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Archive for November, 2010

What ROI does the CIO provide the business?  What is the next step for the CIO?  What is the evolutionary development path for IT?  All of these are daunting questions to which many have opinions and thoughts.  So, let me give my two cents.  Business and IT Alignment is necessary.  The CIO must play a significant role in this, not to mention develop beyond the role that he/she has been fulfilling for the last few decades within business and organizational constructs. In so doing, the elements of risk management, due diligence, and efficiency reverberate throughout most of the comments and thoughts that are going through your head at this very instant.  Not to mention the ironic and funny coincidence that a Chief Information Officer and a Chief Investment Officer both share the same acronym and, albeit abstract, similar function. Read the rest of this entry »

All too often, organizations that do have Business Continuity Plans (BCP) in place rarely test them.  Those that do, go through a typical tabletop exercise.  Organizations that have Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP) generally test them, but why?  I ask why because it has been my experience that the “tests” are an exercise in futility.  I say futility because they are tests to satisfy an audit that prove very little. Read the rest of this entry »

I have been consulting in the arena of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for nearly 20 years.  The vast majority of companies do not have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place.  A great majority of companies do not have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in place. Few companies that do have one or both of these rarely link them properly.  Many organizations believe they have a BCP or a DRP because they have a piece of paper that states such or they have the false sense of security that someone must have already taken care of this.  And then there are those that believe because they have backup, they have disaster recovery.  Ironically, many IT shops believe this misnomer as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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In the November 5, 2010 issue of Processor magazine, there is an article titled “Building the Data Center Staff” where I am quoted on behalf of Engaged Consulting. It’s great to again have the opportunity to be talking about a topic that is absolutely critical to our customers — how to hire the best people to build out their teams. Having been a hiring manager (still am, actually) in large and small firms, I am all too aware of the importance of making good hiring decisions.  Unfortunately, just “going through the motions” that most companies specify as part of the hiring process, won’t get you all the way there. In fact, it may only get you far enough to cause problems.

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If we take examples from history, we can at least see a potential path to what is going to happen moving forward.  Not that history is a perfect predictor of the future, it is simply a context to guide what might happen.  When governance issues were addressed in the issuance of NYSE Rule 446, EEOC, and others, we see that vagueness crept into the repercussions of failing to comply.  It may have been fear of adoption or public relations nightmares that allowed the impeachment of clarity in compliance.  Nonetheless, we have learned that there are ways to address compliance that take many forms. The clear message is that we can no longer look at every regulation individually to achieve compliance.  We must create a program that addresses compliance broadly and adjust as new issuances occur. Read the rest of this entry »

Investors’ confidence in corporate America has been shaken to the core, affecting the culture in which we live at the most basic level— for we are all investors in one way or another. Regulations governing information policy, process, and recovery are continuing to litter the radar screen of business strategy. It may be a leap of faith to see the correlation between regulations, whether civil or criminal; however, it is not as clear when comparing human resources issues and corporate governance issues. However, it will become clear that the correlation lies in the approaches organizations must take to comply with and survive an audit of human resources issues such as Equal Employment Opportunity and corporate governance issues such as Sarbanes- Oxley. Read the rest of this entry »

Simplistically, data and information are related but not the same.  Just for the sake of this discussion, lets define data as bits, bytes, and types of files; whereas, information is the value to the organization in terms of usage (i.e. customer records, financial records, intellectual property, personal identifiable information (pii), executive communication, etc.).  As the need for storage of data and information continues to escalate, organizations must look to classify information.  Many industry experts might even say it is a critical step to survival, if not simply transformation.  Multiple strategic components of an overall IT strategy depend upon Information Classification such as cyber security, data loss prevention, and so on.  Thus, Information does have a lifecycle. Read the rest of this entry »

I just had my latest article on Continuous Improvement Programs titled “Finding Funding for New Initiatives” published in CIO Update. Have a look at it here. If you’d care to discuss my article here, please feel free to respond. Thanks in advance for checking it out.