The Cloud’s True Advantage is Bringing Focus to Solving Problems


Looking at the Loudoun Heights from the Maryland Heights near Harper's FerryI’ve been talking cloud for years. Most of it was focused on simply removing unnecessary complexity from the world of IT and content management. Why setup servers, create networks, manage databases, or any other tedious, redundant, and valueless tasks?

When I say valueless, I am referring to the fact that managing a database does not bring any differentiating value to your organization. The value comes from the analysis of that data or through the leveraging the data to deliver better, more efficient, products and services to your client-base.

That still isn’t the greatest benefit or the cloud. Too many project spend a lot of time focused on sizing, performance, system compatibilities, and other technical details. That time would be better spent on designing and delivering the ideal solution to the client.

By moving to the cloud, those discussions are taken off of the table. Those conversations don’t exist. The higher up the cloud stack you move (IaaS => PaaS => SaaS), the more conversations focus upon how to better meet the needs of the organization.

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Forget Bimodal IT


Nickel sitting on its edgeThere has been a LOT about bimodal IT being written and everyone is chiming in on how to manage bimodal teams. Bimodal IT is something Gartner keeps pushing, claiming 75% of IT departments will be operating bimodally in 2017 (pdf). They also claim that half of them will make a mess of it.

Why is that? It’s simple really.

Going bimodal is an unnatural way to run a team, group, or product.

If I’m an aging business in danger of being disrupted then sure, I’ll spin off a newer, more agile team to try and disrupt myself. Better to disrupt myself than to let it happen to me. Let the new team innovate and create new things while I try and get as much revenue as I can from the pre-disruption market.

Running a more rapid, innovative set of teams alongside separate teams that are essentially keeping the lights just doesn’t work long term in a healthy organization.

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The Delicate Balance of BYOD


Pope Benedict XVI using a tabletOne of the projects I recently worked on was preparing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for a financial institution. Having written the policy for AIIM, and other organizations over the years, it was a straightforward task. The real challenge was determining the right balance between convenience for employees and security for the organization.

Organizations are more and more willing to allow people to use their own devices, even though 30-35% of BYOD is invisible to an organization. The question is, “What are those organizations giving up?” What can organizations do so the restrictions placed on devices doesn’t make the employee feel like the device is no longer their personal device?

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The CIO, CTO, and Managing 21st Century Assets


There I was, strolling into Ted Friedman’s Gartner Symposium talk on Information Governance with low expectations. Ted is smart, but Information Governance is old territory for me. If it was anyone but Ted, I would have spent the time researching or writing.

So glad it was Ted. So glad I attended.

It wasn’t any particular insight that he expressed. As a whole, the talk covered familiar ground, balancing the needs of Information Governance with the practical needs of the business. What struck me was a comment how Information Governance seems to be simultaneously owned by both everyone and no one.

If Information is an asset, shouldn’t it be given equivalent priority? Money is managed by the Chief Financial Officer and people are managed by the Chief People Officer. What about information?

D’OH!

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An AIIM Keynote at a Kodak Alaris Conference


Today I ended up at the Kodak Alaris Global Directions 2013 Conference here in Washington, DC. It is good to see that Kodak’s implosion didn’t kill their imaging business. In addition to talking to people how Alfresco can add value to their Kodak deployment, I got to listen to John Mancini give the day two keynote, Intelligent Information Management – Transforming the Customer Experience.

I must say, it was a new experience watching John talk after having been his Chief Information Officer (CIO). Thankfully he has evolved his talk. When I first started at AIIM, his theme was that CIO’s didn’t “get it”. Now it focuses on the pressure that CIOs are under.

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Death of the CIO…No Way


I have been seeing rumors on the death of the Chief Information Officer for a long time now. After just serving a stint as a CIO at AIIM, I can tell you that the concept is silly.

This silliness recently came-up in a LinkedIn discussion and a blog post from an AIIM Board Member, Dan Antion. Dan went into several examples showing the need for a CIO which were dead-on.

I’m going to further illustrate the craziness of not having one.

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A Farewell to AIIM


Today is my last day at AIIM. After today I shall cease being their Chief Information Officer (CIO) and return to the ranks of the Professional Member. As I leave, I want to make sure that I share a few important things.

An Education

Boy, did I learn things. I learned a lot about:

  • The Association Business. It is a business and it has many unique aspects compared to other businesses with whom I have ever worked. Many of the unique aspects will help me look at problems in other organizations with a fresh viewpoint.
  • Association Management Systems (AMS). While hand-in-hand with the former, I learned that implementing an AMS as a system isn’t that different from any other business system. Translation: It takes planning, communication, and work. I also learned why they are important pieces of software and not simply a domain-specific CRM system.
  • Marketing. I thought I knew a reasonable amount about Marketing when I started at AIIM. I spent every day after that learning how much I didn’t know as I learned more and more.

That isn’t counting all the new technology tidbits and personal interaction skills I picked-up along the way. It was an intense time.

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