Your Podium columnist must be a bean counter to come up with this sad list of suggestions ["Why Bean Counters Can't Run the Universe," December 2005 issue].
Any CIO worth his salt wouldn't be nervous about seeing finance. What he does with the IT budget shouldn't even involve the CFO once it's approved. If a $2,500 expense creates company-wide problems, the company has bigger fish to fry. And I recommend that a CIO worry less about the petty politics of the finance office and do what's needed to make a company successful. If IT provides contacts that create value, finance should head back to its office.
I read roughly 40 magazines and four books related to IT a month, most of which are history by the time they're published. If I need good information about trends, I read the business or manufacturing trade magazines and talk with other executives.
COLUMNIST CATHY HOTKA RESPONDS:
I was actually urging people to get out of the office more by repeating the excuses I hear for not doing so. But I'm glad to hear that you're networked.
A SMOOTH IMPLEMENTATION
My IT director and I were both amazed by the decisions of C&H Sugar Co. described in "Shifting Ground" [April issue]. We found it difficult to believe that with 17 staffers the company couldn't find the skills to run a 24/7 operation.
Four years ago, we implemented a full enterprise resource planning system for our food-processing company with two plants in different states. From the date of signing the contract to the go-live date, the project took seven months. We had a cross-functional team of eight.
As for a generator, we don't rely on one. Our battery backups keep the system from crashing during power outages. We can't remember our last downtime because it was so long ago and so short. I doubt the hosting sites can match our uptime or availability.
VP of Finance
Brooks Food Group Inc.
I stumbled across your ERP Journey column "How to Prepare for a Smooth Launch" [November issue]. I started on this last installment but quickly went back to the beginning of the series. I had to do similar search and a conversion for a much smaller company, so I've had all the experiences you so accurately described. Your project sounded like more fun than my own. Thanks for the entertaining article.
THE CIO DASHBOARD
I wanted to compliment your new publication. I subscribe to Baseline, Storage and a handful of other magazines. Yours seems to be the dashboard I've been looking for: very interesting and an easy read.
Douglas J. Bernal
Palm Bay Imports Inc.
I just put down my latest issue of CIO Decisions. You and your team have done a terrific job of putting this together. The article "Schmooze City" [November issue] hit home.
A. Bryan Kearney
VP and CIO
IDACORP Inc./Idaho Power Company
I received an issue of your magazine and would like to say well done! I found the articles informative, practical, and clearly focused on my needs and interests. The Project Expert column was particularly useful.
Open Solutions Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia
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This was first published in February 2006