November 2014

In this issue:

Leadership Spotlight: Jack Rech, SIM Charlotte Region Chapter

3. What are the hottest trends in the IT industry?

These two alone are creating complex challenges on keeping the firm secure, rethinking IT’s role in the management and delivery of technology to our companies, and dealing with the cultural and change management issues in our organizations around all of the above.

4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing?
Our biggest challenges are delivering the best SIMposium ever in 2015 and staying relevant in a city with lots of competing offerings to IT executives.

Congratulations 2014 RLF
Over 200 from SIM's 2014Regional Leadership Forum (RLF)class participated in the 22nd Annual RLF Graduation Ceremony at SIMposium 2014.For many of these individuals (a few forums still have to meet for one last session), this ends a 10-month journey that began earlier in the year with the daunting task of balancing work, the RLF book list, the RLF sessions and assignments, work and family.The RLF program has helped them with this balance.The program does not teach one how to be a leader; rather, it helps each individual identify their own, unique leadership style that can be applied at work and at home.This was evident by the speeches and videos that were presented by the graduating class.

Each forum had an assigned presentation (a speech or, for the first time at graduation, a video) on a key RLF theme (see link below).All the speeches were inspiring and well-presented and the creative videos included:

  • Giving Back - Gateway
  • Continuous Learning – Midwest
  • Building Your Network – Southeast
  • Manager or Leader – New York Metro
  • Personal Relationships – Southwest
  • So, What now? – Northeast- Spring
As is the RLF custom, all forums participated in a SIM-sponsored fundraising project leading up to and at SIMposium. This year, the forums combined efforts to raise about $34,000 for the Wounded Warriors Project, nearly double the amount raised last year. Well done, grads!

In all, 250 individuals graduated from the 2014 RLF program.Many books were read.Many discussions were held.Many friendships were formed.Many lives were changed.A constant quote we hear about the RLF program is "RLF is life changing..."If you haven't been through the program, we hope to have the same impact on you.Registration is open for the 2015 program.

A special thanks to all the sponsors, colleagues and families of our Graduates.Without your support their participation in the program would not have been possible.

To view a list of our 2014 graduates and graduation presentations, click HERE.

IT Trends: SIMposium and Success Skills for IT Professionals
This year’s SIMposium was great!The IT Trends Study breakout session was fast-paced, quite illuminating, and included a practitioner panel discussion.The 50-plus page 2015 SIM IT Trends Comprehensive Report and both SIMposium slidedecks are available as free downloads for all SIM members at the bottom of slidedeck from the breakout session is a free download to non-SIM members, who can also purchase this year’s Comprehensive Report for only $500.SIM membership has its benefits too!

Skills for the Success of CIOs, Mid-Level IT Professional, and New IT Hires
In this year’s IT Trends Study, we asked participants to select, from a list of 33, the top three skills for the success of new IT hires, IT middle managers, and for themselves personally.The 451 participating CIOs reported that the five most important skills for new IT hires are technical knowledge, problem solving, collaboration/teamwork, functional area knowledge, and oral communications. The top five for IT middle managers included all those, plus people management (due to a tie). These five skills were chosen far less frequently for mid-level folks, suggesting that while new hires can concentrate on a few skills, mid-level success requires a broader set of skills.

As for the top five skills for CIO success, providing leadership, people management, strategic planning, decision-making, and oral communications topped the most-important list.Clearly, the skills needed for CIO success are quite different from those for IT middle managers and new hires.Nevertheless, collaboration/teamwork and oral communications ranked very important for all three career stages, suggesting that there is a set of core skills that are important throughout one’s career.Read all about it in this year’s Comprehensive Report.

For more information about the Study, please visit:

Which IT innovations will enable the greatest business value in 2015?

If you are a senior IT executive, Madeline Weiss, Director of SIM'sAdvanced Practices Council, invites you to come as a guest to the January 20-21 APC meeting to get updates on practical strategies for innovating at your firm. Topics will include:
  • The Enterprise Internet of Things - John Maloney, Colabria
  • Wearable Technology - Leyland Pitt and Karen Robson, Simon Fraser University
  • Digital Natives and Ubiquitous Information Systems-Mike Myers, University of Auckland
  • Big Data - Rob Bearden, HortonWorks/Benchmark Capital, with panelists from Verizon, Home Depot, and Coca Cola
  • Business Innovation Accountability and the IT Department - Kelly Slaughter, University of Texas at Dallas
RSVP to Madeline atmadeline.weiss@simnet.orgor 301.229.8062.

2014 Leader of the Year Winners

The SIM Leader of the Year Award recognizes members who contributed to the growth, advancement, and excellence of SIM at the local, national and/or international levels. In addition, the award provides a vehicle for SIM to highlight member service in our local and broader communities.

All the nominees were exceptionally strong and the judges felt it especially difficult to choose a winner this year. This year's winners areKeri Pearlsonof the Austin Area Chapter andSteve Pickettof the Detroit Chapter. Five finalists were also commended for their contributions to SIM and were honored on stage at SIMposium with an award:Judy Arteche-Carr of New York Metro, Dave Chatterjee of Atlanta, June Drewry of Central Florida, Jana Markowitz of Memphis, and Kevin Schwesinger of New Jersey.

Read more about our winners!


Invitation to participate in innovative IT culture study

SIM, Babson College and Ouellette & Associates are conducting a research project on "Enabling an Innovative IT Culture." We welcome IT practitioners to participate in this study by completing our survey (survey Link is provided below). Your responses will remain anonymous and confidential. If you would like to receive a personalized report of your responses benchmarked across the entire sample of responses, please provide your name and email address at the end of the survey. The survey should take roughly 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Feel free to pass the survey link on to your IT project team members and IT colleagues. If you have any questions, please contact Sal Parise at