Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Too Many Priorities

Earth Day.

Promotional Products Work Week.

Technology Summit.

Decide between competing prioritiesSo many topics, which one should I blog about today?  The smart money is on Earth Day.  It’s the day this blog publishes and my “editor” at Promo Marketing reminded me 10 days ago that I would be published on Earth Day.  So there Kyle, I mentioned Earth Day. Happy now?  For the 2 of you who just might think about recycling your old electronics, head to http://greenergadgets.org/.

Then there is the promotional products work week from PPAI which started 4/21.  I support this effort and believe we all need to generate awareness of the value of our industry.  But hey, this blog publishes late on Tuesday, how many of you will really take action in the next 72 hours?  For the 2 of you who will, go towww.promotionalproductsworkweek.com and do something about it.

And in 4 weeks, the first PPAI Technology Summit will be held in Atlantic City May 20 & 21.  This event is for industry technology people (not you marketing people!) to get together to discuss and solve industry problems.  But so few of my readers are really technology people so why spend too much time on this.  But if you have a technology problem and a technology leader, send them to http://www.ppai.org/Education/Pages/ppai-technology-summit.aspx to sign up for what will be a valuable conference.  

So, instead of focusing on a single topic, I just spread the blog over 3 topics. Never really targeting the right person nor getting enough information to help people take much action.  And here lies the real story. 

You give your technology team the same “focus”.  If you treat everything as equal, very little is accomplished.  You have to set your priority and back your team when they focus on the priority to the point of excluding other topics. When a fire burns, they have to change focus, but just because you read the latest blog from an Industry IT genius (is there more than 1? J) that tells you to switch to the agile development methodology (which you should) doesn't mean they should stop what you had them start 3 months ago.

Priorities change constantly in business and in IT.  You have to adapt, but you need to keep the top priorities at the top and keep talking about the priorities every week.  Yes, this isn’t really a technology issue at all, it is a leadership issue.  And so much of good IT boils down to good leadership from the top IT person and the top executive.

If you remember nothing else about this blog and you’ve read this far, remember this:  Recycle, be energy conscious, support promotional products work week, attend the PPAI Technology Summit, adopt agile development, and focus on only a few priorities...

Dale Denham, MAS+, is considered the industry's top technologist and is the chief information officer at Geiger . Read Dale's thoughts on technology, business, and the promotional products world ever other Tuesday. Follow Dale on Twitter @GeigerCIO.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Go Mobile, Or Go Home

Some people talk mobile. I live it.
I am, without a doubt, the most mobile CIO in the USA.   Name one other CIO that is so committed to mobile that immerses themselves all the way to the point of staying in a mobile home.

That WIFI bridge to lets you share an internet connection from a primary connection up to a mile away. (Yes, these are the same jean shorts from Jean Shorts are Not OK)

I've got my Samsung S4 wherever I go and I love my bluetooth headset.  But nothing like rocking with my monster bluetooth speaker. It's like being back in the 80's when I carry this bad boy on my shoulder.  And I can still look cool rocking my bluetooth headphones for phone calls on the other ear!

I love my ipad air.

My chromecast so I can stream Nascar from my ipad or S4 to my TV.

My slingbox for watching TV from wherever I am. I love slinging the DirectTV Sunday ticket to my mobile device when I travel.

My go pro for catching all the action.  I can't seem to find the right attachment for my cap...

My Zagg charger for charging my mobile devices.

My mobile humidifier from Brookstone. If water is good for your skin, PBR will be even better.

And my Bowflex weights don't travel well but they sure work well for small spaces.

Someday, I'm going to upgrade to an RV which is a bit more mobile, but for now, I'm still more mobile than any other CIO.

Go mobile, or go home.

Personal note:
The point of this post got lost in the fun of the photo's.  The original intent was to stress how important mobile will be to your business in the coming years and the importance of immersing yourself in B2B mobile e-commerce. Once I saw the photo's, I realized there was no possible way to weave in a serious message.  So, I'll settle for making you laugh and if by chance you start thinking more serious about your mobile strategy it will all be worth it.  But if you want to read a small excerpt of my thoughts on mobile, read Is B2B Mobile Important?

Dale Denham, MAS+, is considered the industry's top technologist and is the chief information officer at Geiger . Read Dale's thoughts on technology, business, and the promotional products world ever other Tuesday. Follow Dale on Twitter @GeigerCIO.

Is B2B Mobile Important?

As a business, I need to ensure customers and people in the field have access to the information they need from their mobile devices.  But the primary use of mobile devices is still email and "social" type activities.  That is changing, but not as rapidly as the press would have you believe.

Yes, you need a mobile site and you should probably have one some time this year.  But at what cost?  There are so many factors that have to go into your mobile strategy, it's not simply "give me a mobile site".

What is the most important thing your customers really need? If 95% of your customers are using a desktop site and are not getting all the value they need, now may not be the time to invest heavily in mobile.

Of course, Google is said to be penalizing search rankings for lack of mobile responsiveness which if true, could be very critical to your business, if not your customers. Also, if you have a physical location where customers visit you, mobile is 100% necessary.  You must make it easy to get your phone number and address information (with a link to Google maps) via mobile.  

I had taken some pictures to help show the importance of mobile, but the photo shoot got a little out of hand. It became too silly to make serious but it might remind you that you should be immersing yourself in mobile. If you want to see the out of hand photo shoot - read Go Mobile Or Go Home.

And please, if mobile is more important than I am giving it credit for, share the reasoning.  For me it comes down to what does the user want/need which is why I penned "Don't Build that crAPP".

Dale Denham, MAS+, is considered the industry's top technologist and is the chief information officer at Geiger . Read Dale's thoughts on technology, business, and the promotional products world ever other Tuesday. Follow Dale on Twitter @GeigerCIO.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

6 Reasons I Give Blood

1.  Brooke Kelly Pasch.
My niece Brooke Kelly Pasch lived 19 years thanks to many blessings including blood donors.  She touched more lives in 19 years than most of us touch in a lifetime and that is not an exaggeration. Her optimistic attitude despite her medical conditions touches people to this day.

2.  Mary Janis Laycock
Mary was my assistant for years and gave blood and talked me into getting over my fear of giving blood.  If it weren't for her, I probably would still be sitting on the sidelines.

3.  Free apple juice and snacks
Well, it's something...

4.  Your special.
Once I gave blood I learned my blood type is universal (O-) and can help anyone who needs blood.  My mom always told me I was special.

5.  My health
You get a free "mini checkup" every time you give blood.  Plus, they say it is good for your iron levels.

6.  Giving to others and nearly no cost to me
It really does feel good to give blood knowing that I am contributing to someone's life.  I am not sure how to explain how good it feels especially when logically I realize there is nearly no cost to me to do this other than about an hour every few months.

If you are afraid of giving blood, do what I did. Try it once.  I did and it wasn't so bad.  I did faint after my 2nd time because I didn't eat enough but Mary did not let me stop and I've donated many times since then and never fainted again.  
Giving blood March 30, 2014 in honor of Brooke Kelly Pasch.

Every time I donate blood I do so in honor of Brooke Kelly Pasch.  But I also think about all the other people in my life who have needed or will need blood.

In case you don't know where to go, I give all my blood through the Red Cross and they have locations and drives all over the place.