Three ways to boost your career from reading CIO Canada

This blog will be a forum for Dave Carey, myself and readers to exchange ideas about better IT management, and I thought we could start off by looking back through a few recent issues of CIO Canada to go over things our online audience might have missed.

Remove functions to test user demand: Like a lot of organizations, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) recently set up a Microsoft SharePoint portal to faciliate the exchange of content, including a “My Site” page that allowed users to see what documents their colleagues had been reading. “I took it down, but my staff asked me to put it back up. They said they depended on it to see what I was doing, and what I thought was important,” Ronald Surrette, ACOA’s CIO, said. Sometimes employees don’t know what they want until it’s gone.

Don’t hide behind the monitor: Vancouver’s North Shore Credit Union did all the standard things to improve customer relationship management, like deploying the latest software. Then it did something else: created a “pod” style of teller station that removed the barrier between employee and customer. Although it was more of a physical architecture change than an IT change, it made a big difference. “Our tellers are encouraged to come out and greet clients, like in a retail setting, so we’ve eliminated the them-and-us type of thinking,” said the credit union’s CIO, Fred Cook.

Embrace strategic flukes: Aeroplan recently went through a major SOA project, which was driven in part by a company push to a new non-air rewards program. That meant it was a lot easier to make the business case and get senior management behind it. Remi Lefrance admits it was kind of a fluke, but that’s okay. “But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the whole experience it’s that this worked very well for us. I think it could work well for others too.” Best practices come in all kinds of ways. Don’t ignore the ones that come about as a happy accident.

While we’ll be updating this blog regularly, you can also keep up between issues of our print edition by visiting the CIO Canada home page.

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