Brian was recently featured in a crowd-sourced article on CIO.com about “Assessing the Value of Corporate Data“.

That said, “value” can be a vague concept, with meanings and measurements that vary considerably among different organizations. Chief Technology Officer Brian E. Thomas (@DivergentCIO), asks, for example, “Is the data valuable because it needs to be secured (via regulations such as HIPAA and PCI), or is it the highly rich consumer data that companies are striving to make business shifts based on purchasing trends?”

“Before you can determine value,” he adds, “you need to have structured and mature data governance and data analytics programs. That way there is a collaborative process for classifying and using that data based on its criteria.”

#BigData #DivergentCIO #DataValue #Data #ConsumerData #CTO #CIO

 

CIO.com official logo from IDGBrian was recently featured in a crowd-sourced article on CIO.com about “AI’s Healthcare Promise Will Serve Patients – And More“.

“From early disease detection, improved patient safety, reduced or eliminated repeatable/mundane tasks and human errors, and more accurate medical billing, AI will play an expanding role in healthcare”, says Brian E. Thomas, Healthcare CIO. “Simply put, implementing a set of processes that combines both machines and humans will reap the most benefits.”

#ArtificialIntelligence #DivergentCIO #NLP #DeepLearning #Healthcare #CIO

 

 
 
 
 
 

Official BMC Helix logo as part of CIO.comBrian was recently featured in a crowd-sourced article on BMC Felix about “A Single Point of Control: How IT Leaders are Advocating for Automation Platforms“.

“Accelerated detection and remediation are the results of incorporating emerging technologies into the automated platform”, says Brian Thomas (@DivergentCIO), CTO of Coruzant Technologies.

“Cybersecurity products have been and are increasingly incorporating more AI technology into their platforms and appliances, due to the sheer number of daily attacks on company networks,” he says. “Utilizing AI technology, these tools not only can learn over time, but they have the ability to immediately detect, alert, and disable threats on the spot — even if it is something that it is not familiar with or has ever seen.”

#AI #Machines #DeepLearning #CyberSecurity #CTO

 

 
 
 

CIO.com official logo from IDGBrian was recently featured in a crowd-sourced article on CIO.com about “Navigating a Data-Driven Culture“.

“CIOs that have demonstrated strong leadership and who can draw from robust interpersonal skills to build and nurture relationships will be instrumental in influencing and orchestrating such cultural change”, says Brian E. Thomas (@DivergentCIO), CIO. “To drive the culture shift, CIOs need to play a significant role in bridging the gaps in technology fluency with business objectives.”

#Culture #Leadership #Data #DataDriven #CIO

 

 
 
 

Success doesn’t come about overnight or all at once. Like a home, it needs a foundation, brick by brick, to form a stable structure that can support the weight of a business over time. The first building block to success, then, is building the right team. To draw another analogy, just like in sports, recruiting the top people to join your team is of paramount importance. You need a wide range of talents to make up a well-rounded team. You may be looking for attributes like: plays well with others, shares ideas openly in group settings, values transparency and aligns around a shared vision, individuals who bring you opportunities for growth, and down to earth teammates who celebrate victories together in an atmosphere of positivity.

Taking a Look at Yourself

Looking for these qualities and more when considering building your dream team is priority #1. However, before you even think about the types of people you want to work for you, the first step should be to look inward and ask yourself “am I the type of boss people want to work for?”. Do you treat people fairly? Do you give your team the tools they need to be empowered and get the job done from within or do you control every aspect of the project? Are you transparent in your expectations? Do you foster a culture that is supportive and positive, or one of competition and rivalry? Do you have your team’s best interests at heart? What do you think people say about you when you’re not around?

The foundation of exceptional leadership lies in putting the needs of others first, says the Jack Welch Management Institute. You have to fight for the resources your team needs to do its job effectively and efficiently, lobbying for the raises and bonuses that your employees deserve. We’re not saying this has to be a culture of “everybody gets a trophy.” Rather, what we mean is, those who truly deliver on stellar performance will get rewarded for their efforts. Transparency in the workplace ensures that each teammate knows where he or she stands.

Upgrade Your Team

True leaders relentless upgrade their team, utilizing every encounter as a unique opportunity to coach, evaluate and build up self-confidence, according to Inc. Just like in sports, the team with the best players wins. Their leaders must put the time and energy into what famed business exec Jack Welch calls “people development” — something that should be honed daily and integrated into all aspects of your interactions. You as the leader have to recognize and acknowledge your team’s hard work if you want to encourage peak performance and instill confidence in the very core of your team.

Live and Breathe the Vision

As the owner or manager, you know what the vision of your company is. You invented it, you grew it, you live for it. That’s not enough. You also have to make sure the people who work for you not only know that vision as well but live and breathe it every day. Not everyone will buy into this. It takes a special breed of person to truly embrace the goals you’ve set for yourself and help you realize them. Effective leaders, then, will cast the vision of the future and fuel that passion in the people who work for them. You should constantly be talking about that vision, reinforcing it with rewards in order to light a fire that will help them accomplish even the most difficult of assignments.

Follow Your Gut — Even if People Hate You for It

People in a position of power — whether that be the president, a coach or a parent — can’t be friends with everyone all of the time. They are in a position of power to make the tough calls that aren’t always popular but that serve the greater good. Leaders will bring the courage to make gut calls, regardless of what team members think. Jack Welch goes on to say in his book Winning that “tough calls spawn complaints and resistance.” Your job as a leader is to listen and explain yourself clearly but then start moving forward rather than dwelling.

Clear, sharp, definitive decision making is what you will be judged on as a leader. Because the choices you make will determine the overall success of your organization, it’s you who will ultimately have to answer for the success or failure of your company. Transparency, trust and clear vision: if you employ these things, the right team will stand behind you every time.

Investing in Mentorship

Not everyone can — or should — jump into their career headlong without a plan of where they’re going. This is particularly true in today’s competitive workplace climate. Mentorships can bridge that gap between emerging into a new career and becoming a successful leader in that field. In fact, research shows that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects within personal, academic, and professional situations, ultimately connecting them to personal growth and development, as well as social and economic opportunities, according to the National Mentoring Partnership.

Investing in the next generation of leaders depends exponentially on the guidance of a mentor. All the book smarts straight out of college can’t prepare graduates with the nitty gritty, on-your-feet-all-day, in-the-trenches work that makes up a CIO’s day. As a critical thinking, people-centric, quick learning, impeccably organized and determined professional, you know yourself just how many years it took you to get where you are now. Couldn’t you have used a mentor yourself? Someone to guide you, cut through the clutter, and offer insight that no college lecture hall can really provide?

The workforce is expanding in droves. More than one in three American workers today are Millennials, recently surpassing Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, says the Pew Research Center. Many of them are getting jobs in leadership positions, or at least poised to inherit them in the near future, leaving a real need for practical experience that can only be gleaned by forming a bond with a seasoned professional.

Defining a Mentorship

In a nutshell, a mentor is a more experienced, usually older, professional in a given field who offers younger, less experienced employees career guidance, advice and assistance from a real world point of view. Taking part in a mentorship not only enhances your professional capabilities, you get access to a wealth of knowledge and experience, and — if you’re lucky — end up with a lifelong friend and potential future business partner, points out Forbes.

It doesn’t have to be the standard model either. A mentorship could involve a younger person guiding an older person who decided to make a career change late in life. Whatever the mentor-mentee relationship looks like, at its heart, it’s based on one person who’s “been there, done that” showing a fresh-faced up-and-comer what the real deal is.

As human beings, we’re constantly evolving and learning. Even the most experienced leader doesn’t know all there is to know about the business they’re in. A mentor can provide valuable insight to bring about perspective, positive change and awareness.

A Committed Partnership

Just remember: mentorship is nothing to take lightly. Don’t offer your services to someone who isn’t firmly committed, and don’t accept a mentorship from someone else if you’re not willing to put in the work. This is a true team effort requiring strong commitment from both parties, says Forbes. The lessons, connections, and opportunities that mentors provide offer exponential benefits — when both parties are receptive to the opportunity.

Taking this path to success involves the ability to recognize and embrace major accelerators in your career. The benefits to mentees are clear. But what about mentors? What’s in it for them? You can look at it from the perspective of leaving a legacy, passing down wisdom from one generation to the next. Mentors have the power to make a powerful impact not just within a company and the industry but for future leaders as well.