The Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA, a nonprofit organization that offers training and certifications to government and private-sector tech professionals, announced Tuesday it is acquiring the Public Technology Institute, a membership group for IT officials serving cities and counties around the country. The merger is designed to give PTI’s members, many of whom work for small, local governments, greater access to CompTIA’s network of industry executives as they develop their IT agendas, the organizations said in a press release.
“We are looking forward to continuing to provide our members with the world-class level of professional development, technology thought leadership, industry research and insight, consulting services, networking and other important resources they have come to expect and enjoy from PTI, while expanding our reach and our relevance with the support of CompTIA,” Alan Shark, the executive director of PTI, said in the release.
Shark, who has led PTI since 2004, will remain in charge of the organization as it’s absorbed into CompTIA. PTI, which dates back to 1971, will become a main component of CompTIA’s state, local and education practice, which was created about five years ago.
“This acquisition is going to put the ‘L’ in our SLED,” Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA’s executive vice president for industry relations, told StateScoop.
In return for its membership, PTI, which runs out of a small office in Washington, D.C., will have access to CompTIA’s much more considerable resources. Founded in 1982, the association has a staff of about 200 and annual revenues nearing $60 million.
“We’re finding in our public sector level that so much of the innovation is happening at the local level,” Hammervik said. “[PTI is] doing really good work and they’ve been working at a small budget.”
Adding PTI to its portfolio will give CompTIA an entry point into several policy areas, Hammervik said. Particularly, she pointed to the “smart cities” movement and emergence of internet-connected devices in urban infrastructure.
Hammervik added that CompTIA will also help local government IT leaders reform their procurement processes, especially in places that are only starting to move away from running their systems on old mainframes and toward cloud-based models. “A lot of counties are still sourcing for a hardware world where we’ve gone to a software world,” she said.
On top of its training and certification offerings, CompTIA also says it will expand its surveys of state chief information officers and the technology policies they oversee, which are used as benchmarks for groups like the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, to include city and county efforts.
“We already have the methodology and template, we’re excited to bring it to the city and county level,” Hammervik said. “Really through, sharing the successes of other cities we can drive innovation and procurement practices. That’ll be a really strong focus we leverage to the membership we have.”