Today’s IT – Getting Down To Business

A perfect example of this is an article and a survey written by by Chris Curran at the CIODasboard.
Chris writes about the 5 roles for IT Innovators and the survey results are telling.

5 Roles for IT Innovators

What is IT’s role in innovation? Is it just about making IT better or is it about driving business value too? We asked 592 business and IT leaders in the US and UK this question in our latest Diamond Digital IQ survey by asking them to choose what innovation role they thought their CIO and IT organization played from the following list:

1. Improve the IT Function
2. Improve Business Processes
3. Improve Customer Service
4. Reach New Customers
5. Create New Products/Services

Over three-quarters of our respondents said their CIOs primary innovation role is to improve business processes or IT. So, the vast majority of the innovation work we do is focused on internal improvements. It makes sense that IT focuses on areas it has the most influence and control over – its own processes and the business processes it automates. However, as the CIO desires to improve IT’s business impact, she strives to have IT drive value too.

Most of the conversations I have with CIO’s are, however, about how to bring new technology-fueled business ideas to the table. Are these desires just wishful thinking or are they really in-line with the role the CEO and business leaders want IT to take on? I don’t know the answer but I suspect that the explicit conversation on IT’s role in innovation doesn’t happen too often.

Just for fun, I uploaded the survey results into Tableau Public, a very powerful (and free) data visualization tool. My colleague Amaresh Tipathy introduced me to it and uses it for one of his latest posts on FEMA disaster data analysis. Enjoy exploring this data and let me know what you think.

Health Information Technology (IT)

underweight patients, resulting in toxic doses.
* CPOE and automated drug dispensing was identified as a cause of error by 84% of over 500 health care facilities participating in a surveillance system by the United States Pharmacopoeia. [16]
* Irrelevant or frequent warnings can interrupt work flow.


IT Innovation Summit Sacramento – Sessions and Speakers Announced

Sessions Focus on Jobs, Innovation, Productivity and Education

February 1, 2011 (Folsom, CA) —The initiative – established to promote jobs, innovation and productivity in the U.S. – are welcoming prominent industry and education professionals to speak at the second in a series of nationwide IT Innovation Summit scheduled for March 3, 2011 in Sacramento, CA.

President Obama says “business innovation is a building block to more jobs” and the president is calling on us to employ technology and innovation to solve our nation’s most pressing problems. California needs to develop students who have 21st Century skills and who are technologically savvy. Bill Cullifer, Executive Director for and the Chair of the initiative said “the IT Innovation Summit is established to focus on jobs, innovation, productivity and excellence in the classroom.“

“By maximizing the power of technology, we can strengthen the quality and affordability of our health care, advance climate friendly energy development and deployment, improve education throughout the country, and ensure that America remains the world’s leader in technology” said Obama. Cullifer and the initiative consortia agrees and together with business and industry leaders, trade and professional associations and education the event speakers will share experiences and innovation ideas in the areas of Health IT, Green IT, Web design and development, New Media and IT pathways in education.

Session and Speaker line-up

Health IT Session Panel:
* Alan Rowland, Education to Careers Business Development Manager CompTIA
* Andy Vaughan, Director, Strategic Programs for Monster Public Sector & Education
* Kaiser Permanente Hospital (invited)
* California Workforce Investment Board (invited)
* Sutter General Hospital (invited)
* Catholic Hospital West (CHW) (invited)

Summary: The Obama administration has declared Information Technology (IT) as one of the main objectives for transforming health care. Along with government policy initiatives, the economic landscape is driving an immediate need for health care organizations to improve efficiency and reduce costs, while maintaining a sharp focus on quality and patient reported outcomes, such as patient satisfaction. The ability to design, develop, and deliver IT projects, strategy, and initiatives using proven tools and techniques is paramount to having a positive impact on an organization’s mission and, ultimately, its profit margin.

Green IT Session Panel:
* Andy Vaughan, Director, Strategic Programs for Monster Public Sector & Education
* California Small Business Association (invited)
* California Workforce Investment Board (invited)
* John Bjerke, Area Academy Manager, Western US Cisco Networking Academy
* Gary Page, Information Technology Consultant – California Department of Education (CDE)
* (invited)
* Uzma Almakky, Director
* Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Summary: Awareness of the significance of Green IT is increasing. Driven by a combination of economic, national security issues, cost and energy reduction mandates, IT professionals are tasked to formulate and enact their Green IT strategies to harvest the environmental and financial benefits of becoming more eco-conscious. This session offers both a strategic view of Green IT into the future, and practical steps that IT teachers can take to move from Green IT awareness to action.

Web Design, Web Development and New Media Panel:
* Andy Vaughan, Director. Director, Strategic Programs for Monster Public Sector & Education
* Diana Bennett, College of San Mateo
* David-Michael Rengh, West Hills College
* Suzanne Ama, Cerro Cosa Community College

Summary: Web Design, Web Development and New Media are integral parts of modern life. The Web profession offers a dynamic and entrepreneurial working environment that has had a revolutionary impact on the global economy and on society. Among its most important functions are the efficient transmission of information, storage and analysis of information and display through computer networks and systems, the Internet, and computer databases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the demand for Web and New Media professionals will continue to be strong as more of these workers will be needed to accommodate the increasing amount of data sent and number of devices over the Internet, as well as the growing number of Internet users. In this session speakers will focus on Web Professional and New Media careers that are available in every sector of the economy including health care and medicine, natural resources including agriculture, bio engineering and transportation.

IT Pathways, Articulation and Vision for the Future Panel:

* Gary Hoachlander, President
* James B. Jones, Executive Director Mid-Pacific ICT (MPICT) Center
* Kay Ferrier, Lead Consultant CA Dept of Education’s Business and Marketing Education
* Stephanie Low, Dean, Curriculum & Instruction Academic Affairs Division California

This session will focus how the secondary and post-secondary educational systems are working to establish college and career IT pathways that will provide skills students need to achieve their individual academic and career goals.

The current economic fiscal crisis is calling all key stakeholders to evaluate how to best work together to prepare students for college and careers. Teachers for example, want to make sure their instruction is on-target and to know “what works” while seeking and receiving support to help them improve their practice through better curriculum and local partnerships. Policy decision makers want to see improved results on a limited budget and time constraints. In this session panelist will explore career pathways that prepare students for college and careers.

Educating Tomorrow’s Green IT Workforce

ducating Tomorrow’s Green IT Workforce – A Cisco Sponsored Case Study and the Boston Consulting Group on behalf of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative

As the nation moves toward a more environmentally sustainable economy, many of the new green jobs will be information technology (IT) and networking jobs. Large-scale energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, resource management, and other sustainability initiatives largely depend on the monitoring, control, and analyticalcapabilities that only digital technology can deliver.

A study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group on behalf of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, an international alliance of IT companies, stated the following: “Information and communications technology has the potential to cut total carbon-dioxide emissions in the United States by 13% to 22% from business-as-usualprojections by 2020. This translates to a gross energy and fuel savings of $140 billion to $240 billion — equivalent to a 20% to 36% reduction in imported oil consumption.”

Take the smart grid, for example. Smart grid is the name for a future electrical system that could potentially reduce energy use in the U.S. by 10% to 15%. The system will merge IT and energy technology to create an intelligent infrastructure enabling two-way communication among generation plants, power transmission facilities, utilities, building sensors and meters, and even individual electrical devices and home appliances. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has allotted $11 billion to a nationwide smart grid implementation. “Every device in every home and business could participate,” says Marie Hattar, vice president of Cisco Network Systems and Security. “You can think of it as the next evolution of the Internet.”

A skilled IT workforce is a necessary prerequisite to building the smart grid and undertaking other 21st century green initiatives. A report sponsored by Green For All and PolicyLink that examines the green provisions in ARRA points out that “it will be particularly important to put in place mechanisms that ensure the linkage between programs that create jobs and those that train people for those jobs.” ARRA provides $500 million in grant funding specifically for research, labor exchange, and job training projects aimed at preparing workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable industries. According to an Association for Career and Technical Education issue brief, “Community and technical colleges are in a unique position to evolve and adapt quickly to changing technologies in the energy industry, and to create new training programs to meet the growing demands for a skilled and environmentally conscious workforce.” High schools and four-year institutions will also play a vital role.

Although potential funding is in place and job opportunities will soon emerge, schools and colleges are finding that establishing a green education program presents the same challenges as building any other technical certificate ordegree program—it can be a laborious undertaking that takes up considerable staff time and resources. One way to ease the process is to integrate classroom-ready courses that have already been developed and refined, but can be adapted easily to the institution’s specific program and student profile.

Cultivating Green IT Skills: A Case Study

Consider one community college that has created an educational partnership focusing on network convergence with an emphasis on green applications. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant to Collin County Community College to establish the Convergence Technology Center, a regional partnership in the North-Central

Texas area that now also includes El Centro College and the University of North Texas. Convergence is defined as the integration of voice, data, video, and imaging communications on a single network infrastructure based on IP.

Converged networks form the backbone of enterprise IT, and sustain collaboration technologies such as videoconferencing and real-time document sharing that promote environmental sustainability by reducing business travel. A recent article in Community College Times identifies convergence as an occupational “hot area” where workers can earn $45,000 to $55,000 or more a year. The Convergence Technology Center is dedicated to producing a pool of highly qualified convergence technicians, and is also committed to providing professional development for faculty, recruiting underserved students, and acting in a mentoring capacity for several other colleges across the U.S. that are building similar programs.

The colleges have integrated Cisco® Networking Academy® courses into their convergence curricula to make sure students master fundamental network administration and IT skills. Collin County Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Convergence Technology, while El Centro College offers an AAS in IT with a convergence track. Both colleges also give students the option of obtaining certificates in convergence. The students can get transfer credit if they choose to apply to the four-year Engineering in IT degree program at the University of North Texas.

The Convergence Technology Center has given green IT a prominent place in the curricula. “We focus attention on sensors for green buildings and smart grid implementation, and we also cover subjects such as teleconferencing, digital signage (used to create environmental awareness and replace paper), radio-frequency identification, and other technologies involved in sustainability and recyclability,” says Dr. Ann Beheler, who helped found the center and is principal investigator for the NSF grant. “In keeping with the convergence concept, we’ve used the technology to blend online and face-to-face instruction, and we even manage the grant through periodic teleconferences.”

The program’s mentoring efforts have been especially successful. “Ten colleges to date have been able to take the core curriculum and customize it to fit their own circumstances,” Dr. Beheler says. “We work with business advisory councils in the various localities, and conduct skills analyses to determine exactly what skills employers need and what certificates and degree programs would be appropriate for the region. Employers such as utility companies tell us that convergence skills, with a concentration on green technologies like smart grid, are exactly what they are looking for.” Brett McCormick has been a student in the program at Collin College for two years and is currently the CTC lab assistant. He plans to enter the University of North Texas in August 2009, majoring in Information Technology. One of the classes he took at Collin, Convergence Case Study, is a problem-based course that involved designing a small office/home office network while taking green infrastructures and principles into account. “The class simulated what working in a team environment in the real world would be like,” McCormick says. “One thing that is very relevant out there is green IT. The CTC itself is starting to monitor its own electricity usage, as well as to teach students about energy consumption — everything form covering the roof of the data center with solar panels to ‘virtual presence’ over the network.

The CTC also offers classes that allow students to listen in and participate remotely, and being able to telecommute is another key aspect of green IT.”

IT and Networking Are Key to Going Green

There are a number of green initiatives where networking skills are having a major impact: Green Workplaces Commercial buildings account for 70% of total U.S. energy consumption and 39% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Today’s smarter buildings help mitigate this eco-impact with digital networks that gather and relay information for effective energy monitoring and centralized facilities control. IT professionals will also be busy transforming commercial buildings into more versatile workplaces with technologies such as wireless networks and power over Ethernet. The State of Missouri, for example, has taken the concept to an unprecedented scale with a networked real estate system that manages approximately 1000 buildings representing 32 million square feet of office space, saving the state $35 million a year and avoiding emissions of an estimated 205 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Broadband Deployment

ARRA sets aside $7.2 billion for improvements to the nation’s broadband (high-speed Internet) infrastructure, of which $2.5 billion is earmarked for distance learning, telemedicine, and extending broadband to underserved and rural areas. The providers who implement these services will need employees with expertise in technologies ranging from wireless transmission and data “packet shaping” to video streaming and network security.

The Information Technology and Information Foundation (ITIF) projects that high-speed connections to the home would increase the number of telecommuters to 19 million by 2012. That would save 1.5 billion hours of commute time—and reduce gasoline consumption by 5%. And deploying next-generation broadband to 80% of U.S. homes would also create some 2 million new jobs, according to the ITIF study.

Virtual Collaboration

Organizations are reducing carbon emissions by using network-enabled collaboration and conferencing technologies running on convergent networks to encourage telecommuting and limit business travel. The latest high-definition video and sound technologies give attendees at virtual meetings and training sessions the sense of actually being in the same room. Remote interaction based on web 2.0 technologies is also playing an increasing role in both business and private life. All of this requires not only advanced multimedia applications, but also unifying network “plumbing,” such as specialized routers and Internet-enabled cloud computing infrastructures, to support the applications.

Cisco Networking Academy courses cover the basics of collaborative technology, giving students the fundamentals necessary to pursue additional training and specialist certifications. Cisco certifications are recognized by IT professionals and organizations throughout the industry. They enhance job applicants’ resumes and assure employers that prospective new hires have the right skills for the position. Greener IT Operations Enterprises are looking to implement environmentally friendly IT facilities, such as energy-efficient data centers, to meet their green goals and to reduce the considerable costs associated with IT energy use. (IT operations use so much electricity that many IT departments pay the energy bills directly from their budgets.) A recent survey of 1000 enterprises worldwide conducted by Symantec Corp. found that 89% of respondents believe that IT should play a very or extremely significant green role. Even as organizations cut overall IT budgets, 73% of respondents said they plan to increase green IT spending. A McKinsey report found that greening the IT function can help eliminate a massive 7.8 metric gigatons of greenhouse gases by 2020, amounting to 15% of all global emissions.

In addition to replacing older, less-efficient equipment and monitoring usage, IT departments are reducing power requirements in data centers by deploying a technology called virtualization that increases server and storage utilization by allowing multiple functions to run on one physical device. In the education sphere, the University of Hawaii system, which includes seven community college campuses and supports distance learning courses for students on the Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa, and Guam, has implemented VMware virtualization solutions in its network operations center, which will support the campus network as well as virtualization-oriented courses offered through the VMware IT Academy program. (VMware’s virtualization platform, combined with the Cisco Unified Computing System, provides a virtualized and physical computing system over an intelligent, unified network fabric.) Wayne Lewis, Cisco Networking Academy manager at the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training, a consortium of the University of Hawaii community colleges, says that “the foundational networking skills provided by Networking Academy CCNA courses give our students an entryway to the world of virtualization.” The green activities just described can only suggest the variety of work that awaits students who have the requisite technical skills. Employment possibilities will certainly expand as nascent environmental efforts in the U.S. and around the world accelerate and organizations take advantage of the power of networking to achieve their objectives.

What’s Next?

Find out more about how Cisco Networking Academy can put your students on the fast track to green jobs and other emerging employment opportunities: For information on Cisco Networking Academy and economic stimulus, visit:

IT Innovation Summit Silicon Valley interview with Venkat Tummalapalli, A.T. Kearney, Inc.

In this three minute interview with Venkat Tummalapalli, Consultant, A.T. Kearney, Inc., Venkat shares his thoughts about the benefits of IT Innovation to the the enterprise and small business. Venkat also shares what studies conducted at A.T. Kearney, Inc reflect about a decade of shrinking IT.

New A.T. Kearney Study Maps a Decade of Shrinking IT Innovation

Innovation’s Share of IT Budget Reduced by 50% Since 1999

CHICAGO, January 20, 2010 — A new study by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, Delivering Technology Innovations, finds that while industry leaders overwhelmingly acknowledge the value of IT as an important strategic differentiator, investment in IT innovation misses target levels more than 75% of the time. Moreover, although innovation accounted for 30% of the average IT budget in 1999, it has fallen to less than half of that – 14% – in the subsequent ten years.

“The central role IT innovation can play in a company’s overall performance and health is well-understood by corporate decision-makers,” said Christian Hagen, a principal at A.T. Kearney and one of the lead authors of the study. “And the healthier the company, the better the understanding. When we spoke with executives of companies who were seeing 3% to 5% annual sales growth, 68% said that IT innovation made a positive contribution. But when we looked at companies with greater than 10% annual growth, the number of those who had benefited from IT innovation reached nearly 90%.”

The study found that IT innovations were adding value in virtually every aspect of a business, from sales and marketing through R&D and product development, manufacturing and supply chain, and even mergers and acquisitions. Yet a successful IT program does not come easily, and the study identifies the greatest IT growth barriers as complexity, inconsistent data, and excessive time spent on daily activities. Further, it finds that the lack of effective enterprise integration and a limited incubator environment are the two most important reasons why IT innovation projects fail.

“What we discovered, though, was that IT innovation doesn’t need to fail, and it doesn’t need to be hugely expensive either,” said Bob Haas, leader of A.T. Kearney’s Strategic Information Technology Practice. “In fact, it is often the standard or mature technologies used in innovative, business-aligned approaches that create the greatest impact.”

But in order to leverage IT successfully, innovation has to be thoughtfully planned. Studying those companies that had the best results with IT innovation revealed six common themes, or as Haas puts it, the “Six Mandates for IT Innovation:”

1. Ensure executive commitment to develop world-class IT delivery and innovation capabilities
2. Establish targets and execute dedicated and consistent investments in innovation
3. Create integrated IT leadership and business partnerships
4. Leverage technologies to integrate products and services with traditional back-office IT
5. Collaborate outside as well as within the organization (i.e., with customers and suppliers in addition to employees) to deliver IT innovation
6. Make sound business decisions on emerging technologies

“A game-changing IT program is within reach of any company that wants to devote the talent, time, and commitment to develop a culture of innovation,” Haas said. “Most companies understand how important IT innovation is, but many aren’t doing anything about it or are not following best practices. Our study indicates that the ones that do will add value to their business and differentiate themselves from their competition.

Study Methodology for Delivering Technology Innovation
Delivering Technology Innovation, A.T. Kearney’s IT Innovation and Effectiveness Study, surveyed board members and senior-level executives from American and European companies with $500 million or more in revenue. Companies were primarily from five industries: automotive, communications and high-tech, consumer products and retail, financial institutions, and process industries. All executives who participated in the survey were directly involved in their companies’ IT investment decisions; they were queried about their companies’ IT innovation priorities, strategies, and investment direction.
About A.T. Kearney

A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm that uses strategic insight, tailored solutions and a collaborative working style to help clients achieve sustainable results. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors on CEO-agenda issues to the world’s leading corporations across all major industries. A.T. Kearney’s offices are located in major business centers in 36 countries.

IT Innovation Summit Silicon Valley – Take Aways interview with Julian Loren

IT Innovation Summit Silicon Valley Take Aways interview with Julian Loren, Author, Innovator and Design Strategist with innOh.

In this three minute interview with Julian Loren, CEO of innOh, Julian shares his thoughts regarding the outcomes and take aways of the 2010 IT Innovation Summit -Silicon Valley and what he thinks about the specific skills the IT professional and students should consider when considering employment for a competitive IT job market.

Information and Communications Technologies in Silicon Valley

Information and Communications Technologies in Silicon Valley: An Economic and Workforce Analysis

The workforce investment boards of Silicon Valley have commissioned a team of researchers to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the Silicon Valley ICT ecosystem from both economic development and workforce perspectives.

In order to accurately capture the information necessary to meet the project objectives, the researchers will require active participation by leaders from industry, academia, non-profits and government, along with training providers and job-seekers. This participation can take several forms, depending on the availability and interest of each stakeholder.

We need your help! Here’s how to get involved in this important study:

• Participate in a focus group with the research team, targeted to your
area of interest. These meetings will be held monthly in Sunnyvale this
fall and winter.
• Join the online community by blogging, visiting and commenting on our
dedicated website,
• Participate in a 20-25 minute executive interview with the research team
to answer targeted questions about your area of expertise.
• Answer a brief 12-15 minute employer survey focused on your hiring

Fostering and Accelerating IT Innovation – Interview with Suzanne Ama, Cerro Cosa Community College

Fostering and Accelerating IT Innovation – Interview with Suzanne Ama, Professor of Media Arts and Web Design Program Coordinator at Cerro Cosa Community College located in Northern California

In this three minute interview with Suzanne Ama, Cerro Cosa Community College, Suzanne shares her thoughts regarding why IT Innovation is important to her, the U.S. economy, to employers and the country at large. Suzanne Ama will be participating as a panelist on the Education and Industry Executive Roundtable -”Fostering and Accelerating IT Innovation” at the IT Innovation Summit taking place October 15, 2010 at De Anza Community College Cupertino, CA

IT Innovation Summit Sessions and Speakers Announced

IT Innovation Summit Sessions and Speakers Announced

Sessions Focus on Jobs, Innovation and Productivity

October 11, 2010 (Folsom, CA) and the initiative – established to promote jobs, innovation and productivity in the U.S. – are welcoming prominent industry and education professionals to speak at the first nationwide IT Innovation Summit on October 15, 2010 at De Anza Community College, Cupertino, CA.

Session and Speaker line-up:

Keynote: Closing the Innovation Gap
Speaker: Judith Estrin, Chief Executive Officer JLABS, LLC and Author  of “Closing the Innovation Gap,” a McGraw-Hill publication
Summary: Judith Estrin will draw on her experiences as well as on interviews with more than 100 scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers, educators, and academic and business leaders who have been contributors to America’s innovative excellence. The first two chapters present a framework for understanding the process of sustainable innovation, including the concept of an Innovation Ecosystem, and the five core values that give individuals, businesses, organizations and nations the capacity for change.

Breaking the IT Innovation Gridlock
Speakers: Julian Loren, Innovator and Design Strategist with innOh and IdaRose Sylvester,

Summary: Julian and IdaRose will discuss how the Silicon Valley and the nation as a whole are at a critical juncture and why the U.S. economy depends on IT Innovation. This session will also uncover how IT Innovation gridlock affects organizations large and small, what surveys are telling us, how IT Innovation is defined and who should drive it. The audience will also learn IT Innovation trends, best practices and how to effectively promote IT Innovation at home.


IT Innovation: Job Creator or Job Eliminator?

Speakers: Julian Loren, Innovator and Design Strategist with innOh and Sudhir Kulkarni, GM Persistent Systems
Summary: Learn the myths and realities of IT Innovation here at home. Speakers will discuss what recent surveys are telling us, what their own experiences indicate as well as review employment trends and insights in California.


Fostering and Accelerating IT Innovation
Forum: An Education and Industry Executive Roundtable



  • Andy Vaughan, Director, Strategic Programs, Monster Public Sector & Education
  • Gary Page, Consultant California Department of Education
  • James Jones,  Executive Director Mid-Pacific ICT (MPICT) Center
  • Suzanne Ama, Web Design Program Coordinator, Instructor Cerro Coso Community College
  • Venkat Tummalapalli, Consultant, A.T. Kearney, Inc.

Summary: In this highly interactive session, panelists will share their perspectives and examine this issue from their distinct viewpoints.

“There is a critical gap in the talent IT innovation pipeline and BusinessWeek reports that in the past decade, as the U.S. was losing an estimated 2.4 million factory jobs to China, there was another alarming trend taking place,” says Bill Cullifer, Executive Director for and Chairperson of the initiative and the IT Innovation Summit Series. “According to the Economic Policy Institute and other research organizations, the most innovative companies in the Top 25 list are based outside the United States because the new global leaders are coming out of Asia.”

IT Innovation – Job Creator or Job Eliminator?

IT Innovation – Job Creator or Job Eliminator interview with Julian Loren, Author, Innovator and Design Strategist with innOh.

In this three minute interview with Julian Loren, CEO of innOh Julian shares his thoughts on the IT Innovation – Job Creator or Job Eliminator topic and his participation as a speaker/panelist at the upcoming IT Innovation Summit taking place October 15, 2010 at De Anza Community College Cupertino, CA