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NASCIO Conference Day 3

Day three at the NASCIO conference began with a keynote session led by Thornton May, who is an IT Futurist, Executive Director and Dean at the IT leadership Academy and Author of The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics.

by / September 30, 2010

NASCIO Conference Day 3

Day three at the NASCIO conference began with a keynote session led by Thornton May, who is an IT Futurist, Executive Director and Dean at the IT leadership Academy and Author of The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics. This session was interactive (we broke into short table discussions at several points in the talk and reported back via a traveling microphone). If you ever get a chance to see Thornton May live - do it!

This was my favorite session of the three days. Thornton May is not only a thought-provoking speaker, his presentation was fun and funny with a very different type of supporting graphics. He makes his points through great questions and a wealth of stories which help provide possible answers using data/analytics.

He started by stating that we are in a unique moment is history. Our key questions should be: What has changed? And what will change? He asked the audience to offer three things that will be different three years from now. (This was a table discussion topic for three minutes.) Some report-out answers included:

  • Leaders will be challenged to do more with less
  • Staff will work for multiple companies
  • More part-time workers
  • A more polarized political situation
  • Security issues will grow in the world
  • More connectivity with government to citizen engagement
  • More online self-service with government

Thornton May asked the audience members to discuss trends in the answers they heard, which included:

  • More shared services
  • Leadership changes
  • Better connectivity
  • New world of virtual work with more choices
  • Security issues

Thornton jumped into the theme that "Next" will be different, so what are you doing about it now?

In 2005, a survey of senior business executives said that Information Technology (IT) was 24% effective. In 2009, 23% of senior business leaders said that IT was effective. He stressed the point that we need to use data better to drive results. Information such as:

  • $75 billion is wasted on IT projects every year
  • 80% of our IT dollars are being spent to "keep the lights on."
  • Research says that the next 5 years will be ugly for state and local government budget revenue

As for answers to improving, we need five skills to be successful in the new normal according to the speaker:

  • Self knowledge
  • Other Knowledge or empathy
  • Environmental Knowledge or sense making
  • Movement Knowledge or Vision
  • Value Knowledge or Innovation

Innovation is converting ideas into cash. Invention is converting cash into ideas.

There are four IT "New Knows" that we must understand:

  1. Where are we?
  2. Where do we want to go?
  3. How do we get there?
  4. How do we convince others to come along?

The key to being successful is to have mutually agreed upon objectives with the business. Our questions will bias our answers, so we need to go to the destination and work backwards (or be outcome focused.)

His main point was that we need to see data differently. In four years we will have (at least) twice as much data as we have now. We are at an inflexion point, and everything is moving faster. Things are out of sync, and the CIOs need to be bringing synchronization back. Look for big picture trends and focus on the outcomes.

Thornton showed again that he is an optimist who is passionate about improving IT/business results - by the numbers. (I plan to buy his book.)

The last session of the NASCIO Conference was: Leadership in Tough Times: Implications for the Transition. The session was moderated by Jerry Mechling who is the Research VP at Gartner and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. The panelists were Teri Takai, California CIO; Phil Bertolini, CIO of Oakland County, Michigan; and Stephen Fletcher, CIO for the State of Utah.

The focus of the discussion was on the just-released paper from Harvard University entitled: Leadership for the New Tough Times: Priorities for IT-enabled Government Innovation. The dialogue was fascinating with each of the panelists telling stories and sharing insights on how to change government culture and work differently in these very difficult budget circumstances.

The paper offers insights for the transition and preparing for the new administrations. I will post a link to this excellent paper when it becomes available soon.

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Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso

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