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June, 2012

Children As Truth and Inspiration
  • June 20, 2012

A number of family and friends know this story already. It’s time to write it down for posterity’s sake and because I hope Avery will read it one day.

As many people know and talked about in a previous post, I have lost a bit of weight the past 2 years (from 199 lb to 148-150 lb on a 5’9″ medium frame), started running (A LOT!), and maintained a healthy lifestyle, which does include partaking in craft beer. The story is how I got here, why I love children’s honesty truth and view of the world, and how my children inspire me almost every day.

Two years ago, Courtney shared a story with Avery about the days before Courtney and I took our nuptials. She probably even shared the chaos regarding transportation cancellations at the last minute and my flustered commander style in the church during rehearsal dinner. The part that stuck in Avery’s mind was about Courtney spending the night before our wedding back in her old bed in her parents’ house and how grandpa picked up donuts for breakfast with the entire family.

This story warmed Avery’s heart. She loved hearing about this bond between her mom and her grandpa. Even at a young age, she recognized this as special and could see herself in the future as (I have learned) girls imagine their weddings.

As I was tucking Avery into bed that night, she asked me a simple question. “Can I come home and stay with you like mommy did with papaw?” I smiled enthusiastically and replied, “Of course you can. You are always welcome to stay with us and to come home. We are your family and will always be here for you!” Avery then smiled in the way that little girls do that leave a father’s heart no choice but to melt.

Her next statement is where the practical, logical, and goal driven attributes of her shine.  She now had agreement on her future to realize her vision. She instantly saw a challenge to her plan – my health. Her next and final statement was “Are you sure you are going to make it? You have a lot of squishy.” as she poked my belly and smiled.

The next morning, I got up for my first run. I only made in a quarter mile. In my heart, I began a commitment to her and her brothers that I am still honoring.

The Cloud and the Balance Between CFO and CIO/CTO
  • June 19, 2012

One of the most interesting aspects of the rise of cloud the past few years is the balance between the CFO and CIO (or CTO). Over the past few decades, companies have seen the cost of IT grow. This has sometimes occurred out of control for some companies with ever demanding IT budgets and loosely defined returns. IT departments often request more resources to maintain what is often seen as the status quo or unknown risks. Depreciation charts for IT assets never seem to follow the norms. This makes budgeting, especially in small and mid-sized companies, difficult for the CFO/controller/finance department.

On the other side, the CIO and IT department receive the constant flow of user needs (technical and educational), hardware/software patches and updates, and the changing needs of the overall business. There are always changing variables of the IT department. For example, the iPhone has placed additional needs on corporate IT and came out of nowhere in the past 5 years. A survey in November 2011 showed that 45% of workers now used iPhones with Blackberry accounting for only 32.2%. This is a device that was unknown 6 years ago. Yet, IT departments have had to adapt from a security, support, and risk perspective – often without any formal corporate initiative or budget. This provides minimal time for the constructive innovation and makes deliverables difficult.

Cloud computing and the outsourcing of IT infrastructure have been catalysts in opening the discussion between CIO and CFO.  The open discussion between the CIO and CFO is needed and well past its time. CFO.com features three articles on the front page around the topic, all of which are part of their sub-topic on “The Cloud”. CFOs are being educated on the opportunities and risks associated with IT. CIOs are being provided options with controllable and scalable costs – from pay-per-hour to managed services to reduce risk and increase IT departments innovation.