CIO Musings

My CISM Journey - The True Value of Certifications

CIO Musings

Certifications can be important for many different reasons. Perhaps you need a certification for a certain job or to be promoted. Or perhaps you have a commitment to continuous improvement. Maybe you just like collecting them like an alphabet soup Pokemon challenge. My reason was different.

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I Had a Plan

CIO Musings

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson On Sunday March 1st I was on a train back from the NACo conference in DC. Great conference, lots of helpful cyber security stuff. Beautiful day on the train. The pandemic was just sort of on the horizon.


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Pandemic Planning - CIO Style

CIO Musings

Technology leadership is never easy. During times of crisis planning and mobilization, it is even harder. So take a deep breath, relax, and read on. I think this will help you.

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Innovation - Plant Your Garden Well

CIO Musings

?Innovation is a big topic in civic circles these days. Creating value out of new approaches and ideas is at the heart of this. But first, an interesting example of innovation. The picture below is of bio-sensitive tatoo ink. Imagine not having to sample your blood to see the glucose level, just look at your tatoo and it will tell you by it's color if you need insulin. Or, if your are dehydrated. Or, if your white-cell count is up. Or, any number of other indicators.

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4 Key Steps to Data Transformation Success with Data Mesh

It’s tougher than ever to give your clients the data and insight they need, when they need it (and how they want it) – while addressing issues like security. Find out how data mesh architectures can help you meet these challenges and more.

IT Compliance - It's whats for dinner.

CIO Musings

NOTE: Please excuse the format of this, it is from my speaking notes for the Public Technology Institute Fall 2019 CIO Leadership forum. I was asked to speak, briefly, on IT compliance. I figured what the heck, make a blog post out of it. Managing IT Compliance Policy and Privacy IT Compliance can be an enabler and help you deliver better service to your customers. See if you still agree with me by the end of this chat.

Adulting - CIO Style

CIO Musings

I love the Urban Dictionary. I'm not sure why, I guess it makes me feel hip to read through some of the posts. I have contributed a few along the way like the term "Camel Up", my proudest moment. The Urban Dictionary defines "adulting" like this. I like the part about being a fully developed individual. Recently I was in a difficult steering committee meeting for a major enterprise project. After the meeting one of my staff members complimented me for my adulting skills.

I Have A Job For You

CIO Musings

We are hiring a ton of positions over the next few months. The jobs are posted on [link]. More information can be found there and you can apply on line. Why is Chesterfield VA a great place to work? Lots of reasons. Excellence - We have been the #1 digital county in the USA twice in the last 4 years. In 2010 we were voted as having the best county website in the nation. We have won numerous awards and recognitions.

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Apple Success Isn't About Innovation

CIO Musings

On September 9th 2014 Apple made several major announcements in a well choreographed event in California. Consumer electronic companies all over the fruited plain were heard to say as one. Why didn''t we think of that? So, why is that? Why does Apple make such stunning products that draw us like moths to the back-porch light? There were people camping out at the Apple flagship store a week before the announcement.

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Leadership Lessons From My Dog

CIO Musings

Okay, so my wife I have a dog. This is different for us. I've never had a dog before. I wasn't anti-dog or anything, I was more ambivalent about them. It is funny how fast I went from being dog-indifferent to being a dog-lover! After years of talking about it, thinking about it, researching it, being encouraged to do it, we got organized and located a reputable breeder of West Highland Terriers (aka Westies). That is a whole other blog-worthy experience.

Citizen Opinion - What Influences It?

CIO Musings

I just finished a graduate degree in public leadership from Virginia State University. My research for the degree focused on the opportunity to improve citizen satisfaction with local government by leveraging the trends of social media and the internet. I conducted an online survey, receiving 153 responses from 20 states. 70% of the responses were from Virginia.

Monetizing Analytics Features: Why Data Visualization Will Never Be Enough

Five years ago, data visualizations were a powerful way to differentiate a software application. Today, free visualizations seem to be everywhere. Two trends are forcing application providers to rethink how they offer analytics in their products.

Three Innovation Hints - Millennial Style

CIO Musings

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” Peter F. Drucker Innovation has been the focus of our conversations recently on my job. How to innovate. What it means to have an innovative culture. How to define the value of innovation. Innovation is one part of my vision for the department. My deputy CIO recently gave an award for innovation within his area, and it went to one of our rockstar millennial employees, Christopher Long (@Chris_Long_VT).

Smart Ring Roundup

CIO Musings

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Sauron, Mordor, Middle Earth. Wait a minute. Smart Rings? Yep, thats right. The social and technology direction towards clunky and fashion challenged "wearable" technology has migrated 6 inches from the new smart watch on your wrist, to your middle finger. Glasses. Watches. Bracelets. And now, rings.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

CIO Musings

All around the country kids have returned to school and written their papers on how they spent their summer vacations. Blogging. That is how I spent my summer vacation. I applied for and was accepted into the GovLoop featured bloggers challenge. Essentially, we agreed to post a blog entry every week for a bunch of weeks over the summer. This explain my hiatus from this blog. I was too lazy to cross-post the entries as I wrote them, so I wanted to summarize them here.

New Years Resolutions - Technology Style!

CIO Musings

New Years is a great time for reflection. A new start. A new set of opportunities. A time to do things differently. While you are cleaning out your closets and figuring out which gym to join, spend some time planning how you can do some new great things in your technology life. Here are five places to start. I've left "Backup your stuff" off the list this year. If you aren't already doing that, I can't help you. Security - Let face it folks, it is time to get serious about information security.

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Make a Difference - Work For Us

CIO Musings

We are hiring a ton of positions over the next few months. The jobs are posted on [link]. More information can be found there and you can apply on line. Why is Chesterfield VA a great place to work? Lots of reasons. Excellence - We have been the #1 digital county in the USA twice in the last 4 years. In 2010 we were voted as having the best county website in the nation. We have won numerous awards and recognitions.

Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

Survey Says.

CIO Musings

One chart from a recent survey I did on citizen involvement in local government. Interesting that as many people get information on their local government via word of mouth as by TV and Newspaper. More research to come! 119 Responses from 15 States

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Ten Tips for the The Technology Traveler

CIO Musings

One thing that has changed about travel in the last decade is the amount of technology we take with us. A friend at work asked me for tips on travelling with technology. I don''t travel that much, perhaps a trip every 2-3 months. For me there isn''t that much difference between personal travel and business travel. I use a personal laptop during each, and take about the same amount of gear. I think there are two types of technology travelers.

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CIO Musings - Untitled Article

CIO Musings

Five New Years Tech Resolutions New Years is a great time for reflection. A new start. A new set of opportunities. A time to do things differently. While you are cleaning out your closets and figuring out which gym to join, spend some time planning how you can do some new great things in your technology life. Here are five places to start. Mobile Security - Smartphones are amazingly easy to lose, and it happens all the time.

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Fun Linux Things

CIO Musings

Unix has always fascinated me. I was hired to be a Unix communications programmer in 1986. I taught myself C, learned the X.25 protocol, HDLC, the seven layer ISO model and started struggling with the bourne shell. By this time I had been coding for 11 years, having started with BASIC in 7th grade. What stuck with me through all the years and versions and languages and floppy disks is the incredible versatility of Unix.

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Modern Data Architecture for Embedded Analytics

Data has gone from a mere result of applications & processes to being crowned king. Picking the right avenue to data architecture depends on your organization’s needs. Development teams should build in stages, starting with a task that can be solved.

Wearable Technology: Fad or Trend?

CIO Musings

This article caught my eye today. Apparently many folks who buy wearable technology don''t keep using it over time. This doesn''t surprise me, read on to find out why. I have seen a variety of form factors of wearable technology advertised or reviewed recently including watches, rings, cuffs and bracelets. I have some of them on order. I use a Pebble smart-watch almost every day at work. I use a fitness tracker bracelet for sleep monitoring several times a month.

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Surviving the Budget Cycle - Tips & Tricks

CIO Musings

We all have to deal with it. We all loathe it. We all complain about it. We all get through it. We are talking about the budget cycle. How many of us actually use it to our advantage? Fiscal years fall on different boundaries for different organizations. Budget approaches vary widely and cost-plus, to zero-based and others.

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Five Amusing Mobile Things You Missed

CIO Musings

I have always been fascinated by phones. My dad worked for the phone company, so some of my earliest memories are of him going to work with his tool belt and tester set hanging from it. Needle nose pliers, punch down tools and four conductor low voltage cable were staples in my house. Fast forward 40 years, and I am still fascinated by phones. Smartphones to be exact. I''ve had one of just about everything and I''ve had several different carriers. Mobile technology is one of my favorite topics.

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Call Me Maybe - A Technology Metaphor - CIO Musings

CIO Musings

#cio #tech. Hey, I just met you, And this is crazy, But here's my number, So call me, maybe? chorus) Carly Rae Jepson - Call Me Maybe This pop culture song is everywhere and you can't escape it. Everyone from Colin

Blueprint to Modernize Analytics

The longer you wait to modernize your application’s analytics, the longer it will take for you to realize this value. A blueprint helps you define your new solution, plot out how to get there, and determine what you’ll need in terms of time and resources.

Citizen Engagement - The Rule of Three

CIO Musings

NOTE: This entry is also posted at [link]. I have been invited to be a featured blogger for them, which I am really happy about. Do you believe that the involvement of citizens in the management of the government makes government better? Are you willing to do things differently to reach a different segment of the population? One of the leaders I respect the most has often been heard to say that public servants are at their best when they partner with citizens.

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CIO Musings - Life as a Public Sector CIO: What's Your Opinion?

CIO Musings

Do you like your local government? Do they help you? Do you know who they are? Do you trust them? It may surprise you to know that your local government has more to do with your quality of life than the state or the federal

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Ethics for (young) Technology Professionals

CIO Musings

Every year I give a presentation at a local technical high school through Junior Achievement on ethics. The kids in this program are sharp, sharp, sharp. They have tremendous potential, and will one day be the CIOs, CTOs, network administrators and innovators in our society. They will have the keys to the kingdon, so to speak, and their need for ethics will be paramount. Ethics are important to these professions and to young people in general.

COVITS 2013 - Opening Comments

CIO Musings

COVITS is the information technology conference for state and local governments in Virginia. This year I was asked to give the opening remarks before the keynote speaker. I was pleased to be able to address the crowd, and even more pleased that the conference organizer (Jack Mortimer, eRepublic) wanted to highlight the participation of the localities in the conference.

Best Practices for Deploying & Scaling Embedded Analytics

Today, sophisticated capabilities such as adaptive security, predictive analytics, workflow, and writeback are taking analytics far beyond basic dashboards and reports. With cutting-edge capabilities like these, application teams are able to differentiate their products from the competition.

Make the CIO Transition - Order Taker to Trusted Advisor

CIO Musings

A recent strategic planning exercise I attended focused on a discussion of the "Balanced Scorecard" concept. This helped tie together a lot of concepts that had been rummaging around in my head and in my organization for quite a while. I must pay homage here to Dr. Robert Kaplan, one of the originators of the Balanced Scorecard concept. I also credit Mr. Richard Billingsley for compiling the information presented in the recent planning exercise.

Like a Rock: IT Strategy & Corporate Culture

CIO Musings

We face many challenges in securing investments for modernization of information technology, systems and business solutions. Tight budgets, staffing issues, competing priorities and revenue shortfalls all conspire to create a very challenging environment in which to secure funding. None of the challenges are as serious as our own corporate culture. I had a friend that was the CIO of a local "aggregates" company.

Social Media and Public Employees - Part 3 - CIO Musings

CIO Musings

Thalacker & O'Mara (2012) report an increase in public employee's claims of the first amendment protection in defense actions for firings or discipline for social media use: An Alabama paramedic fired in March 2012 by the

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CIO Musings - Life as a Public Sector CIO: Verizon Witching Hour

CIO Musings

Big Changes to #Verizon Plans Tomorrow!! Today, Wednesday June 27th is the last day you can make changes to your Verizon Wireless (VZW) plans, and not be forced into the new bundling "share everything" plans

Drive Better Decision-Making with Data Storytelling

Embedded Analytics can be the foundation of successful applications, and data storytelling is now critical for business today. It has become pivotal to drive decisions, generate actionable insights, and increase user adoption and stickiness.

State Tech Magazine Recognition - CIO Musings

CIO Musings

So, I am getting ready for bed and I notice I have a twitter mention on my smartphone. Bill Greeves had tweeted and posted on FaceBook that my blog was recognized in the StateTech Magazine inaugural list of the the 50

Liftoff Tips for a Social Media Program

CIO Musings

I frequently talk to customers, both internal and external, about how to get started with social media. These three things always come up in these conversations. There are a hundred other details that people talk about (need for a policy, how to measure effectiveness, how to get 1M followers, etc). These three things will make your life easier before you launch the effort (or try to gain approval for it.) Know what you are trying to accomplish.

Social Media and Public Employees - Conclusion

CIO Musings

NOTE: Go back and read parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series if you have not already. It provides a wonderful basis for this. Technology trends always have the potential to create tension in the workplace. The rapid growth of social media and internet access are two such trends. The use of popular social media sites by public employees is creating an environment where first amendment rights may be restricted.

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CIO Musings - Life as a Public Sector CIO: Social Media For Local Gov

CIO Musings

The Top 10 issues to be aware of when using social media in local (or any) government: # 1 Ethics & Acceptable Use Make sure your sites have posting guidelines so the users know the rules, and that your employees

Media 175

10 Rules to More Streamlined Data Modeling

Apache Kafka is a powerful piece of software that can solve a lot of problems. Like most libraries and frameworks, you get out of it what you put into it. Learn 10 rules that will help you perfect your Kafka system to get ahead.