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Strategic Systems Information Planning Consulting

By darinhamer ·
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Looking for Clients

by darinhamer In reply to Strategic Systems Informa ...

<p>My business partner and I are just starting our <em>Strategic</em>CIO business (<a href="http://www.StrategicCIO.com">www.StrategicCIO.com</a&gt and need to develop a clientele. We want to provide CIO services to small and medium sized businesses. We believe that this is a needed service as many small businesses do not have any IT staff. Medium sized businesses often have IT staff, but often place their IT management responsibilities on technical people who are not prepared to lead the "big picture" planning and business integration that the CIO position requires. </p>
<p>We are planning on conducting a free seminar on strategic planning, strategic information systems planning, information security, information architecture, disaster recovery, emergency mode of operations, and backup and recovery. We hope to get some clients out of this seminar, but we are interested in ideas that others may have in how to reach more clients.</p>
<p>We are doing this part-time right now, but would like to go full time as soon as possible. Any advice anyone has on how to build this business or any referrals anyone can give us would be much appreciated.</p>

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Web Site Not Up Yet

by darinhamer In reply to Strategic Systems Informa ...

<p>If anyone read my previous e-mail, I hope they didn't try to go to StrategicCIO.com yet, because we don't have it up yet. We will within the next few days, so please do feel free to check back.</p>
<p>I saw a post on someone elses blog that asked whether blogs are all that useful. I guess I have the same question. I have no idea how many people will just happen by here or who will take the time to read this. But I would be interested in hearing from anyone who does.</p>
<p>I'll come back in a day or two and add some more. Thanks.</p>

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Web Site Not Up Yet

by h2owe2 In reply to Web Site Not Up Yet

<p>G'day darinhamer.</p>
<p>Well I read your blog post. I have only recently started blogging (where <u>is</u> the English language heading!) {ah yes <<u>Ctl - U</u>> works just fine!} - <em>I digress</em> -  as my teen-aged children seem to think it's a worthwhile exercise.  </p>
<p>Writing something down is a valuable exercise in it's own right as it reinforces who we are and clarifies what we are thinking. Maybe the resurgence of diary-keeping is a reaction to the surfeit of verbal and passive dialogue that surrounds us. In my experience, e.mail has been beneficial to written English; certainly a lot of e.mails are badly written however they probably aren't displacing well written correspondence and many e.mails are authored by folk who haven't penned a letter in years. I would define blogs as communications to an undefined audience and they are a natural extension to e.mails which are (at least initially) destined for a known audience. Maybe we bloggers are really just a bunch of extroverts</p>
<p>Another consideration is that blogging provides a public mouthpiece for individuals in a world where media and editorial power is becoming increasingly monolithic. The strength of our culture is defined by the breadth of our opinions.</p>
<p>The TechRepublic blog facility is obviously still in beta as it doesn't seem to have a facility to browse by tag. Maybe that feature will be in the next point release. <em>(I have now found it)</em></p>

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The future of the CIO

by darinhamer In reply to Strategic Systems Informa ...

<p>RexTech asked in his blog about whether a company needs a CIO or CTO. (Check it out at <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5254-6257-0.html?forumID=99&threadID=173892&messageID=1827932&id=3690253&tag=nl.e124">http://techrepublic.com.com/5254-6257-0.html?forumID=99&threadID=173892&messageID=1827932&id=3690253&tag=nl.e124</a>&nbsp. I think RexTech is right on the money and in response to his question, I posted the following comments on his blog.</p>
<p>==========================================================================</p>
<p>Interesting. I just finished reading the book <em>Does IT Matter? </em>by Nicholas G. Carr. Have you read that? You must have because what you are saying is remarkably similar to what he was saying. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is a short book and an easy read. Carr draws the comparison between IT and other infrastructure technologies such as electricity (at the turn of the 20th century, it wasn't uncommon for a company to have a Vice President of Electricity), the railroad, etc. According to him, technology has just ended its "buildout" phase. Its ubiquity means that IT will not be able to provide companies with a sustainable competitive advantage, but it remains as important a component to doing business as electricity does today.</p>
<p>I and another guy have been working on starting a business which offers CIO services to small and medium sized businesses. When reading this book, I was at first discouraged because it seemed like CIO services were going to be fading out. However, as I continued to read, I was encouraged because I came to a similar conclusion that you did. Over the next 15 to 20 years, the need for a company to spend between $125,000 and $5,000,000 on a CIO will disappear. Technology and its applications will still remain more complex than other infrastructure supports such as electricity, so businesses will still have a need for the guidance a CIO can offer, but will they need a full time CIO? I don't think so. A CIO consultant can help the business devise its IT strategy and a savvy business manager such as a COO can carry out the plan. In the end, I was encouraged that there may really be a need for this type of service.</p>
<p>Of course, this is all speculative. If I'm wrong, I'll be looking for a job in a few months. If I'm write, I'll be hiring in a few months. We'll see.</p>

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More on IT as a Commodity

by darinhamer In reply to Strategic Systems Informa ...

<p>My last post was some time ago, but I've been thinking about it quite a bit. So have others. It seems that Nicholas Carr's book has created quite a stir and it continues to receive quite a backlash from some in the IT community. That tells me he is on to something. If what he was writing was completely off base, people would ignore it.</p>
<p>I think, however, that most of the criticism is unwarranted and it stems from a lack of understanding of what Carr was saying. Perhaps this is the result of choosing a catchy but unfortunate title for the book--<em>Does IT Matter? </em>(His thoughts were orginally expressed in an article called "IT Doesn't Matter," an even more unfortunate title). The title is unfortunate because Carr was not saying that IT does not matter, but that it simply cannot be relied upon to provide a <em>sustainable</em> competitive advantage. Technology can provide a short-lived competitive advantage. And IT is essential for <em>competitive parity</em>, meaning that if you don't have the latest available technology, you are handicapped in your ability to compete in business. So, yes, IT does matter, but it cannot be depended upon for a sustainable competitive advantage because new technology that is available today for one business will be available for every other business tomorrow.</p>
<p>Where I think Carr might be missing the boat, however, is in a simplistic comparison between technology and other infrastructure utilities such as electricity. I don't know much about electricity and it certainly requires expertise in order to install it, use it, and manage it properly. But, electricity is electricity. It hasn't changed much over the past 100 years. How it is generated has changed and will continue to change, but in the end, it is electricity. It powers electrical items. That's it. "Technology" on the other hand, is a broad word and is not nearly as static as electricity (pun intended, I'm afraid). It is what I would call a dynamic infrastructure utility in that it is necessary for a business to compete, but it is constantly changing and will likely change for years to come. There is nothing static about it. As such, it requires a host of talents and abilities to administer it, to configure it, to install it, to develop it, etc.</p>
<p>The moral of the story here is that I don't see millions of IT workers being out of jobs--especially infrastructure support staff--or those jobs becoming menial. Electricians are still skilled laborers and IT staff will still be skilled laborers in the future as well. So, of course IT matters. But should businesses be spending huge amounts of money on the latest, greatest technology in order to gain a competitive advantage? Will the investment pay off? If so, for how long? I'm sure that the answers to those questions must be addressed with each unique situation, but they are definitely questions that should be asked, because whether people like Nick Carr's assessment or not, he has a point. The cutting edge technology is only going to put you ahead for a moment and the company that waits until the technology is improved before implementing may have the leg up in the long run.</p>
<p>I'm interested in hearing what others have to say. Feel free to leave a post.</p>

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