The industry body representing software in Northern Ireland has appointed David Crozier, former head of strategic partnerships & engagement at QUB’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), as its chief executive.
Established in 2022, the Software Alliance represents the interests of Northern Ireland’s £1.7 billion software industry, which includes 2,200 companies and employs an estimated 23,000 people.
Appointed this month to head up the alliance’s operations, David brings 20 years’ experience in global cyber security technology, policy, and domain expertise.
At CSIT, he led the development of strategic relationships with public sector partners, and previously served as deputy director of the University’s NCSC recognised Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE) programme. David was appointed by the chief scientific advisor to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) College of Experts in 2021.
As Software Alliance CEO, he will represent the interests of all member companies at government level, supporting elected representatives and policy officials to understand the needs of the sector in relation to labour, skills, R&D and investments such as City & Growth Deals.
As chair of autism at work social enterprise Specialisterne NI, David is focussed on neurodiversity and inclusion related projects and intends to challenge and support Software Alliance member companies to foster a diverse and inclusive culture across the industry.
Alongside David’s appointment, the Software Alliance has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of four new industry voices to its Board of Directors.
Jo Ferguson joins from CME Group where she is director of operations for the Belfast office. Also joining the Board is Mark McCormack, vice president and managing director of Aflac NI, and Jim Bannon, engineering director, product technology at Allstate Northern Ireland.
Laura McClean, director of Synechron NI, and the company’s UK DEI lead, completes the Board of 12 senior industry voices from the Software Alliance membership.
Chief executive of the Software Alliance David Crozier, said: “I am thrilled to take up the position of Chief Executive of the Software Alliance, an industry-led organisation that is working to influence policy and make changes to benefit the software sector, the local economy, and society. From my time at Queen’s University Belfast and previous positions, I have seen the value that collective and informed representation to public sector partners can have and look forward to continuing this work.
“Seeking to present a cohesive voice to government on behalf of all members, I intend to focus on a number of areas including skills development, particularly around increasing awareness of the software engineering profession among parents; exploring new ways we can support individuals of all backgrounds and abilities, including those with a diagnosis of Autism, into this promising industry; and supporting startups and scaleups to explore new markets.
“As I take on the role, I also congratulate each of our new Board members on their appointment and wish to thank interim chief executive Michael Gould for supporting the establishment of the Alliance in its initial years.”
Chairperson of the Software Alliance John Healy, added: “With a strong membership base and growing responsibility to represent thousands in the industry, the Software Alliance has achieved a great deal in its initial years. Having represented the interests of the technology sector with public partners throughout his 20-year career, David is well positioned to lead the Software Alliance and will act as our main representative to government, working on the issues that impact the industry as a whole.
“This work will be supported by our Board of Directors, and we are pleased to have strengthened our leadership team with the added expertise of Mark McCormack, Laura McClean, Jim Bannon and Jo Ferguson. These industry leaders will enhance our ability to represent the interests of all members as we lobby and support policy development.”