One of the best values for money I have of any subscription is to the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). The ACM is the premier organization for computer science and the ACM portal is the best place to go for the state of the art in computing. The Communications of the ACM is the monthly magazine for the latest themes in software and computing. I just got my March copy last week, which is a bit late, but is not unusual for a lot of things coming over to Europe. However, this issue is full of some very interesting articles around the topic of Emergency Response Systems and Time-Critical Information Systems.
One article though, is not directly related to the topic, but is well worth reading. Modeled after Steven Covey’s 7 Habits series, the article The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Technology Leaders by Stephen Andriole looks at the habits of successful technology leaders gathered through surveys since 2001. The habits of highly effective business leaders are:
- Focus on business models and processes before they focus on technology infrastructure or applications
- Track technology that matters by focusing on the distinction between operation and strategic technology and the chasm between technology concepts, prototypes, and bona fide technology clusters
- Identify and prioritize business pain - and approaches to pain relief - as they move toward the create of business pleasure
- Optimize the value of shared services in centralized and decentralized companies, organize around the distinction between operation and strategic technology, and champion governance above and below the operational and strategic line
- Manage computing and communications and infrastructure professionally and const-effectively through negotiated service-level agreements (SLAs) and measurement best practices
- Communicate often and predictably, communicate good news and bad news in business terms, and provide transparent insight into technology initiatives through tools like dashboards
- Actively market their roles in the company as well as technology’s ongoing contribution to the business through a variety of tools and techniques
Although this list is not quite as deep and profound as Covey’s “Keep the end in mind” and “Sharpen the Saw”, it is an interesting way of looking at the transforming world of technology. I particularly like shifting notion from pain relief, a hang over from the analyst-driven days of ROI, to business pleasure or delight which is espoused in the concepts of Web 2.0.