Being my own CIO

Besides working with different organizations, I am going to experiment with working with different technologies to do my work. Because I am essentially detached from a big enterprise for the time being, I am my own Chief Information Officer. It’s fun! This gives me lots of room to pick and choose what I want to use to run things. I will basically try anything (and in life, why not try anything) for organizing and communicating tools. The ground rules I have settled on:

  • Open source or public source (avoid proprietary standards)
  • Affordable
  • Web 2.0 friendly (maybe I’ll create Web 3.0) – incorporating social networking, tagging, interaction
  • Easy to maintain (and maybe to tinker with)
  • Compatible with Apple, Inc., produced products (which typically means open standards)

A short list of what this means in practical terms

  • Goodbye Outlook, goodbye Entourage, hello Apple Mail, iCal, Address Book
  • Goodbye Word, Excel, Powerpoint, hello Pages, Numbers, Keynote
  • Goodbye project management software, hello ActiveCollab, except they just raised their prices, so maybe dotProject now (things change quickly in this world!)
  • Goodbye firewalled opaque Intranet, hello transparent blog
  • Goodbye content management system (wait, there was no personal content management system in the enterprise), hello personal wiki, hello
  • Goodbye image management system (wait, there was no image management system in the enterprise), hello iPhoto
  • Goodbye weekly/monthly/yearly business memos, hello blog
  • Goodbye Blackberry, hello iPhone

So far so good. These technologies are lightweight and easy to work with, and for many of them, there are no parallels in enterprise IT, because it hasn’t caught up yet. There have been a few little hacks that I have had to do to make things work, but they are working. E-mail is the best example so far, switching from a proprietary protocol (MAPI, the Microsoft Protocol) to an open source one (IMAP), makes things work much more seamlessly across a computer, the Web, and a phone.

If there’s a Web 2 or other technology that I haven’t mentioned that I should try, or you want me to try because you haven’t been able to, let me know in the comments and I’ll give it a whirl. When I’m done, I should be able to assemble a nice toolkit for the modern Internet-enabled professional, and probably the consumer, too.


You might want to check out Wrike I've been using it for project management for almost 6 months now. It has a great feature set, but my favourite feature is that Wrike's integrated with email, so you can track you projects from you inbox.

Ted Eytan, MD