The Enchanted CIO


Once upon a time there lived a prince who received no respect from the king or his subjects.  Everyday he awoke and worked very hard at his princely duties, which was to ensure that the subjects of the kingdom were satisfied with the king and were able to do their jobs.   Of course, they were subjects, so they were all very unhappy and expressed their dissatisfaction from the prince who, after all, had no real power to make change and therefore relegated to the role of appeasing the subjects.   But he did his best, every day. “You have to be enchanting”, he said.  And that’s not necessarily a skill included in most prince’s job-description these days.


Enchanting?  CIOs?  I just threw up in my mouth a little bit… This bit of storytelling was inspired after reading this article by Nicole Laskowski who was summarizing points made at Gartner Symposium. The majority of content came from Gartner analyst Dave Cappuccio but also includes a quote from Damon Mayes, a director of educational and information technologies at NorQuest College in Alberta, Canada where he said; ”You have to be enchanting” when speaking to the business in attempting to show value from IT.OK, let me comment on the bulk of the article, David’s Top 10 IT Strategies for 2014.  *Note – I was not at the event, so I am entirely depending on Nicole’s article for comment.

1. SDN and 2.SDS- Software-Defined Networks and Software-Defined Storage.  Great concepts – using a software abstraction layer to manage my networks and storage across many vendors.  It would solve hardware vendor lock-in but, then again, am I now locked into the software provider?  And it’s all really part of SDDC, the Software-Defined Data Center.  In any event, all those things will go into my 2014 plan, because it reads well.  As for budgeting and project-planning?  I think that it will probably push out a year, but worth keeping an eye on what’s happening in the industry and doing some hands-on research.3. Hybrid Cloud Services – My approach to hybrid clouds is to build in a public cloud first, test scalability and security, and pull back functions and services that I need back into my private cloud.  Hybrid magic cloud, voila!

4. Integrated Systems – Nothing new to see here, folks.  Move along!

5. Applications acceleration – I’m all for this concept, I take it to the extent of Lean Development, just make sure you’re not building a MVPOS!  (you know what I mean).

6. Internet of Things – Yea, yea, I agree but only us smrt people know how to build the back-end to support this.  If you haven’t already figured out how to do this, I suggest you spend the rest of 2013 learning about it so that you can budget and build this into your 2014 plan.

7. Open Compute Project – A couple months ago I set out to build a Hadoop Cluster on Raspberry Pi, but then discovered that somebody already did it!   I thought that it was cool enough to do anyways, but the jerk installed it in an Ikea drawer.  This type of enchanted brilliance just couldn’t be matched, so I shelved it.

8. Intelligent Data Centers – Sounds like a lot of coding effort to me, who’s got the time?  We’re all still trying to transform our legacy apps.

9. IT demand – Take away the BYODs and bring back green-screens.  That’ll shut them up and reduce capacity. 10. Disruptive Workforce – Now you’re talking.  Don’t hire anyone younger than 60 and move your development efforts to senior care centers.  Being one myself, I see nothing better than laying down some wicked code before I hit the shuffleboard court.


Back to the eCIO…Webster defines Enchanted as “being or appearing to be under a magic spell”.  Based on that definition, I contend that every CIO I’ve ever met is enchanted.  We walk around all day appearing  to be under the influence of a magic spell, so I’ll accept that excuse.

No, not these shoes. (Attribution: Glamhag)

OK, I gotta wrap this up.  What do I think is the most important technology that CIOs should be incorporating into their 2014 IT strategy?  Shoes.  Walking around, talking to your internal customers, your stakeholders and your executives is more important than anything else you can bring in.  Shoes are great technologies and have the best ROI.  Learn how to use them.  They are also multi-purpose, since you can use them to kick someone in the can if they’re not doing the right thing.

And if you can find some Enchanted Shoes, so much the better!


Nicole, Dave or Damon – If you’re ever in Detroit, I owe you lunch.