Stories by John D. Halamka

Crafting a social media policy

What do healthcare providers need to think about as they formulate social networking policies? (Insider; registration required)

The CIO vs. the sales end run

In my 15 years as a CIO, I've experienced a gamut of questionable sales techniques. Some favorites, so to speak, include the "end-of-quarter deal never to be repeated," which is then repeated at the end of the next quarter; the promise that "we're your partner and you always get our best price," which you suspect is being made to all of the company's hundreds of other customers; and the selling of products that don't yet exist.

The perfect storm for innovation

In my career, there have been a few perfect storms, defined as "a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude."

Work-induced attention deficit disorder

When you're in meetings or on phone calls, are you focused in the moment, or are you distracted by emails, text messages or social networking traffic?

The New Metrics for CIO Success

When I began my career as a CIO in 1997, success was defined by the basics: email delivery, network connectivity and application functionality. I personally wrote code, experimented with new operating systems and created novel analytics.

Good consultants, bad consultants

In 1998 when I became CIO of CareGroup, there were numerous consultants serving in operational roles both there and at its Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. My first task was to build a strong internal management team, eliminate our dependency on consultants, and balance our use of built and bought applications. Twelve years later, I have gained significant perspective on consulting organizations -- large and small, strategic and tactical, mainstream and niche.

The 10 Secrets of Bad CIOs

In my decade as a CIO, I've seen a lot of turnover in the IT industry. Each time I hear about a CIO being fired, I ask around to learn the root cause. Here's my list of the top 10 ways to be a bad CIO.

The Peter Principle for software

In the late 1960s, Laurence Peter created the "Peter Principle", postulating that managers are promoted to their level of incompetence, causing organizations to falter. As I reflect on the software tools I'm using in 2005, I've concluded that there is a software corollary to the Peter Principle -- software evolves to the point that it's unusable.

Opinion: My wired world

I'm often asked how I maintain several jobs -- CIO at Harvard Medical School, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, CEO of MA-Share, emergency physician and father. The answer is simple: highly efficient use of technology. Here's a typical day:

Storage Is the Fifth Utility

When we add employees at Harvard's hospitals, we provide them with services like heat, power, light and TCP/IP, always available and in generous supply. We monitor usage and expand the supply accordingly, as would a utility firm.

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