Fresh Links Sundae – October 20, 2013 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. More importantly, I picked these articles to help my fellow IT professionals be more successful. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Some experts have predicted that the CIO role has become less and less relevant over the years and maybe going away soon. Bob Lewis disagrees and explains why the CIO role is necessary to coordinate the integration between applications and systems. Is the CIO dead? Maybe. Should it be? Nah. (IS Survivor Publishing)

As the power of data and analytics profoundly affects the business landscape, companies once again need more top-management talent who can understand and leverage the technologies. Brad Brown, David Court, and Paul Willmott outline six areas that will require more senior leadership’s participation. Can Your C-Suite Handle Big Data? (Harvard Business Review)

Many of us are accustomed to having access to highly capable consumer technologies that offer convenience and commodity pricing. Over time, we have grown dependent on those technologies. Sharon Taylor reminds us the importance of balancing the level of support response, redundancy, cost, and reality when offering those same technologies and services to our organizations. Rocket fuel, cake and customers. (SHIFT)

Many IT organizations are looking for ways to improve their services by making themselves more assessable to the business. Robert Stroud suggests that perhaps a “walk-up service center” can help to improve your organization’s service management effort. Service Management From the Back Room to the “Drop-in Center” (CA Service Management)

Most IT departments are in a struggle to meet the demands from a customer base and from a massive volume of IT project and firefighting work at the same time. Offering a more personalized support from IT appears to be a low priority item considering the resource and staff constraints. Ian Aitchison thinks that offering a more personalized IT support to enterprise users can be doable. You don’t need to be a Genius or a Guru to offer a Personal Service Desk (The ITSM Review)

Many CIOs feel innovation can only come after establishing a culture for innovation within the organization. CEB believes that, instead instilling a culture, a “climate of innovation” will be more malleable and can be influenced by processes, practices, and signals from leaders. Laura Wilson explains what is a “climate of innovation” and recommends four actions to create such climate within your organization. Want to Make IT More Innovative? Don’t Set Up a Skunkworks Team, Examine Your Behaviors (CEB’s IT Blog)

Some leaders try hard to help their teams by handing out advice on every aspect of the team’s work. Susan Cramm explains what the negative consequences can be and what corrective actions a leader should take. Are You Disabling Your Organization with Advice? (Strategy+Business)

Today’s leaders face a set of very different environments and leadership challenges. Len Lagestee believes that, by changing the way we think, speak, and act, we will begin to design how we will be remembered as a leader. Shaping Your Leadership Legacy (Illustrated Agile)

A challenge around strategic core competencies today is that too many of them appear to be enterprise-centric rather than from the customer’s point of view.  Michael Schrage discusses how companies can re-think and re-architect how they can empower customers to add value to their core competencies. Do Customers Even Care about Your Core Competence? (Harvard Business Review)

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that leading an organization that provides integrated multi-product solutions is remarkably different from leading an organization that sells a single line of products. He recommends approaches leaders should take to navigate in today’s interconnected world. On a Consumer Watershed (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Something else you might be interested in…

Microsoft has made a free Windows 8.1 ebook by Ed Bott available for download. Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals (MSDN Blogs)

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