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SIM Leadership Spotlight November 2012

"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.

November 2012
Name: Dave Chatterjee
SIM Role: SIM Atlanta Chapter President

1.  Please provide a brief overview of the Atlanta chapter 

The Atlanta Chapter truly embodies the mission and spirit of SIM. It comprises of a very special and eclectic group of practitioners, academics, and other thought leaders who have helped create a friendly, caring, and intellectually stimulating environment. Several of them have regularly featured in the nomination and winners list of the prestigious Georgia CIO of the Year award event. Some of our members have also served on the panel of judges for selecting the Georgia CIOs of the year. Many have authored influential books and journal articles. The passion and energy they exude is infectious – there are some members who have been with the Chapter for many years and have rarely missed an event.

One of its long-standing and signature events is the monthly lunch meetings; in a cordial and plush setting, members get together to enjoy a highly interactive and substantive discussion on important IT management issues. The interaction formats have ranged from the traditional single speaker presentations and panel discussions to the more innovative debates and audience-as-the-panel sessions. The annual CIO Forum and Regional IT Summit is another event that the Chapter has helped nurture and grow into a very successful networking and knowledge sharing opportunity.

The highly successful hosting of SIMposium 2010 further enhanced the Chapter's reputation and visibility and led to many more opportunities of growth through alliances and partnerships. However, the Chapter has stayed true to its character and very carefully screens these collaboration invites before making a commitment to sponsor or partner various networking events. Recently, it added to its portfolio of offerings, the annual CIO perspectives event, by partnering with the producers of the CIO Magazine.

The Chapter is also proud of its annual Technology Exchange and Charity Golf Outing, the net proceeds of which have been going to TechBridge, a non-profit organization with the mission to help other non-profits be more impactful through technology. The contributions/donations from this event has grown significantly over the years, from $2K in 2007 to 60K in 2011. Atlanta Business Chronicle, a leading publication, recently recognized SIM Atlanta’s philanthropic contributions. Historically small in size, the Chapter hit its growth spurt since 2008 and has grown by more than 200% over the last four years. At this point in time, it is about 90 members strong. But the growth is been carefully managed to insure that the Chapter does not lose its personal and friendly culture.

2.  What are/were your goals for your term as the President of the Atlanta chapter? 
I have served as the Chapter President since June 2008. With the support of a very dedicated and committed leadership team, we have grown not only in size but also in reputation and offerings. From a rather rocky period, the Chapter is now entering a phase of steady growth and stability. My goals for this current term are as follows:

1.    Membership Growth – Insure a steady growth in chapter membership without compromising on eligibility requirements.

2.    Program Quality -- Sustain the programming quality while catering to member interests and expectations.

3.    Member Involvement and Participation – Create opportunities for getting more members involved in the various Chapter activities.

4.    Collaborations and Partnerships -- Nurture current partnerships and also explore new opportunities.

5.    Members-in-Transition Initiative -- Encourage and support the development of a members-in-transition (MIT) program.

6.    Chapter Bylaws -- Review and update chapter bylaws to keep up with the times.

7.    Operating Efficiency -- Continue to make improvements to operating procedures to insure rigor, fairness, objectivity and timeliness.

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

The following are some exciting trends:  

a)      Intelligent and Interactive Surfaces – We are entering an era of augmented natural reality where physical surfaces (such as glass) are being transformed into interactive mediums to access, transmit, and share information. Such seamless delivery of real-time information while you are working, shopping, reading, eating, chatting or relaxing, makes for a very rich interactive experience. The Corning Glass video on YouTube nicely captures this technological trend. Though we are a few years away from true commercialization of this technology, it is an exciting thought on how intelligent and interactive services are likely to transform processes and experiences at all levels – individual, group, and organizational.  

b)      Convergence of Robotic and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technologies – The progress made in leveraging robotics and AI technologies is mind-boggling. From developing thought controlled prosthetic limbs to rough-terrain dynamic robots and unmanned aerial vehicles, the use of these technologies is widespread. While defense and scientific applications tend to lead the way, business is catching up fast. For instance, IBM’s Watson project is definitely pushing the frontiers in deep analytics. Google’s autonomous car project is symbolic of IT driven automation reaching an entirely different plane. Business Intelligence systems (especially predictive analytics), voice recognition systems, digital transcribing solutions, and grocery shopping assistants for the visually impaired, are representative of numerous other applications that are evolving and maturing from the advances in and convergence of robotic and AI technologies.  

c)       3D Printing – Another exciting technological development that will transform the manufacturing industry is the 3D printing technology. It is making it feasible to manufacture literally anything that a human mind can think of -- from human organs to chocolates and desserts, cell phone cases, hearing aids, shoes, and automotive prototypes.  

d)      Workforce and Enterprise Mobility -- The advancement and maturation of mobile and networking technologies is paving the way for greater workforce and enterprise mobility and efficiency. Smartphones, tablets, and related devices are not only being used for communication purposes but also to access necessary information for decision making while on the move. These technologies are fueling the move towards a more progressive work environment where virtual offices are replacing traditional brick and mortar office spaces and telecommuting is becoming more of a norm than an exception.  

e)      Social Media Technologies – The steady infusion and proliferation of different types and forms of social media platforms is stimulating the rise of new types of business models – from distributed co-creation to the multisided freemium models.

4.  What challenges is your chapter currently facing? 
Atlanta has quite a few organizations for senior IT executives to pick from. Though SIM offers very unique and distinctive value propositions, strong and sustained marketing efforts are required to create greater value awareness about the organization. While we have made great strides in enhancing visibility, we still have a long way to go.

5.  What is the one piece of advice you will give to the next President of the Atlanta chapter?   
Stay the course and be patient.

An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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