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SIM News Extra 2009

SIM News
SIM News is the semi-monthly newsletter for all SIM members. It is written to provide you important information on SIM initiatives, member success stories, new intellectual capital and chapter activities. If you have ideas, questions or contributions, please email
vnelli@simnet.org.


SIM News - Quarter 4 2009

Feature

Top 15 Technology Trends
Has your organization developed its social networking strategy? How about its infrastructure strategy? Mobile strategy?

Forrester Research, Inc. identifies 15 technologies Enterprise Architects should include in their planning for the long-term. Grouped into five themes – social computing for enterprises, process-centric information, restructured IT service platforms, Agile applications, and mobile as the new desktop – these technologies will have the greatest potential to impact the business.

Learn what these technologies are and how to prepare for them.

Worth Reading

The New Voice of the CIO
Did you know that the average CIO spends more than half of his/her time driving innovation? What about the fact that CIOs have three seemingly disparate pairs of roles?

The New Voice of the CIO, IBM's largest study to date, focuses on what it takes to build a smarter business. One key finding – CIOs must master three pairs of roles:

  • Insightful visionary and able pragmatist
  • Savvy value creator and relentless cost cutter
  • Collaborative business leader and an inspiring IT manager

Learn how integrating these roles can help you drive innovation, raise the ROI of IT, and expand business impact.

CIOs' Salaries Projected to Increase in 2010
Economists are saying the recession may extend to 2010. But did you know CIOs' salaries are projected to increase slightly next year?

Kforce Professional Staffing recently released its 2010 Salary & Employment Guide for Technology, which indicates that CIOs' salaries will increase, on average, by a little more than $1,000. Information is gathered by Kforce staffing specialists through a comprehensive analysis of positions and their respective salaries.

Find out whether your company is offering competitive pay in terms of position and level of responsibility. To access the 2010 Salary & Employment Guide for Technology, contact SIM Member Michael Brooks at mbrooks3@kforce.com.

Technology in Turbulent Times: How CIOs Can Increase IT Capability While Cutting Costs
We all know we have to do more with less, but how do we get started?

SIM Partner Accenture suggests reducing the cost of IT by optimizing existing operations and restructuring the means by which IT services are delivered.

Learn how to reduce IT costs while improving IT capabilities.

A Framework for Recruiting IT Talent: Lessons from Siemens
Does your organization effectively recruit IT professionals?

While recruiting ranked significantly lower on the list of management concerns on this year's 2009 SIM IT Industry Trend Survey, dropping more than 10 rankings compared to 2008, it's predicted to increase in significance as the world’s economies begin to emerge from the recession.

Stay ahead of the curve! Check out this white paper in the latest issue of MISQE to discover recruitment methods and their costs.  

Getting the Most from IT Investments
Thinking about implementing Software as a Service (SaaS) into your organization, but don't know how? Wondering how IT can be leveraged to reduce your company's energy use? Looking to learn more about emerging technologies that are now available?

SIM's Advanced Practices Council (APC), an exclusive research-based forum for senior IT executives, heads into 2010 with a broad member-driven agenda, focused on getting the most out of your IT investments, which will be conducted by the world’s foremost researchers.

Learn more about next year's program. Access past APC research, an exclusive SIM Member benefit, here.

Confidential Replacements and Confidential Job Searches: What's the Difference?
Do you think company-initiated confidential searches are unethical? What about confidential job searches conducted by an individual?

Ed Pospesil, President, Edward J Pospesil & Company, LLC, discusses how self-preservation is the force that guides both the employer and the employee, as both parties want to reduce risk. "The employer wants continuity in a key position, while the employee wants continuity of personal cash flow," blogged Pospesil on SIM's Career Blog.

Do you agree? Comment on this blog posting.

What's New?

SIMposium2010 Registration Now Open
We're excited to announce that registration is now open for SIMposium2010, The Charm of IT: Bringing People, Process & Technology Together, October 3-5, 2010 at the Omni Hotel CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Register by March 31 to save!

Still have room in your 2009 budget? Secure your spot for the premier event for CIOs, CTOs, and senior IT executives.

Visit the event Web site for more information.

Beyond Technology – SIM Members in Seattle
How much do you get when you ask CIOs to place a dollar in a pot each time they say the words "no," "but," or "however"? A whopping total of $570!

Marshall Goldsmith, bestselling author, leadership expert, and coach, taught us the implications our behaviors and words have on others in the workplace and at home during his keynote session at SIMposium 09. Each time we said one of these words, we donated a dollar to the West Seattle Food Bank.

The generous donation to the food bank will be used to help the many families, individuals, elderly, and children that turn to the organization for assistance during the holiday season and beyond.

Access the Fourth Quarter Issue of MISQE
Does your organization have a strategy for achieving its IT resizing goals? How about a strategy for effectively integrating corporate social and environmental responsibility and global IT outsourcing?

Review the latest issue of MISQE to access research that addresses these issues.

Video: Top CIOs Speak Out on Hottest IT Trends and 2010 Spending
What new IT trend is on the top of your radar right now? What do you think IT spending will look like in 2010?

TechRepublic asked several SIM CIOs at SIMposium 09. Watch the video to hear what they had to say.

Download SIMposium 09 Presentations
Weren't able to attend SIMposium 09 or just want a content refresher? Download select featured speaker and focus area session presentations, including the SIM 2009 IT Industry Trend Survey results. Simply use your simnet.org login/password to access this page.

Don't Forget

Give the Gift of SIM this Holiday Season
Has SIM enhanced your professional network? Why not invite a colleague to join our Society, so he or she can benefit from our network as well?

Our first-ever National Membership Campaign continues, and we encourage you to nominate a colleague who you believe would benefit from SIM membership. Click here for details.

Reminder to Register Your Team for the 2010 RLF Class
Register your team for the 2010 Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) class. RLF is an intensive, nine-month leadership development program that prepares the next generation of IT professionals to be IT leaders. Classes begin as early as January 2010.

Renew Your SIM Membership for 2010
Continue receiving exclusive SIM benefits by renewing your SIM Membership for 2010. If you have any questions on how to go about renewing your membership, contact your Chapter representative or SIM Headquarters.

SIM in the News
Did you know more than 85 publications highlighted, cited, or referenced SIM this year? Check out some of the most recent articles, including Forbes’ Well-Oiled Machinery, which includes an interview with SIM President Peter Whatnell.

Stay Connected
Follow SIM on Twitter to network, share best practices with fellow members, and obtain brief updates on association or industry news. And, spread the word about our organization by tweeting with SIM's hashtag — #SIMI.

Dates to Remember
Visit the SIM Events Calendar to stay current with the latest happenings.

SIM News Wants to Hear from You
If you have an article you would like to have published in SIM News, send all submissions to SIM_News@simnet.org
. Please include your name, email address, and other contact information. SIM reads everything submitted and places articles based on discretion.


Getting the Most from IT Investments
SIM’s Advanced Practices Council (APC), an exclusive research-based forum for senior IT executives, heads into 2010 with a broad member-driven learning agenda, focused on getting the most out of your IT investments, which will be conducted by the world’s foremost researchers.

Here is the line-up so far:

Integrating SaaS into Legacy Environments
The researchers will develop a framework to help IT leaders determine when and how to implement Software as a Service (SaaS) functionality into their organizations. The framework will have four components:

  • Analysis of leading SaaS solutions (functionality provided, market share information, and customer segments served)
  • Risk/reward analysis to help assess whether possible SaaS solutions would be cost-effective
  • Market analysis of integration providers that work with SaaS and legacy solutions
  • Risk/reward analysis of these integration approaches

Linking Cloud Strategy Attributes to Business Value
In the first phase of this research, the researchers shifted the business case logic from vendor-led perspectives (attributes) to customer value perspectives. Case study research will be conducted to assess the actual business value to be derived from using clouds.

Developing Customer Service Applications for Smart Phones
The researchers will provide multiple examples of organizations using iPhone applications to deliver customer services and then propose a structured process for the development of these applications.

Surviving the Data Deluge: Approaches to Information Management, Risk Assessment, and Valuation The researchers will address:

  • How do corporations assess information value over its lifecycle of use?
  • What steps have been taken to identify and mitigate information risk?
  • How can firms institutionalize storage-based policies to control the rates of information growth, rising information management costs, and the risks associated with information mismanagement?

Leading Disciplined Innovation in Good Times and Bad
The researchers will provide frameworks and tools needed to lead innovation in good times and bad. They stress the importance of disciplined innovation and how successful innovators in established companies develop a portfolio of capabilities that enable them to align their approach to organizing, leading, governing, and financing new ventures based on the type of innovation and the levels of uncertainty and risk.

Emerging Technologies
What are the most promising emerging technologies now ready for prime time? Lynda Applegate will bring executives from Skyhook Wireless, Bain Capital, and AT&T to answer this question.

Energy Informatics
Rick Watson, APC’s Research Director, will present updates throughout the year on how leading companies, like UPS, leverage information and IT to reduce their use of energy.

Want to join the Advanced Practices Council? Please visit apc.simnet.org for more information and contact Madeline Weiss, APC’s Director, at madeline.weiss@verizon.net or 301.229.8062.


SIM News - Quarter 3 2009

From the President's Desk

The SIM Community: Your Solution for Tomorrow
How can we identify the services available out there in the market and determine how they can be applied to our business? Peter Whatnell suggests leaning on fellow SIM Members. Learn more about how to respond to today's challenges.

Feature
How Mature Is Your Alignment?

Catch phrase or not, "strategic alignment" is crucial to the success of your business, but do you know how to measure it?

Veteran executives and up-and-comers can benefit from a deeper understanding of the different levels of and criteria for determining strategic alignment maturity by reading this chapter from the book Managing Information Technology Resources, offered exclusively to SIM Members.

Written by Dr. Jerry Luftman, Distinguished Professor, Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management, Stevens Institute of Technology, the book focuses on how strategic alignment helps create effective business and IT relationships and examines the challenges facing CIOs in this area.

If you're interested in reading the entire book, it may be purchased via http://www.powells.com/, http://www.booksonboard.com/landing.php?ebooks-audio-books, www.ebooksbaouteverything.com, or www.diesel-ebooks.com.

Worth Reading
Cloud Computing: Fad or Paradigm Shift?
Cloud computing. Does it deserve all of the hype?

Tim Crawford, CIO and Vice President of Strategy for Vivo, Inc., believes it allows "the CIO to achieve the Holy Grail of transformation...IT becomes a business organization on par with the others."

Read his recent report, Cloud Computing as a Strategy, to learn more about this game changer.

Five Steps to Transform Your IT Organization
As an IT leader, how would you go about changing your organization's processes, structure, governance, and culture?
SIM Partner Forrester Research, Inc. has the answer.

Their framework for successfully executing an organizational transformation includes five steps:
1. Create your business case.
2. Develop your vision.
3. Assess the current organization.
4. Develop an organizational design.
5. Implement the new organization.

Read the white paper for detailed information and guidance on following these steps.

Is Your Organization Vulnerable to a Security Breach?
Opportunities arise at the most unlikely times.

Just ask Eric Cowperthwaite, Chief Information Security Officer at Providence Health & Services.

It took a major security breach for him to gain buy-in from fellow executives to implement a new security program, replacing 186 policies with one security framework. His innovative approach was developed in response to a 2005 security breach, involving stolen data from more than 385,000 home- and hospice-care patients.

Read SeachCompliance.com's article How to Build a Mature Information Security Program: A Crisis Helps for a detailed overview of what happened and to learn more about how the final framework was developed.

Hear from Cowperthwaite first-hand at SIMposium 09, November 8-10 in Seattle, Washington.

Research Shows IT Risk Can Improve Business Alignment
For Eric Cowperthwaite, Chief Information Security Officer of Providence Health & Services, risk — and a crisis — helped improve business alignment at his organization because it required executives to collaborate to create an enterprise risk management strategy.

IT Risk as a Language for Alignment, a white paper in the recent issue of MISQE, argues that risk "helps both business and IT executives make better decisions about how they balance the needs for strategic change and operational resilience." Read the entire article to obtain a framework for discussing risk within your organization, as well as additional articles in the full issue of MISQE.

Executives-in-Transition: Gain Tips for Navigating a Challenging Economic Climate In a recent SIM Career Blog posting, Ed Pospesil, President, Edward J. Pospesil & Company, LLC, provides the following tips for jobseekers:
1. Focus on networking, which can expose you to unpublished opportunities.
2. Articulate your unique, personal business value. Pospesil says an "upscale, concise, and passionate summary of career accomplishments and interests may cause a 'gatekeeper' to acquiesce."
3. Avoid despair — people understand job loss can happen to anyone and "isn't always indicative of individual quality and worth."

Read the complete posting, as well as others, here.

What's New?
The Results Are In — Business Productivity and Cost Reduction Top Concern for IT Executives
There's a new number-one concern for CIOs, CTOs, and senior IT executives this year — business productivity and cost reduction.

According to the recently released results of our 2009 IT Industry Trend Survey, the economic downturn caused a shift in priorities for IT leaders. IT and business alignment, the number-one concern in 2008, fell to number two on the survey.

Rounding out the top 10 concerns, the list includes:
3. Business agility and speed to market
4. Business process re-engineering
5. IT cost reduction
6. IT reliability and efficiency
7. IT strategic planning
8. Revenue generating IT innovations
9. Security and privacy
10. CIO leadership role

Respondents indicated the number-one application/technology of importance is Business Intelligence. It was followed by server virtualization, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems customer/corporate portals, enterprise application integration/management (EAI/EAM), and continuity planning/disaster recovery.

In-depth results for this year's survey will be presented at SIMposium 09, Fresh Ideas for Peak Performance, November 8-10, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.

Don't Forget
Nominate a Peer for the SIM Leader of the Year Award by Next Thursday
Has one of your Chapter members created efficiency within his/her organization using a new technology? How about a peer who's enhanced the customer experience through the development of a new project/initiative?

Nominate him/her for SIM Leader of the Year.

Nominees will be featured in an issue of SIM News Extra and acknowledged on the SIM Web site, as well as recognized at SIMposium 09, November 8-10 in Seattle, Washington. Contact a member of your Chapter Board by next Thursday, September 24 to propose a candidate.

"Self Arrest" to Avoid Risk
Are you following the path of successful leaders by mitigating your risk?

In every project and career, there comes a point where the trail gets steeper and steeper, the ground becomes less stable, and eventually, we lose our footing. Thankfully, our careers and projects haven't irrevocably and metaphorically fallen to their death.

Why? Because we have learned to "self arrest," a term coined by Laurence Gonzales in his book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. We have stopped ourselves from making fatal mistakes, or stopped mistakes before they've become fatal.

SIM's Regional Leadership Forum (RLF), an intensive, nine-month leadership development program, prepares the next generation of IT leaders by helping them develop the tools to "self arrest" and become better leaders.

Learn more about the program and register your team members for the 2010 class. Classes are regionally based and begin as early as January 2010.

Come Tweet with Us
Follow SIM on Twitter to network, share best practices with fellow members, and obtain brief updates on association or industry news. And, spread the word about our organization by tweeting with SIM's hashtag — #SIMI.

Use CIO Self-Assessments to Measure Yourself against Competition and Glean Best Practices
Ever wonder how you stack up against the crowd?

SIM Partner IBM offers a series of "hands-on" CIO self-assessments that you can leverage to understand your peers' agenda, obtain best practices, and more. Take a self-assessment here.

SIM in the News
SIM and its members have already been referenced, cited, or quoted in more than 70 articles this year. Check out some of this year's most recent articles, such as CIO Insight's The Recession-Era CIO, which includes an interview with SIM President, Peter Whatnell, on the current economic crisis.

Dates to Remember
Visit the SIM Events Calendar to stay current with the latest happenings.

SIM News Wants to Hear from You
If you have an article you would like to have published in SIM News, send all submissions to SIM_News@simnet.org. Please include your name, email address, and other contact information. SIM reads everything submitted and places articles based on discretion.


The SIM Community: Your Solution for Tomorrow
From the President's Desk
Times are challenging, no doubt. I’m sure you hear the same messages that I do from your users: cut costs and deliver faster.

However, I’d like to share some messages that I’m hearing from your SIM colleagues, as well as other groups of IT leaders, on how to respond to that challenge.

Basically the question being asked is, "Is this just a period of retrenchment and cut back, or is it a reset of the role and purpose of IT and how we deliver service(which would change everything)?" The majority of people I speak with tend to support the second point and I agree.

I heard it well-phrased today: "Let's look at the ‘what’ and the ‘how.’ The 'what' hasn't changed – reducing business cost, reducing cycle time, improving employee productivity and collaboration, etc. However, we need to find a new way of delivering on the 'how.'"

Put very simply, for the last 30 years we’ve been operating a "construct-and-operate" model. We developed and operated products and services according to the customers’ requirements. It appears that we are moving to a new model, that of "acquire-and-deploy."

How can we identify the services available out there in the market and determine how they can be applied to our business? You have heard the buzz words: consumer IT, cloud computing, online services, etc. They all trumpet the benefits of speedy deployment, moving from fixed to variable cost, and leveraging large-scale public infrastructure, all at significantly lower cost – often advertised as pennies on the dollar compared to current costs.

Who could turn that down?

Even if you believe in the inevitability of such an approach, and I do, it’s no silver bullet. There are obvious issues, such as architecture – how do you connect these myriad services to your transactional data? – and the ever-present issue of security.

These are tough questions to be answered, but the upside potential is so great that many blue chip vendors and start-ups are placing large bets on coming up with solutions.

Even so, such a move is not for the faint-hearted, so prepare and educate yourself on these issues by taking full advantage of the extensive network of SIM colleagues, who can be a rich source of real-world practical advice and lessons learned.

Good luck.

Warm regards,
Peter Whatnell
SIM International President


SIM News - Quarter 2 2009

From the President's Desk
"The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same"
Do the results of current IT satisfaction surveys tell an organization what they really want to know? SIM Partner Forrester Research, Inc. outlines the steps and provides sample templates to help a company assess its "business satisfaction" with IT products and services.

Feature
"The 'Down Economy' Bandwagon"
Patrick Lencioni, bestselling author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, shares some practical advice for weathering the current economic storm: begin with the premise that things will get better, and invest in the organization's future, "especially when the investment is not a financial one."

For more information on SIMposium 09's keynote speakers, visit simposium.simnet.org.

Worth Reading

"Is IT Qualified to Satisfy the Business?"

SIM Partner Forrester Research, Inc. outlines the steps and provides sample templates to help companies assess whether their organization is satisfied with IT products and services.

"Why Do I Twitter?"
The CIO of Sudler & Hennessey is all atwitter, really. Mary Sobiechowski, who is also the SIM New York Metro Chapter's VP for Marketing, believes Twitter is not just for kids. She works with her management, marketing, and communications teams to help them understand the business value of this tool, as well as other new tools. She also uses it to keep up-to-date with what is going on at various conferences she cannot attend:

"Building on What You Already Know"
Many believe that IT executives need to get back to the basics. No matter what the latest trend promises, they must continue to focus on the goals and objectives established within their organizations. Whether struggling to achieve an agile enterprise or to get greener, IT executives must be tactical and strategic, concerned with the short-term, as well as the long. Believe it or not, that is what proponents of Enterprise Architecture (EA) advise:

Building on What You Already Know

Many believe that IT executives need to get back to the basics. No matter what the latest trend promises, they must continue to focus on the goals and objectives established within their organizations. Whether struggling to achieve an agile enterprise or to get greener, IT executives must be tactical and strategic, concerned with the short-term, as well as the long. Believe it or not, that is what proponents of Enterprise Architecture (EA) advise.

"Business Resilience or Business Failure: Pragmatic and Cost Effective Approaches to Disaster Recovery Planning"
This report by SIM Partner NET(net), Inc. highlights how a disaster recovery and business continuity plan helps ensure "information technology continuity in the event of a serious disruption to the operation of the business" and how a plan "may well mean the difference between business success and business failure."

"Mastering IT-Business Alignment"
The March issue of MISQE focuses on IT-Business Alignment and provides practical examples of how several organizations were able to achieve this illusive goal.

According to the guest editors, "The articles [in this issue] address unique challenges in alignment and demonstrate a combination of practices that can help executives master IT alignment and ensure IT and business mutually leverage and complement each other."

View the full edition here.

What's New?
"The Spencer Stuart Career Transitions Guide"
Spencer Stuart provides this invaluable resource to SIM Members. It contains a step-by-step strategy for navigating through a current transition or for planning the next move.

Don't Forget
Visit SIM's Career Center

In uncertain economic times, SIM is your go-to resource for career information. Visit the Career Center for compensation reports from Salary.com, a Career blog, industry research, including competency reports, tips for managing your career, and much more.

Visit the SIM Book Store
SIM has recently launched the SIM Book Store, a compilation of past and present books read by SIM's Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) participants, written by SIMposium speakers, and recommended by your peers. Purchase a book by visiting the book store, or contact Karen Zader at kzader@simnet.org to review or comment on any of the titles listed.

SIM in the News
It may only be the second quarter of 2009, but SIM and its members have already been referenced, cited, and quoted in 69 articles this year. Check out some of this year's most recent articles, including:

  • Investors.com's "Engineering Careers Not Attracting Women," which quotes SIM Women Founder Kristen Lamoreaux on how today's women in IT need to be more proactive in reaching out to younger women about careers in this field.
  • CIO Insight's "CIOs: How Much Can You Juggle?," which quotes Peter Whatnell in this article about IT leadership concerns during departmental cost-cutting.
  • Network World, Inc.'s "SIM Study Emphasizes the Importance of Skills," which highlights SIM's 2008 IT Industry Trends Survey and quotes SIM Member Kate Kaiser on the importance of IT skills.

Dates to Remember
Visit the SIM Events Calendar to stay current with the latest happenings.

SIM News Wants to Hear from You
If you have an article you would like to have published in SIM News, send all submissions to SIM_News@simnet.org. Please include your name, email address, and other contact information. SIM reads everything submitted and places articles based on discretion.


From the President's Desk
"The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same"

Last week I was talking to a colleague about the results of the 2008 SIM IT Trends Survey, and she remarked that quite a few of our top ten issues have been in and out of the list for years. One or two, including "IT and business alignment," have never been out of the top ten of almost any survey I can remember, and was number one in our most recent one.

She wondered if this meant that some problems were just too difficult to resolve or, was the IT profession just not up to the task and unable to make this bridge between business and IT?

I must confess that I hadn't thought about it like that and didn't have an immediate answer. After I considered it for a while, I realized that we had solved this problem. In fact we had solved it many times, over and over again.

The real issue is that the nature of the problem keeps changing, and therefore so must our response.

While talking about the rate of change in IT, it has become so common it's almost cliché. I believe that people are actually referring to the rate of the technological change. Successful companies learn how to evolve the role and purpose of the IT function to meet the changing needs of their industry, markets, and customers. The IT leadership should be in the vanguard of that move and can do so by focusing on three key issues:

1. In three minutes or less describe how your company makes money. Hint, the answer is not, "we are a retailer" or "we are in the insurance business." Many people are in the insurance business, how come you make money at their expense?

2. Don't swim upstream, or know your company culture. At the end of the day our ability to make change and get things done relies upon our ability to enlist other people to a cause. We need to understand how decisions get made in our company; what ideas have gained traction with your executive and what have not and why?

3. Don't fall in love with the technology -- always remember that the technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself. We need to understand the opportunities that technology provides so we can be more successful than our competitors.

We are all moving from a "construct and operate" model to one that is "acquire and deploy," some, the more successful ones, more quickly than others.

I believe that "IT and business alignment" will always be on our top ten issues list but, as IT leaders, we have the power to move it down from number one to just clinging on to the number 10 spot.

As always I welcome your comments, suggestions, or contrary opinions at pwhatnell@simnet.org.

Kind regards,
Peter Whatnell
SIM International President


"Why Do I Twitter?"

Mary Sobiechowski
CIO, Sudler & Hennessey
SIM New York Metro Chapter VP for Marketing

Why do I Twitter? Is there business value in Twittering as a CIO?

These are questions I asked myself initially when I started Twittering. It was an intuitive feeling this was something big, the same feeling I got in 1992 when I was creating Web pages for yellowpages.com.

At that time, before the Internet boom, my colleagues thought I was crazy and wasting time -- "no one is going to use a computer to look for a phone number or address." Well, we all know what happened there.

My company looks to me to research cutting-edge technologies to enhance client and customer interaction and ultimately be monetized. What can make us faster, smarter, more profitable?

I reach out to management, the marketing/communications team, and account executives and ask if they have they ever invited customer opinion about their product or services, seek to reward entrepreneurial behavior, or use RSS feeds.

Twitter and the data analysis and search functions are new invaluable tools for these modes of marketing and knowledge sharing. The tools don't create more work, which is what a lot of critics think, but replace the inefficiencies of the work we do now.

Personally, Twitter allows me, a busy CIO, to get highlights from conferences and events I don't have time to attend. The hashmark (#) is used to tag an event. So, I can go to search.twitter.com, type in the appropriate Twitter name for the event with the # in front of it, and review the highlights and see what I’ve missed.

For example, I couldn't attend the South by Southwest digital media conference. I went to search.twitter.com and typed in #SXSW (the event's Twitter name) and found out everything that was tweeted about at the event.

I also follow the top technologists, professional magazines, and social media evangelists - their tweets have recently alerted me to new tools like #twtbizcard, a twitter business card solution, and Tinker.com, a trend tracking tool.

If you're interested in learning more about Twitter and all of the social media tools referenced above, follow the steps below. I initially thought I would provide a list of links for using Twitter in business but honestly that would be so very old school and not very Web 2.0!

1. Create an account on Delicious, http://delicious.com, and then link to msobie. All of my resources are there, tagged as Twitter and web 2.0, for instance: http://123socialmedia.com/2009/01/16/business-twitter-tools-and-ideas-optimize-your-workflow-and-thoughts/.

2. Set up your Twitter account and look at my favorites on my Twitter page, @msobie.

3. Research your professional events and interests on http://search.twitter.com.

4. Make sure your company has a placeholder Twitter account so that it cannot be used be someone else, just to be safe.

5. Find your favorite mobile app and desktop widget for Twitter -- Tweet Deck, TwitterBerry, Twitteriffic , Twirhl, etc.


Building on What You Already Know

We, in the IT community, can be a little cynical at times. Like when the media jumps all over a "new" concept, saying it will revolutionize our industry. We are not that easily fooled and we view many of these new trends as repackaged old ideas. We often dismiss the hype as marketing gone amok.

Many believe that what we need, now, is to get back to the basics. No matter what the latest trend promises, IT executives must continue to focus on the goals and objectives established within their organizations. Whether struggling to achieve an agile enterprise or to get greener or find your place in the cloud, we must be tactical and strategic, concerned with the short-term, as well as the long. Believe it or not, that is what proponents of Enterprise Architecture (EA) advise.

Just because the media hypes an idea does not mean we should ignore it. And if some new trend sounds familiar to us, we would be wise to look a little closer before rejecting it out of hand. Many of these ideas are based on core truths. So what, really, is Enterprise Architecture? It includes a host of things we already do:

  • Requirements Analysis
  • System Design
  • Strategic Planning
  • Network Design
  • Standard Setting
  • Knowledge Management
  • Data Warehousing
  • SOA
  • BPR

But it includes much, much more; and it all of this in the context of achieving objectives, creating value, and optimizing whole enterprise, not just one process, or function, or business unit. EA is a new way of viewing, communicating about, and managing the enterprise.

The Enterprise Architecture Working Group (SIM EAWG) met in Dallas this week to plan for the fall release of their book "The SIM Guide to Enterprise Architecture," their presentations and book signings at SIMposium in November, and their ongoing networking, research, publication, and communication activities.

The SIM EAWG welcomes new members and can arrange EA speakers for Chapter meetings too. Visit the EAWG Web site to find out more. And if you'd like to find out more about EA while you're waiting for their book, view the presentation from EAWG Chair Professor Leon Kappelman


SIM News - Quarter 1 2009
Quarter 1 Issue

Highlights of this issue include:

  • A message from SIM's new president, Peter Whatnell, discussing the CIO's role during uncertain economic times
  • Articles and other resources to help execs during challenging economic times
  • Mashups – does your organization use them?
  • Enterprise Architecture – if you are not pushing it, someone else will
  • Offshoring – the new model
  • Characteristics of successful careers in IT
  • An update on SIMposium 09's evolving program

From the President's Desk

Rising to the Occasion
Peter Whatnell explains the role of a leader during challenging economic times, as well as and the value SIM brings to its members through its various networking opportunities, in his first president's message:

Features

"Back To Basics - IT Strategy in Turbulent Times"
"CIOs can strengthen their position by mastering the business management practices identified by Harvard Business School's Evergreen Project – and by applying these practices to the definition and execution of a business services strategy that matches business needs with delivery alternatives." SIM Partner, Forrester Research, Inc., summarizes the findings of 10 years of research into digestible and actionable steps.

Advanced Practices Council (APC) Report Release: "Enterprise Mashups What Do They Mean for CIOs?"
Mashups*, one of the fastest growing enterprise ecosystems on the Web, are likely to have an important impact on how businesses operate. CIOs can seize this opportunity to help their organizations identify ways to leverage this new technology.

From the nine case studies conducted and multiple cases already described in the public press, the researchers identified five value propositions:

  1. Facilitate sharing information across organizations
  2. Facilitate the efficient reuse of already developed data sources and applications
  3. Service the ad hoc needs of businesses with respect to reporting, analysis, information-gathering, and decision support
  4. Encourage consumers of information systems to become more active participants in the innovative process of producing information systems
  5. Facilitate collaborative information sharing among diverse people throughout an organization or an ecosystem.

The researchers' recommendations about ways in which CIOs can achieve these value propositions include how to define a mashup strategy framework, the possibility of applying mashups to a broad range of business problems, and the need to create a hub for developing community ownership over each mashup developed.

*Mashups are application hybrids combining content and functions from more than one existing source. They create powerful Web applications and integrated Web experiences. The sources may be internal, such as enterprise data, or external, such as Google Maps.

Worth Reading
Preview "The SIM Guide to Enterprise Architecture: Creating the Information Age Enterprise"
What do a low-fare airline, major telecommunications company, and global building materials organization have in common? Southwest Airlines, BT (formerly British Telecom), and Cemex have all assigned a new responsibility to their top-level executive strategy team - the company's overall enterprise architecture. The concept has nothing to do with technology, per se, although technology plays an important part in achieving the ultimate goals of any enterprise strategy.

Where, exactly, does IT fit into this new framework?

Many experts believe IT is at a crossroads. In the future, will IT be viewed as a commodity, necessary evil, or critical strategic business partner? Is the purpose of IT to build and run systems or facilitate the reinvention of the enterprise on demand?

SIM's Enterprise Architecture Working Group (EAWG) has been studying this topic for the past couple of years. EAWG has gathered information, analyzed data, and is in the process of publishing a book - The SIM Guide to Enterprise Architecture: Creating the Information Age Enterprise - on this topic. A preview of the book, scheduled for release later this year, is available here.

"The Information Technology Workforce: IT Provider Trends and Implications 2006-2009"
A successful IT career begins and ends with business and relationship management skills. A recent study, The Information Technology Workforce: IT Provider Trends and Implications 2006-2009, finds that a requisite skill set is critical for a successful IT provider career. Read the executive summary here.

MISQE Article: "How CIOs Manage IT During Economic Decline: Surviving and Thriving Amid Uncertainty"
The last time the IT industry faced tough challenges due to the state of the economy was after the dot.com bust. At that time, IT budgets were cut as demands for service continued to climb.

What did we do then, and can the lessons learned last time help us today?

In 2003, MISQ Executive published an article outlining four different approaches for managing IT during an economic decline. Can your organization benefit from this previous research? Click here to leverage lessons learned.

"Offshoring 2.0: Aligning Business and Technology"

This Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper, sponsored by CA, Inc., "examines the key factors driving offshoring decisions and analyses the ingredients necessary to make these relationships successful. In addition, it looks at the different 'areas of expertise' that are developing around the world, and how companies are rethinking their global sourcing strategies accordingly."

What's New?
Announcing SIMposium 09's Keynotes

SIM is excited to announce the following keynotes, who will speak at SIMposium 09, Fresh Ideas for Peak Performance, November 8-10 in Seattle, Washington.

  • Patrick Lencioni, Author of eight bestsellers, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and recently named one of the "10 new gurus you should know" by Fortune magazine
  • Dan Roam, Author of The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
  • Bill Baumann, Vice President of Information Technology, REI
  • Eric Cowperthwaite, Chief Information Security Officer, Providence Health & Services.

Learn more here. Click here to register by March 31 to take advantage of the early bird rate.

Attend Forrester's Webinar on Cost Reduction in IT Organizations
Today's economy requires many IT organizations to reduce their costs. This Webinar, Running a Lean IT Organization, will be presented by Forrester Research, Inc. on March 10 at 11:00am EST. This webinar outlines what IT shops are doing to reduce their costs and highlights those areas that are key to cost reduction, including vendor management, planning, architecture, project management, and infrastructure.

Click here** to register.

**Please note that by registering for this Webinar, you are giving Forrester Research permission to contact you with future offers.

View the SIMposium 09 Sponsor Prospectus
The Sponsor Prospectus is now available for SIMposium 09, November 8-10 in Seattle, Washington. View the Prospectus to learn how your company can reach SIM Members through one of SIMposium's many sponsorship opportunities, including speaking slots, exclusive events, exhibit space, and more.

Don't Forget
Visit the SIM Career Center

In uncertain economic times, SIM is your go-to resource for career information. Log in to simnet.org, and visit the Career Center for compensation reports from Salary.com, industry research, including competency reports, tips for managing your career, and much more. The Career Center is an exclusive member benefit.

SIM in the News
With more than 80 publications highlighting, citing, or referencing SIM, the Society received record-breaking media coverage in 2008. Check out some of this year's most recent articles, including:

  • InformationWeek's CIO Profiles: Peter Whatnell, CIO of Sunoco, which includes an interview with SIM's new president, Peter Whatnell
  • CIO Insight's CIO James Knight: Leading Through the Recession, which features SIM's VP for Leadership Development Institute, Jim Knight, on challenges facing IT leaders today
  • CIO Insight's Keeping the IT Trains Running, which highlights Ed Trainor, SIM VP for Enterprise Programs, on how he stays connected through SIM and the value of networking during an uncertain economy

Dates to Remember
Visit the SIM Events Calendar to stay current with the latest happenings.

SIM News Wants to Hear from You
If you have an article you would like to have published in SIM News, send all submissions to SIM_News@simnet.org. Please include your name, email address, and other contact information. SIM reads everything submitted and places articles based on discretion.


From the President's Desk

Rising to the Occassion
I am sure we all wish my first message was going out in more auspicious times. It seems that there isn’t a profession, industry, or geography that isn’t struggling. Some unfortunately have had to give up the struggle.

However, whatever our job titles, we are in leadership positions, and it is in times such as these that all of us, no matter how experienced, are called upon to fully exercise those leadership qualities.

Our staffs are looking for certainty -- which we cannot give. What we can provide is honest and open communication.

They want to feel in control of their situation, which, of course, isn’t possible. We can help them maximize their influence, encouraging them to think differently about the work that needs to be done, and how it gets done.

They want to know that everything is going to be all right, which we cannot promise. Instead, we can demonstrate that their management team has a clear understanding of the issues, a workable action plan, and the stamina and experience to see it through. In other words, everything that can be done is being done.

Your executive team members are looking for another aspect of leadership. First and foremost, are you behaving like a member of their team, or are you still promoting your functional management role? Do you have a clear understanding, or at least as clear as every other executive member, of the short- and medium-term issues facing your organization? Can you demonstrate how you have already changed your plans and activities to align with the new short-term imperatives?

If your organization is struggling to make payroll in April, complaining about the longer-term strategic consequences of delaying a CRM project is not going to get you a seat at the table.

So if everyone is looking to us for leadership, action, and help, where can we look? Why SIM of course!

Whatever situation each of us may be struggling with it is almost a certainty that someone else has been there before you, and there is a very good chance they are a SIM Member. Reach out for help, ideas, or just to commiserate. It is in tough time like these that the true value of the relationships we have built become apparent to us.

SIM is nothing if not all about relationships. I would love to hear any ideas that you may have for how we can leverage, or improve, SIM’s networking and relationship-building opportunities to better help each other. You can reach me at pwhatnell@simnet.org.

Let me end on a positive note. The truth of the matter is that in very tough times we get the opportunity to demonstrate how capable we really are. We are all being called upon to raise our game and if we raise it high enough, for long enough, it will be remembered long after this tough period has passed. Based on the SIM Members I have met, I am confident we have the qualities to successfully lead our organizations though this and into better times.

As the saying goes, "Cometh the hour, cometh the man."

Warm Regards,
Peter Whatnell
SIM International President

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