Gene Kim: Adding science to IT management

Name: Gene Kim

Title: CTO and founder

Organization: Tripwire Inc.

Age: 35 Industry: IT/computer services

30-second biography:

Back in 1992, while a student at Purdue University, Kim, along with Gene Spafford, co-authored Tripwire, configuration audit and control software that’s now used by more than 5,500 organizations worldwide. In 2004 he co-founded the IT Process Institute, an organization dedicated to researching, benchmarking and developing prescriptive guidance for IT operations, security management and auditors.

That same year, Kim co-authored Visible Ops Handbook: Implementing ITIL in Four Practical and Auditable Steps, which has since sold more than 75,000 copies.

He currently serves on the Advanced Technology Committee for the Institute of Internal Auditors and was recently given the Outstanding Alumnus Award by the Department of Computer Sciences at Purdue University for achievement and leadership in the profession.

Current project: “As a co-founder of the IT Process Institute, I am collaborating with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Institute of Internal Auditors on projects to advance the quantitative science around the management of IT operations and security.

The goal is to create guidance that can help management focus on what really matters to business performance, and test that guidance with the same empirical rigour that pharmaceuticals use for conducting drug trials.”

Who in the technology industry most influenced your career?

“The three leaders of the manufacturing movement during the 1980s: W. Edwards Deming, Eliyahu M. Goldratt and the lean manufacturing researchers. These pioneers were able to create an industrywide business imperative to increase productivity and quality in manufacturing.”

Most-critical technologies for IT this year: “The vast majority of IT organizations realize that they can’t simultaneously deliver their committed projects on time while delivering reliable IT service. Consequently, committed project loads are cut, and IT finds itself firefighting, spending significant time on unplanned work and struggling again to deliver on their project commitments.

What we need now is the decision science of how we make good, informed decisions about how to manage technology to get the business what it needs, deliver on those commitments and make sure it is always working when it should.”

The best thing about today’s technology: “It’s so inexpensive.”

The worst thing about today’s technology: “The reality is that most organizations aren’t capable of realizing the benefits of it.”

Technology can… “Create unbelievable competitive advantage when managed well; however, when not managed well, technology can generate more valueless work and create large and totally unforeseen liabilities that jeopardize the business.”

Book that was most recently on your nightstand: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by Charles Seife

What sets you apart? – “My personal goal is to help create the conditions that will enable an IT management movement like we saw in manufacturing in the 1980s. I hope the work we are doing is helping to advance those objectives.”

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now