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"What are you going to not buy?" That's a question I'd like you to consider as you read on...


Here's a case study of a CIO who handled some pretty drastic cost cutting in a really sensible, healthy way:

Matt Frymire, CIO of Riverside County, California, developed a product/service catalog with costs, and submitted his budget in a new format -- the costs of what he planned to "sell" the business, not just what he planned to spend.


This allowed him to manage demand. When faced with a 30% budget cut, he asked his clients, "What do you want to not buy?"


Once the tough business decisions were made, Frymire extracted costs from his IT organization directly associated with those now-cancelled projects and services.


Is anybody else out there running IT as a business and forcing clients to decide what they will and won't buy?


The 2010 MITSloan CIO Symposium
The Innovation Showcase Finalists:

Highlighting Early-Stage Companies at the Forefront of Technology


We proudly announce the finalists for the inaugural MIT Sloan CIO Symposium Innovation Showcase.


The Innovation Showcase, sponsored by SunGard Availability and Intuit, highlights ten outstanding early-stage companies that provide cutting-edge technology and offer new levels of value and advancement to Enterprise IT. “MIT is all about innovation and leadership, and we developed the Innovation Showcase to highlight companies that embody these traits,” said David L. Verill, Executive Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and the Co-chair of the Innovation Showcase. “The Symposium provides these early-stage companies with a platform to demonstrate their new thinking and approaches to vital challenges facing CIOs in today’s changing economy.”


After several rounds of review, the Innovation Showcase Judges, consisting of MIT faculty, entrepreneurs, and early-stage investors, chose these ten companies because they:


  • Are currently selling enterprise IT solutions to CIOs today.

  • Have solutions that were deemed innovative and unique.

  • Offer products or services that clearly have potential to help CIOs

    drive top line growth and bottom line results, which is in line with the 2010 CIO Symposium’s theme.

  • Are start-ups with less than $10 million in 2009 revenues.


The 10 finalists are:

    • Abaca Technology Corporation from San Jose, CA
      Abaca, an innovator in email protection and messaging security, provides the world's most effective spam filter.
    • Buzzient from Cambridge, MA
      Buzzient makes social media actionable for global enterprises by providing a next-generation solution for analytics and integration of this valuable content with enterprise applications.
      • CloudShare from Menlo Park, CA and Tel Aviv
        CloudShare is a quick and easy way to share copies of complex IT environments, online, so users can collaborate with customers, partners, and colleagues – for demos, proofs-of-concept, training, or other enterprise applications.
      • CloudSwitch from Burlington, MA
        CloudSwitch helps users migrate existing enterprise applications to the cloud simply and securely, without re-architecting the application or changing your management tools.
                effiScience delivers breakthrough ROI by using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to optimize business performance and returns.
        • Okta from San Francisco, CA.
          Okta provides a Cloud platform for managing applications. Okta transforms siloed cloud applications into a secure and manageable Cloud Area Network.
        • OpenSpan from Alpharetta, GA.
          OpenSpan’s products enhance personal workflow management and the end user experience by enabling all the applications required for daily tasks to work together seamlessly.
        • Yammer from San Francisco, CA.
                Yammer is a suite of applications for Enterprise Micro-blogging, Collaboration, and Real-time Communications.

        The Innovation Showcase will take place between 6:15pm to 7:30pm during the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at MIT Kresge Auditorium , in Cambridge, MA. The full agenda is available

        Join your peers in shaping the future. Be a part of the MITSloan CIO Symposium, May 19, 2010. Register now at

        Early Bird Special - Register Before May 1, 2010


        We know that technologies that began with home consumers—think Smart phones and social media—today are seeping into business environments worldwide. Now, two leading CIOs predict that public, or open cloud computing services, will find their greatest use by home consumers.


        During our recent podcast about Alternate IT Delivery Models, United Stationers CIO, Dave Bent, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center CIO, Dan Drawbaugh, agreed that consumers, who are less concerned about security and more drawn to ease of use, will drive adoption of  public cloud services.

        “I perceive true open cloud services ultimately won’t be driven by big industries, but by consumers,” Bent said. That will be the “pull at the open-cloud level.”

        Drawbaugh agrees that security and privacy concerns in industries such as his will keep private clouds at the forefront for the next several years. But as technologies mature, efficiencies are realized, and consumer applications grow, public clouds will gain favor with CIOs.


        When will you adopt public-cloud applications?


        If you don’t think there is disruptive business transformation taking place in this economy, think again. Two U.S. businesses in two completely different industries share one big similarity: the adoption of new IT service models which is causing dramatic transformation of their basic business models.


        I was surprised as I listened to United Stationers CIO, Dave Bent, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center CIO, Dan Drawbaugh, discuss the results of their ambitious new IT service strategies during our recent podcast recording. To give you a sneak peek at the full audio report [“Alternate IT Delivery Models: How SaaS, Cloud, and Virtualization Can Work for You” ], here are some highlights:


        United Stationers -- which has spent nearly a century distributing business products that it has marketed via paper catalogues, and more recently online-- is becoming a service provider for its dealers and resellers, Bent said. Key to the shift is a private cloud service that will move the $4.7 billion business deeper into e-delivery models. Bent said that the March acquisition of software and services provider, MBS Dev, is part of a larger strategy to offer business services to its network of  25,000 resellers and dealers.

        Meanwhile, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Drawbaugh is well into a major virtualization initiative it began four years ago. It’s a $400 million commitment that’s leading to a transformation of the $8 billion company, he says. Virtualization “is just the foundation for cloud computing and SaaS initiatives.” Currently, the Medical Center is hosting enterprise apps on a private cloud—a path it will probably follow for several years given the privacy concerns and regulations governing healthcare providers.


        At the same time, UPMC has formed a strategic partnership with IBM, GE and Alcatel/Lucent to develop new IT offerings in the healthcare industry. Clearly, he says, virtualization has freed up IT resources to expand into some of these new research and development areas.


        What’s your business-transformation strategy? Leave a comment and let us know or contact Dave Bent on the Exchange...



        (Also see a related post about how consumers might use cloud offerings here.)

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