Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
• Ability To Communicate
More than ever IT has become a “Team Sport.” As IT Professionals we need to be able to contribute collaboratively in team environments with our peers. The industry today can require multiple skill sets to complete a project. The ability to communicate well with colleagues of different skill levels, background and experience is a must.
• Know Your Industry
IT is now a part of every major industry. Cultivation of core and foundational tech skills are important, and having focused skills in the industry you support is key. Whether understanding the customer focus and deliverables, or corporate operations, you should have experience and firsthand knowledge of your industry.
Today’s IT careers are more dynamic than ever. You need to be a “jack of all trades and master of some.”No matter your particular specialty, cultivating broader skills can make you a greater asset to any organization.
The Global CI CTO role, as defined, is just as the industry desires it to be – looking and working forward, and even ahead of the game, with you and our customers, breaking through with innovations and practical know-how supporting a federal environment and contractor workforce in transformation.
My 25+ years as a hands-on technologist and 15+ years as a federal industry CTO intercept you and me in this modern era of federal transformation. Technology continues to advance at escape speeds, relative budgets decline ahead of contract adjustment, and the competition to provide innovative services to citizens has never been fiercer.
• Digital Voice as a Service, or as an Infrastructure
• Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI)
• Cloud Computing and Brokerage
• Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
• Software as a Service (SaaS)
• Amazon Web Services (AWS)
• Outreach as a Service (OaaS)
So, let me please wrap this initial message:
• I look forward to collaborating with you in the challenges of this modern era.
• Global CI has made investments and added services to our portfolio to support a government in transformation.
• I’m here for you, so please feel free to call me 410.707.9564 or email me for any problem you or your customer might have.
In the federal arena agencies are working with tighter budgets and increased demand for better and more secure services. Federal agencies are very good at understanding and defining their mission. They excel at understanding the specific services they are to deliver. They have built systems and contracted with companies to build systems in the last 50+ years. The incremental upgrades that have been successfully implemented decade over decade have paid off in meeting the challenge. Of course there are exceptions but for the significant part they have done an incredible job. It does not have to be the job of the agencies to house computer systems, run call centers, support infrastructure, hire IT staff and even technical development. Part of their job is to make sure that those of us who provide these services comply with their mission and commitment to their customers, and this is an area of our expertise.
The old Grateful Dead song The Other One has a line in it that goes, “The bus came by and I got on, that’s when it all began.” Philosophically we need to get on the bus. The culture will change and we can intercept the technology trajectory.
The fear is not so much about complacency or change but it seems to be more about the unknown. It is a reasonable fear if you think about trying to gather the business functions by analyzing millions of lines of code. A government agency may have 40+ years of undocumented code and the institutional knowledge is no longer available. The question arises, “How can we document all of the functions of the code?” It is not about the code. It is about the business functions. If it was about the code then we would look at how to improve the code. That is not the task. The task is how the agency meets its mission more effectively and with a focus on cost reduction.
Most everyone (except those with a revenue stream to protect) agrees there are better infrastructure and systems development capabilities in 21st century technology than that of the last century. The agency has the answers and power to make the change within their grasp. As always, “it’s all about the data.” The data stored within the agency is the most powerful part of any agency, not only for delivering mission services but also to transform into a more highly productive and cost-effective entity.
The large complex systems of the 20th century performed amazing services and many still do. However, there are better and less expensive alternatives today. To alleviate the fear of converting legacy code, focus on the data not the code because the goal is to truly transform and throw that old code away.
Tips from Men’s Health® magazine (and these work for women, too!).
1. STOP DODGING THE DENTIST
Almost half of people go more than a year without getting their teeth cleaned, and adults are especially good at avoiding the dentist, says Men’s Health dentistry advisor Mark Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D. Why should you bother?
“If you wait too long, a small cavity will grow,” Dr. Wolff says. “Wait longer, and that tooth may become infected, causing swelling and terrible pain. In the end, you may need root canal, crowns, or the worst-case scenario: extraction.”
But all of that can be avoided if the decay is found early. You should typically see your dentist every 6 months, he says. Don’t have a dentist? Ask your local friends for theirs, Dr. Wolff suggests. Find out if the office is modern and clean and whether the dentist takes the time to talk about preventative care.
2. QUIZ YOUR PARENTS
Your mission for the next time you go home to see your folks: Get a detailed record of the health problems that seem to run in your family. “A family history provides valuable insight into your risk of disease and can be the foundation for advice about how to stay healthy,” says James O’Keefe, M.D., a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.
Then take the list to your next physical exam and walk through it with your doctor. It will inform how he cares for you: “If somebody’s father had colon cancer at a young age, we’d start screening earlier than usual, for example,” Dr. O’Keefe says.
3. ASSESS YOUR FITNESS LEVEL
In any journey, you need a starting point. The same goes for getting in shape, says Men’s Health training advisor Mike Boyle, A.T.C. Find your baseline with a body composition test and a functional movement screen (FMS), which identifies any limitations in how your body moves. Unless you fail the FMS miserably, you only need to do it once, Boyle says, but re-evaluate your body comp every month to measure your progress (or lack thereof). “Many people see exercise as an excuse to eat more,” Boyle says. Getting your body composition checked on a regular basis won’t let you get away with that. You can take both tests at most gyms. Call your local gym to see if it offers them.
The big thing is to keep (start) moving regularly. Everyone knows the benefits regular exercise provides to muscles, skeleton, lowering cholesterol, heart and brain. Remember it is also good for a general sense of well-being, mood, attitude, relationships, and stress reduction.
4. CONTACT AN OLD FRIEND
You probably have a close college friend who you’ve barely spoken to since graduation. Plan a guy’s trip if you can, or if you can’t, give him a call. Shooting the breeze with an old pal is always fun, but catching up can be a good way to take stock of your life, too, says Geoffrey Greif, Ph.D., author of Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships. “It forces you to bring your old friend up to date on what you’ve been doing with your life,” Greif says. Laying it all out in the open may even motivate you to change course, he says. Sure, it can be weird to talk to another dude about anything more than sports and jokes—so start with that, Greif says. Then ask what’s been going on since you last talked.
5. GET YOUR MOLES CHECKED
Your physician may give you a skin cancer exam at your next checkup—or s/he may not. “It’s up to any general doc,” Dr. O’Keefe says. So to be safe, get a dermatologist’s input, says Men’s Health dermatology advisor Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D. “Based on his evaluation, you can be told whether you need regular dermatology checkups or can see your primary care doctor for your skin care with a referral only as needed,” Dr. Nasir says.
Not convinced you need to squeeze a skin cancer exam into your busy schedule? Do it for your family. “I see many patients whose families rue the man in their lives for not getting a checkup early enough for it to be preventive,” says Dr. Nasir.
If you don’t already have a dermatologist, ask your primary care physician whom s/he recommends, Dr. Nasir says. You can also check the American Academy of Dermatology. Or follow this advice on How to See a Dermatologist Sooner.
6. SEE YOUR DOCTOR
If you’re a healthy person in your 30s, your doc may not need to see you every single year, says Dr. O’Keefe. But if you have no clue when you’re due for your next checkup, that’s the sure sign it’s time to give him a call, he says. And if you don’t have a primary care physician, get on that, stat. “Your doctor will be better able to treat you when you’re sick if he’s seen you when you’re well,” says Dr. O’Keefe. At your exam, he’ll screen you for the majors, including heart disease, prostate cancer, lung disease, and diabetes—all things that are best caught early. Find an available primary care physician easily by booking online through services like ZocDoc.
7. GET YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER
No one likes to think about death, especially not their own—and especially not before they’re well into their 70s. But if you don’t record your wishes, it can cause a lot of pain and confusion for your family if the worst happens. “By the time someone is in their 30s, they should have a will, medical directives, and power-of-attorney documents filled out,” says Ryan Law, Certified Financial Planner and Director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Missouri. “These are basic estate-planning documents that everyone needs, regardless of marital status or whether you have dependents.”
8. THANK YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER
It’s easy to get a little too comfortable in a long-term relationship. Show your partner you still notice all the little things s/he does for you, says Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D., a Manhattan-based marriage therapist. Sit down and write out the top five most-meaningful things s/he did for you in 2015, he says. You don’t have to be all deep and philosophical: Maybe s/he didn’t shame you when you lost $1,000 on a Super Bowl bet, or perhaps s/he’s awesome at something really intimate. Then give them the note to keep. Being grateful will not only make them feel warm and fuzzy, but it’ll make you happier, too, Hokemeyer says.
9. ANALYZE YOUR BUDGET
Spend a Saturday tidying up your finances, suggests Scott Kahan, a financial planner at Financial Asset Management Corp. in New York.
Look back over your last 12 months of spending and see where your money went so you can build a budget for 2016, Kahan says. An online program such as Mint or Yodlee will make tracking your expenses a cinch. Identify some ways you can cut back: If you see a lot of ATM withdrawals, stop hitting up the machine, he says. It’s often the biggest hole in a budget because it’s hard to track. Use your debit card instead so you can easily see where your money is spent.
Then write down your short- and long-term goals, Kahan suggests. For example, plan what vacation you want to take and how much it will cost. Build that amount into your budget and start saving for your trip. Review your budget every month to make sure you’re on track.
10. LEND A HAND
If you haven’t volunteered since you set out to pad your college résumé, consider getting back at it. Helping someone else is actually in your best interest: When you volunteer, your brain produces a surge of feel-good chemicals (serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine) that gives you the warm fuzzies and boosts immunity to stave off illness, research has found. Don’t know where to start? Organizations like New York Cares and the United Way list volunteering opportunities online.
Happy Holidays & Best Wishes for a Healthy, Productive New Year!
Additionally, I am committed to getting successful and important results through our work and actions every day because we truly make the world a better place for all of the individuals that we help. Our clients have missions that benefit millions of people each day. The impacts we make are nothing shy of lifesaving for many of them. In almost all cases these children, women and men will never know us nor will we know them. I am content to know that they live better because of our work.
There is an ancient Chinese curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times.” We certainly seem to be doing just that. This makes me all the more thankful that through it all you push on and do these amazing things. My respect for you is immense.
This short note is to wish you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and to say, “Thank You!”
It can be difficult and seemingly near impossible to protect ourselves when our private information is in the hands of another entity or multiple entities. However, we can actually do a great deal to make a difference.
• Backups: Save Your Data.
It is always a good idea to store copies of your files on an external hard drive. When done on a regular basis, you know there is a recent back up of your data just in case an attack should happen. And, remember to run occasional virus scans on your backup device, too.
Businesses often transform when influenced by external realities such as the economy, client practices, and labor market and internally with new ideas, strategies and the desire to influence our own future. Global CI is no exception. We have been successful for over 22 years because like the surfer keeping balance we adjust to the changing fluidity that surrounds us. To that end we are transforming into a HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone) company. The HUBZone certification is an SBA (Small Business Administration) designation.
We have moved our Fredericksburg, VA office a few miles into a Fredericksburg HUBZone designated area. We have hired many people who reside in a HUBZone. We have filed for the certification with the SBA and expect to receive our HUBZone certification by September. The Federal government has goals for each federal agency to reach for HUBZone certified companies. We are meeting with federal agencies now and helping them to understand how they can use certain government rules to access our subject matter expertise in Health IT, Business Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Organization Outreach and Human Capital Management.
Through March and into April we currently have a backlog of work that should see Global CI grow by 25% so far in 2015. This is due to the exceptional employees of Global CI. Due to our technical staff, account management, technical recruitment, HR and business management departments, Global CI enjoys a high value relationship with our customers. In a January 2015 third-party customer survey, Global CI scored a 94% favorable overall rating and even more exceptional scores in Reliability, Order Accuracy (meeting the goals of the work), Business Relations, and Customer Support. There is always room for improvement and we are focusing now on that. There is an old business adage I learned long ago – “You don’t have to be sick to get better.”
I would like for all of you to grow, bloom and enjoy life and continue to do so long after Spring has passed. You have all the time in the world; don’t waste a minute of it.