A consistently clear and notably thorough guide to IT strategy that should be on every chief information officer’s desk.

IT STRATEGY

A 3-DIMENSIONAL FRAMEWORK TO PLAN YOUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND DELIVER VALUE TO YOUR ENTERPRISE

A manual presents a comprehensive strategy that situates information technology within the broader context of the business it serves. 

According to Maholic (Business Cases That Mean Business, 2013), this is simultaneously a thrilling and harrowing time to be a chief information officer in charge of IT strategy since the executive can be both “the beneficiary and besieged warrior of rapidly advancing technology.” A wide-ranging strategy is absolutely necessary, but a universally effective one that accommodates all circumstances doesn’t exist—“different current states, different desired future states and different organizational structures” render that impossible in principle. Instead, the author articulates with astonishingly impressive thoroughness and clarity the general framework within which such a scheme should be constructed. Maholic argues that an IT division’s purpose is to serve the greater mission of the organization that houses it, and so a CIO must think like a CEO, always understanding technology in light of the demands of business. The author uses an acronym to capture this orientation, SEAR, which represents the four pillars of any business strategy: sales, expenses, assets, and risks. “The SEAR imperative states that every proposal for significant, material projects or programs must define success by showing how the proposed initiative increases sales, reduces expenses, optimizes assets or mitigates risk,” Maholic asserts. That bottom-line orientation undergirds the overall IT scheme, which the author envisions as a three-dimensional cube, with its primary parts Foundations; Deliberations regarding technical, philosophical, and practical concerns; and Vexations, the “forces opposing your strategy.” Maholic has twice served as a CIO at different organizations and has worked for years as a management consultant, a depth of experience that radiates from this analytically rigorous and encyclopedic study. The book is written from the perspective of a manager of an IT division versus a technologist. One of the most strikingly original aspects of the work is the priority assigned to management philosophy over technology: “Technology is among the least critical aspects in driving the success of an IT Strategy. Technology is certainly relevant and holds a central place in the strategy. But the success of your IT Strategy is more dependent on the other Deliberation considerations than it is on technology.” Maholic doesn’t just provide philosophically broad counsel—he also furnishes helpfully detailed, immediately actionable instructions regarding a dizzying array of subjects, often accompanied by diagrams. Unfortunately, the volume can lose focus, and as a result it’s bloated to well over 500 pages—he could have dispensed with establishing analogies between IT strategy and the machinations of chess and military planning. But his prose is consistently accessible and mercifully unburdened by gratuitously technical, business, or IT jargon. And besides the work’s expansive scope, its principal strength is the relentless way it emphasizes the significance of “value velocity,” or the urgent need for a CIO to deliver measurable business results in a timely fashion. Maholic’s contribution is a standout in a crowded field and should become the authoritative source on the subject. 

A consistently clear and notably thorough guide to IT strategy that should be on every chief information officer’s desk. 

Pub Date: May 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-09-798324-7

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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