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SIM Leadership Spotlight May 2015

"Leadership Spotlight" includes interviews with Chapter Presidents, SIM Board members, Management Council members and other SIM leaders.  "Leadership Spotlight" will not only highlight SIM’s leadership and chapters,  but it will offer insight from our leaders on topics, treads and issues facing the Society, our chapters and the IT industry.

 An archive of interviews will be found HERE.

May 2015
Name: Brian Carlson
SIM Role: SIM Minnesota

1. Please provide an overview of the SIM Minnesota chapter.

Our chapter, founded over 25 years ago, has about 45 members and represents both the Twin Cities and surrounding communities.  Our furthest member drives 150 miles roundtrip.  We focus on excellent programs and member networking.  During the year we also sponsor a dinner meeting with spouses, hold a PEM CIO Conference and provide Information Technology scholarships.


2. What are your goals for your term as the President of the SIM Minnesota chapter?

As President of SIM Minnesota, I have the following goals:  Increase membership and retain existing members, increase the number of members attending our excellent programs, improve the marketing of our charter and programs, review and enhance roles and responsibilities for board and committee positions and lastly, develop and implement a new Senior Information Technology Leadership series.  


3. What are the hottest trends in the industry? 

From my viewpoint, the hottest trends in the IT industry are:

  • Security – protection of company assets
  • Big data and analytics (including predictive analytics)
  • Mobility
  • Internet of Things
  • Cloud computing
  • Business Transformation and the role IT plays in helping how technology and innovation can assist the business.    
  • Succession Planning and IT Talent - Many CIO’s, senior IT leaders and IT staff are near retirement and fewer people are entering the IT field.  There is a need to increase the number of people interested in IT as a career and provide them with the necessary training to succeed and thrive in the IT industry.  

4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing? 

The number of members over the last several years has been relatively flat.  We would like to grow our membership with younger IT professionals.  To increase our membership, a group of SIM members is developing a new Senior Information Technology Leadership series. The purpose is to provide members, current IT Leaders, and future IT Leaders with an opportunity to learn the key skills and issues associated with being an IT Leader while connecting them to a network of peers.  Topics such as “Understanding Politics at the Top”, “Building a Support Network”, “Understanding Business Drivers” and “Building the IT Team” would be covered.  As a chapter, we are excited to kickoff this initiative.    



5. What is the one piece of advice you will give the next President of the SIM Minnesota chapter? 

Create clear goals for the year; this will keep everyone focused on what’s important for the chapter.  Also, surround yourself with an experienced board and committee members.  I’ve been privileged to work with a great group of IT professionals that realize the SIM Minnesota chapter provides a unique experience to our members.  


An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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