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Technical Impact: Making Your Information Technology Effective, And Keeping It That Way Paperback – August 6, 2011

64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Al Kuebler's book, 'Technical Impact' will help you keep your IT relevant and make your career count.” --CIO Magazine

“The first 5-6 chapters really hit home. I bought 3 more copies and sent them to my VP, CIO, and President. The great insight on pages 12 and 13 reinforce the great strategic solutions provided.” --Jerry Morin, Account Executive - More Direct Inc.

“I recently picked up your book, Technical Impact, from Amazon and I can't put it down. I especially enjoy your approach to improving the quality of IT Service Delivery. I refer to it often when I need understandable and practical IT management guidance that I can actually use.” --Patrick Cooper, Manager, IT Client Services - Cole Capital

"This book breathes life into the concept that IT is not about bits and bytes. It lays out an excellent roadmap to help any business transform IT from a cost center to a cost avoider and value adder. It also provides sage advice on a personal level for career development: including how to pick the right employer! It is a must read not only for IT professionals but for any business leader (or soon to be leader)." --Chrys Varnes, Principal - Xerox Global Services

“This tremendously useful guide shows us how to foster collaboration and empower IT professionals to actively contribute to business strategy and leadership.” --Abe Eshkenazi, CEO, APICS - The Association for Operations Management

“The reader gets a rare opportunity to understand IT's true role in the business world and how it breeds it own success by focusing on the success of the businesses it serves.”--Gary Langmeyer, Business Programs Manager - IBM Global Services

“Every chapter contains valuable insights into being a partner with the businesses that we in IT serve and how to initiate beneficial changes for their customers. Required knowledge for every IT Manager.”--Jim Bishopp, JB Consulting

“His is advice that transcends industry specialty or professional discipline. The knowledge in this book will make your cost for IT ever more productive.” --Preston Blevins, CFPIM, FBPICS, CIRM, CSCP - Author of "Food Safety Regulatory Compliance"

“This is a fun book, but its well-reasoned lessons range from the need for client focus to the perils of vendor management, from tactics for political gamesmanship to the dangers of arrogance. They address individual issues, such as career management, team issues like empowerment and organizational issues including best practices. It's a primer for IT managers and executives.” --William Richmond, Ph.D., Professor - Information Systems and Economics - Western Carolina University (WCU)

“Thank you for taking the time out to write this book. I'm an IT professional, and although you don't claim it to be, I feel this will be my blueprint for attaining my CIO goal. I've learned so much from your experiences. Again, Thank you!” --J.C. Brillant,

From the Author

As to what we see...

C-level executives increasingly believe that the IT function must take the initiative to introduce beneficial change into their business and actively help target it and lead it, especially due to its cross-functional view and its knowledge of emerging technologies.

And, at least from my experience, they aren't likely to think much of IT managers who don't believe that themselves.

So, to try and help accelerate IT's ever more strategic leadership role as an equal partner in the business (and some of what I've learned took me several tries), I've found practical and proven ways to:

  • Improve IT professionals' understanding of the vital role that IT plays in business success;
  • Communicate this understanding effectively to business professionals at all levels, in business terms;
  • Engage in an ongoing collaboration process with all aspects of the business through active interest, involvement and initiative;
  • Actively support the IT team so that it is comfortable enough to routinely lead the business to better ways; and,
  • Develop a "part of it, proud of it" attitude within a strategically integrated (not aligned) IT asset management function.More importantly, the book explains how IT professionals and general managers can use collaboration, communication and persuasion to do these things.
In summary, I would offer you this short assertion: Building and keeping linked-destiny business relationships is how an effective IT asset management program is best achieved.

The principles involved, unlike our changing world of technology, are constant.

--Al Kuebler
January, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 3rd Revised & Enlarged edition (August 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451536844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451536843
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Al was senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) for the McGraw-Hill Companies, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T Universal Card and Los Angeles County. He was also SVP distributed systems for ABN AMRO bank and director of process engineering for Citibank's global credit card business.
IT management objective: Improve the IT business value proposition to customers, employees and stockholders and make the IT management function:
* Target and lead beneficial business change;
* An equal partner in shaping enterprise strategy;
* A powerful and exciting resource that guides business units on how emerging technologies can be applied to gain competitive advantage and industry leadership.
While at AT&T Universal Card, Al was also part of the management team awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the Service category by the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the president of the United States.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug Olson on May 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was in the process of selecting books for a course on business intelligence for students in our master's degree program in Information Technology Management. The theme for the course was to examine the contribution that business intelligence can make towards the effective management of the information technology (IT) function. Having already found a text that provided reasonable coverage of using of business intelligence for performance management, I wanted to find a book that would help students fully appreciate the importance of connecting the performance of the IT function with the overall performance of the organization.

When I came across Al Kuebler's little gem, I had found what I was looking for, and more. This book is a compelling collection of IT management learning experiences. The knowledge Al accumulated working through these various challenges coalesced in an IT management philosophy emphasizing the importance of communicating honestly and effectively with stakeholders and always evaluating strategic IT options from the perspective of business value.

During the first session of my course, when I was making some introductory remarks regarding the books I had chosen, my students informed me that Al's book had also been recently used in a course on IT strategy. If I had needed validation for this book selection, the students had just served it up. While I was immediately struck by the improbability of another instructor selecting the same book for a related, but different subject, that common book selection was understandable since inherently, and by design, business intelligence is connected with strategy.

As valuable as the wisdom provided by this book is, these nuggets are not available in your typical academic text.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Pettersson on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
With Technical Impact (TI), Al Kuebler has written the IT equivalent of Jan Carlzon's book Moments of Truth. Moments of Truth, or "Let's Tear Down the Pyramids!" which would be the direct translation from Swedish, is a seminal work on modern leadership based on distributed responsibilities. Well, at least here in Sweden.

TI contains a long series of personal experiences on how to motivate employees and relate to your peers in order to get everyone to pull in the same direction. Just like Moments of Truth.

Both books have a way of making great feats seem quite simple and natural. Kuebler wants the database administrator to look forward to the company's financial report to see if his work has improved the revenues in any way. This sounds strange but after reading you'll find it perfectly believable.

TI is easy to read, easy to digest, updates your views and (unfortunately) ends too quickly. Kuebler makes me want to pursue a career as a CIO just as Carlzon makes me want to become a corporate leader.

TI is highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I approached this book with some trepidation! I've read many books by successful CIO's that somehow fall short of their promise. But this book did not disappoint at all!

First, Al is a great storyteller! He has a rich experience, going back to roles in IT operations, through programming, systems programming, IT management, CIO and management consulting. He's learned many powerful lessons in each of these roles, and is able to share these lessons through interesting and entertaining stories. Real life situations that anyone in IT can relate to make for great drama and a helpful backdrop against which to draw out challenges, tensions and leadership lessons.

The book is structured and organized to be approached in any sequence that makes sense to the reader. It contains a "Book Map" that outlines areas of interest, such as "Aligning Expectations", "Best Practices", "Careers", "Innovation", and so on. Under each area of interest are typical questions the reader might be looking to answer, with Chapter references. I appreciate how useful the Book Map concept could be to someone dealing with real fires they wanted to focus on at a point in time.

Al's advice is pragmatic and drills quickly to root causes. He brings a great balance of "quick fix" ideas that buy you time, with longer term approaches for continuous improvement. I very much appreciated the ways Al makes politics real and accessible--something that new IT leaders often struggle with.

I'm generally suspicious about advice that divides the world into `two kinds of people'--I find life far more complex and nuanced, so when I came to the chapter that distinguishes between what Al calls "performers" and "operators" I was skeptical.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe Topinka on May 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is book for any IT leader, experienced or just starting out. What I like about Al’s book is its pragmatic approach to the very real challenges facing IT leaders today. Al’s use of storytelling is effective and helps to make his points on a wide range of topic. So many stories resonated with me, I found myself nodding my head in agreement on every page.

I remember well when I first became a leader. The chapter on empowerment (chapter 15) serves as a reminder to let your staff be creative and give them the support they need to be successful. This can be a daunting task. Al points out that you have to make is safe for team members to be open and honest about the challenges in front of them and like any relationship, trust has to be earned.

Al’s book is a great reference book as well. Al’s teaches us the importance of understanding how business work and IT’s role in making that happen. He also teaches us the fundamentals of leadership and taking your career seriously. This is a superb book that should be read and on the self, at the ready, for all IT leaders.
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