A CIO’s Hierarchy of Needs


Early on in my role as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of AIIM, I read a Harvard Business Review Article by Ray Wang. In it, he outlined the Four Personas of the Next-Generation CIO. I felt a certain resonance with the article.

After having been a CIO for about 18 months now, I’ve decided that Ray only got it about half right. He beautifully covered the roles but he neglected the relationship between the roles.

The Four Roles

While you should read Ray’s article yourself, I thought I would list the four roles here for convenience.

  1. Chief “Infrastructure” Officers focus on cost reduction, and account for 65% to 70% of the overall IT budget. Most of this CIO persona’s projects prioritize keeping the lights on and managing legacy environments…
  2. Chief “Integration” Officers connect internal and external ecosystems. With 5% to 10% of the overall budget, this CEO persona must bring together a hodge-podge of business processes, data, systems, and connection points with legacy systems and newer cloud-based approaches…
  3. Chief “Intelligence” Officers empower the business with actionable insights. Representing between 10% and 15% of the overall budget, this CIO persona must improve business-user access to information. A key theme includes placing the right data to the right person at the right time on the right interface…
  4. Chief “Innovation” Officers identify disruptive technologies for pilot projects. Investing 5% to 10% of the overall budget, this CIO persona must drive innovation on a shoestring. Typically from business backgrounds, these leaders move fast, fail fast, and move on…

The article goes into more detail but it misses on the dependencies between the “roles”. In fact, I’d argue that you can’t focus on some roles until the others are mastered, or at least under control.

The Hierarchy of CIO Needs

These roles are really priorities for the CIO. Just like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, they build upon each other and you cannot readily execute each subsequent level if the previous one isn’t sound. This isn’t to say that work won’t be done on multiple levels at any given time. It is just to say that each level must be predictable and under control before you can turn your focus to the next level.

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Book Review: The Myths of Innovation


berkun-myths-210x315Back in August, I had the privilege of hearing Scott Berkun speak. If you don’t know who he is, you should. He regularly shares nuggets of wisdom that reveal a man that not only seeks to learn from research and experience, but can also merge the two into solid advice.

When I saw him speak at the DC User Experience Professionals Association meeting, he was talking about his book Mindfire. He was giving out free copies to those that participated in the presentation/discussion. When I “earned” my book, I traded for The Myths of Innovation. An earlier book of his, it is one that gets to the root of why I listen to Scott Berkun.

Enough prelude, let’s talk about the book.

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A Night with Scott Berkun


imageEarlier this week, I attended an event hosted by the DC chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association. I’ll admit that user experience has always been something someone else was in charge of on my projects. Even at AIIM, I manage to have someone on staff who knows it well enough to keep tabs on it.

When my web designer told me that Scott Berkun was speaking at the next meeting, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been a fan, since I started following him during his Confessions of a Public Speaker days. I never read the book due to time (still in my future plans), but I enjoyed his insights on his blog.

One of the things that I’ve always liked about Scott is that I agree with almost everything he says. Here was a person spouting the things I have strived to follow in my career and people were listening. The difference?

Scott can explain it MUCH better than I can.

Really, that is the biggest difference. I can talk to someone, give them advice, and they’ll understand it, but that is interactive. Scott can get it into a short post where anyone can grasp the concept.

Where I take 600 words, Scott can explain things in 200. Where people may come away from my post without fully understanding the point I was trying to make, Scott’s point are clear and concise.

That skill is invaluable and that skill was also on display that evening.

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The Lost Decade of ECM


imageOf the three posts rattling around in my head, this would be the third in order if I had to set a preferred order. Problem is, one idea takes more effort to develop while the other actually needs to refer to items in this post.

I spoke last week at Momentum in Las Vegas as part of EMC World. Instead of talking about Documentum or how I had worked with a client to solve a problem, I talked about the changing landscape of the Information Industry. The SlideShare version of the presentation is at the end of this post but I wanted to talk about the Lost Decade first.

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Failure, Mistakes, and Actual Success


shanghai_building_cs_20090629035740.jpgA month ago, as I was waiting to start my first day with AIIM, I can across several tweets that I felt over-stated the benefits of failure. I decided to write a quick little post on how Failure is Not a Positive on my tablet over my morning coffee.

There were some great comments, but I had little time to respond. I am taking some time now to respond because this is an important topic. First, let me start with my baseline statement:

Failure is bad.

I still stand by that 100%. It should be noted that once you are no longer in grade school, you realize that good and bad are on a sliding scale and are rarely absolutes. Something can be bad and not be the “worst”. Bad in this context refers to the simple fact that if you draw a line in the middle, failure is something to be avoided.

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