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A Better Helpdesk Wed 19 Aug 09

Emphasize the customer's needs--not IT's--when you design technical support systems.

I've always believed that the quality of helpdesks and support technicians are the most important factors in shaping user perceptions of IT. Not the big application that you just rolled out saving the company big bucks, not the amount of money you've saved by consolidating your data centers and certainly not all of your promises of new systems and hardware yet to come.

Helpdesk_arycogreYour helpdesk and support technicians truly are your Directors of First Impression by which people judge your entire organization. If you can't fix my PC quickly or are rude and provide no status information on my problem, why should I think you can deliver on the expensive new application project?

And yet so often we set up our helpdesk and support technicians for failure. As Jessica Rabbit said, "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." Likewise, our helpdesk and support technicians are not incompetent or uncaring, but the process we so often make them work with just makes them appear that way.

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Interesting and Useful Links Mon 17 Aug 09

Social Media Policy and Employee Guidance by Will Weider on Candid CIO.  Will does an excellent job of recognizing that people will use social media at work and that it can have both benefits and pitfalls for your organization. He lays out some excellent guidelines and explains the "why" behind them which will go along way towards getting acceptance and compliance.

7 Keys to Describe Your Achievements by Simon Stapleton.  Some great career advice and who can't benefit from that in today's economy. He reminds us of some important things about outlining your achievement to better sell yourself to prospective employers.

It’s OK to say, “I Don’t Know…” by Arun Manansingh on "a cio's voice" points out how being honest about what we do or do not know impacts our credibility.

Password Advice by security expert Bruce Schneier. He provides 10 rules for keeping your password safe. It's not always easy, Schneier readily admits that even he regularly breaks 7 of them.

Lean & Forrester’s Business Technology Forum by Glenn Whitfield on IT Business Alignment (IT2B).  Glenn provides some excellent commentary on the adoption of Lean in IT and the concern that Forrester Research's approach is more about chasing a trend than true cultural adoption.

Communication: Are you the king, or a guard? by Jonathon Babcock on Practical Analyst.  Babcock draws an interesting comparison in the communications between analysts and developers.  I can relate to what he wrote, it's deja vu all over again.

Enterprise 2.0 Does Not Necessarily Mean Power To The People by G. Oliver Young. Young provides some good tips for rolling out Enterprise 2.0 apps.

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Blogs are dead (or, are dying). Or are they? Wed 12 Aug 09

Blog_for_sale_john_weise My friend Jason Alba who owns JibberJobber (by the way a great career management tool) recently sent out a newsletter and asked the question "…let me know what you think about the following phrase: "Blogs are dead (or, are dying)."  Could blogs become obsolete?  On one side people say that Twitter and such will make them obsolete... on the other side there are too many blogs, and many of them plain junk. What do YOU, as a blogger, think?"

A great question and one I couldn't help but comment on. In one sense, I do think blogs are dying but in the same sense all other forms of communicating ideas are "dying".  Let me explain my reasoning.

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Responsible Twittering Wed 05 Aug 09

The company's security issues are well-known, but users also need to be more responsible about what they tweet.

Twitter bird matt hammTwitter, the popular social media app was recently awarded a Pwnie (pronounced "pony") at the BlackHat Security Conference. The reason for this rather dubious honor was due to what some call this year's biggest security failure. Apparently, a hacker was able to gain access to confidential documents by hacking into the e-mail account of Twitter Chief Evan Williams.

Prior to this, a similar incident occurred where someone hacked the password of a Twitter administrator and gained access to user accounts, including that of then President-elect Obama.

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Interesting and Useful Links Mon 03 Aug 09

I've fallen a little behind in my reading but I'm slowly catching up.  Here are some links I've found.

Strategic or Operational CIO ! Making choices  on Oh I See (CIO Inverted) discusses the important difference between being strategic and being operational.

CIO Cloud Computing 101: Problems With Clouds on The Accidental Successful CIO on the seven challenges of cloud computing.

The OMG-WTF Spectrum on thenextweb.com illustrating the process of understanding.

Project Success and Failure and The New CIO on Eric Brown's Technology, Strategy, People & Projects, the latest installment in Eric's New CIO series - well worth the read.

All I Do Is Work Here on Seth's Blog about the need to be proud of where you work.

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