President's Corner

I’m absolutely delighted with the line-up of keynote speakers for our Austin conference.  Each of them brings a message that is especially relevant to the ways in which we, as IT professionals, can deliver and demonstrate significant value to our organizations.

Miles O’Brien, chief technology and environment correspondent at CNN, will launch our week in the General Session with his insight on what occurs at the intersection of technology and the environment.  I had the pleasure of speaking with Miles before the holidays to give him some insight into our organization and to explore possible topics for his remarks.  We talked about both the impact that technology has on the environment and the role of technology in solving environmental issues.  Because Miles covers such a wide range of technology topics, I expect we’ll hear things that apply to our profession specifically, to the industries of which our organizations are a part, and to all our daily lives.

Our System z keynote will be presented by Karl Freund, IBM’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for System z.  I heard Karl speak at the z/OS opening session in San Jose and was impressed with how thoroughly he engaged the audience in his topic.  Karl is based in Austin, and has already expressed his enthusiasm for welcoming SHARE to his home city.  He has a new Trends and Directions presentation and he’s hinted that he thinks the audience will really like it.  That’s all I know at the moment, so we’ll get to hear him unveil it together.

Finally, our Service Orientation theme will be headlined by Paul Borrel, Senior Research Manager from IBM Research.  I first met Paul when he participated in the 2008 meeting of the SHARE Business Issues Council, the recommendations from which led to our selection of the 2009 Focus Themes.  Paul is planning to focus his remarks in the area of what you need to understand to successfully plan and implement a service oriented model  —  from identifying what services need to be delivered to what/who are the key players and things that need to be integrated to the skills issues to the regulatory requirements.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear all three of these thought leaders in one place.

Both the Theme Rooms and the entire conference agenda are available on the SHARE web site, giving you the opportunity to identify the content that is most relevant to your organization today.  In addition to our keynote speakers, we are pleased to have one IBM Fellow and more than a dozen IBM Distinguished Engineers on the program.

As you document for your management the value of your conference attendance, remember to highlight each of the following:

- Enterprise IT all under one roof — topics that would require attendance at numerous specialty conferences are all available in one place for a single expenditure

- Content that addresses top-of-mind CIO issues in today’s business conditions — optimizing use of existing resources, rapid response to changing business conditions, aligning IT with the needs of the business, and preparing for the eventual return to growth

- Avoiding costly mistakes in project and implementation choices — learn from those who have already been there what works, what doesn’t, and why

- Direct access to a range of technical and industry leaders in both formal and informal settings

The value is there.  Don’t let your organization miss it.

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