- 2002 -
I, Lee Kipouros, have a lot of experience in the IT field having managed large shops and large projects for over twenty years. I have written software, designed and implemented networks, installed hardware and operated data centers. I am very technical and enjoy the bits and bytes of designing a brand new network or developing a new software application from scratch. However, I view technology in terms of business needs. One of my favorite sayings is that technology for its own sake is tantamount to foolishness. Because of this belief I want to help guide the younger folks, the new information technology professionals, the members of the Association, towards applying the right technology for the job at hand. To do that, we need to define a set of rules that a technologist needs to have in mind when asked to perform a task. I want to help define this “code of the profession”, this set of rules, processes and procedures that will be what differentiates us, what makes our members successful and finally what makes us successful in the end.
I would like the Association to develop a “code of the profession” a set of rules and guidelines that help the new technology maven to understand where they fit in the wild world of business. They need to know that the “best technology” does not always win out in the end. What happened to Betamax? Instead VHS won out not because of better marketing but rather on the strength of no branding exclusivity provisions and lower price. What then makes a successful professional? Is it their technical ability and expertise? Or is it their ability to participate in a team? How about the knack of quickly grasping nefarious concepts to aptly produce the right solution set? How about their ability to market themselves? I believe we need to develop concepts, publish them and make our mark.
We should help produce a set of business survival “how-to” tools to help our members become successful. Things like: What is expected of the new operations manager? Is writing the Disaster Recovery Manual more or less important than writing up a proposal with a decent ROI for getting a new server to replace the development box? What is a Capital Expenditures budget and what does Depreciation mean?
Before we are able to work on this set of objectives, I believe we need to take a good look at what the Association has to offer currently, take stock of our current “product”, define it and make sure we can explain to our membership what we are doing and what we are selling them to earn their fees. As I mentioned on the conference call the other day, we need to start with our vision statement and look at how it has been translated to our strategic objectives. If we believe that these objectives are well defined and in line with our mission, we need to take the strategy to the tactical level, define tangible projects, identify the feasible ones, choose the most profitable in terms of member satisfaction and income and finally work on delivering them, utilizing strict project, cost and success control.
So, is our market the network professional, the information technology manager, the systems administrator or the support engineer? Why have they joined? How can we get their friends and coworkers to join as well? Why have they renewed? Why did they drop out? How do we stop them from dropping out in the future?
Are we targeting vendors for collaboration, co-marketing, for technology transfer, for funding or for name recognition? Have we taken advantage of our unique, objective and non-vendor specific setting to let vendors tell us why they’re better than their competitor while their competitor smiles waiting their turn?
We need to.