However, security in the digital space, control of the environmental footprint of information systems and associated services, the technological autonomy of our continent, the shortage of talent and the place of women in digital professions, to name but a few, are subjects of great interest to our members, which are reflected in the collective intelligence work to which they contribute. This focus on the general interest is also reflected in the fact that all of our publications, in French and English, are freely available on our website.
“Our association […] also intends to focus very closely on the main digital issues affecting society and its economy, both on a national and European level”.
While the health crisis seems to be easing – although we must remain cautious – the international situation is causing multiple geopolitical, economic, financial and even monetary tensions to which digital technology is particularly sensitive. The energy crisis that has hit our continent, at a time of Russia’s open war against Ukraine on Europe’s eastern borders, and the increasing visible effects of climate change, have wiped out any optimism that may have been felt at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022. As France prepares for a difficult winter in terms of electricity production, Cigref has, at the time of writing, begun a process of identifying measures to reduce consumption that our members can implement depending on how the situation develops.
In terms of the regulation of the European digital market, we have followed with interest the work of the European institutions on the Digital Markets Act, a regulation to which we have made a substantial contribution, and which we expect to see published in the Official Journal of the EU and come into force at the beginning of 2023. In the same vein, we were equally interested in the Competition Authority’s self-referral on the cloud market and its players, and here again Cigref sent its observations on the balance of this market. It also endeavoured to mobilise its members to document the competitive difficulties they were encountering with their cloud service providers. We are convinced that the European economy will not be able to sustainably develop its digital strategies and control its dependencies in this situation where the cloud market is pre-empted by an extra-continental oligopoly. This belief is shared by our European partners, Voice in Germany, Beltug in Belgium and CIO Platform Nederland in the Netherlands. Our four associations have also published 11 principles to unlock the digital potential of our continent, calling on the European Commission, the European Parliament, national governments and European and national regulatory and competition authorities to secure the future of the cloud in Europe. I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise the exceptional quality of our relationship with Beltug, CIO Platform Nederland and Voice and the work we do together, and to acknowledge their presidents and boards of directors involved in this collaboration.
The campaign for the presidential elections was an opportunity within the French digital ecosystem for unprecedented cooperation as part of the Digital convergences 2022 collective. Starting in June 2021, some ten professional organisations representing the digital ecosystem decided to join forces to bring a set of proposals to the attention of the candidates in the presidential election and their campaign teams. Based on six priority themes – digital inclusion, education and training, ecological transition, transformation of the economy, security and strategic autonomy – this programmatic platform enabled our collective to raise candidates’ awareness of the digital challenges facing society and its economy. We also invited them to present their political vision of digital technology at the “Candidates’ pitch”, organised by our collective on 9 March 2022 at the Cirque d’hiver. Now that the elections are behind us and the voters have had their say, our ambition is to continue working together within the Digital convergences collective.
I invite our readers to learn more, over the following pages, about the diversity and significance of the activities that Cigref organises and coordinates for the benefit of its members. These are the main attraction of our association, an attraction which cannot be denied since we closed the 2021/2022 financial year at an all-time high of 155 members. Then there is its capacity to ensure its voice is heard and acted upon by its contacts, in particular the public authorities, and lastly, its independence, essential to its Board of Directors in the autonomy of its assessments and decision making. Cigref’s independence, to which we are collectively so attached, and its long term stability, have been strengthened by the opportunity we took to acquire the premises occupied by our association since 1986 at its historic headquarters of 21 avenue de Messine in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The General Assembly and the Board of Directors gave me a mandate to complete this acquisition, which I had the honour of concluding on 22 March 2022.
To conclude, I would like to express my warmest thanks to all the members of the Cigref community who contribute to our work, to the directors who give their time so freely to guide and direct our association and its activities with a remarkable team spirit, and of course to the permanent Cigref team for its commitment to our community project, and without whom nothing would be possible. Despite the heavy clouds that are gathering and the many concerns that may beset us, we are confident in our collective commitment to building the digital world we want for tomorrow, a digital world that is sustainable, responsible and trustworthy.