Stories by John D. Halamka

  • The CIO vs. the sales end run

    In my 15 years as a CIO, I've experienced a gamut of questionable sales techniques. Some favorites, so to speak, include the "end-of-quarter deal never to be repeated," which is then repeated at the end of the next quarter; the promise that "we're your partner and you always get our best price," which you suspect is being made to all of the company's hundreds of other customers; and the selling of products that don't yet exist.

  • The New Metrics for CIO Success

    When I began my career as a CIO in 1997, success was defined by the basics: email delivery, network connectivity and application functionality. I personally wrote code, experimented with new operating systems and created novel analytics.

  • Good consultants, bad consultants

    In 1998 when I became CIO of CareGroup, there were numerous consultants serving in operational roles both there and at its Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. My first task was to build a strong internal management team, eliminate our dependency on consultants, and balance our use of built and bought applications. Twelve years later, I have gained significant perspective on consulting organizations -- large and small, strategic and tactical, mainstream and niche.

  • Opinion: My wired world

    I'm often asked how I maintain several jobs -- CIO at Harvard Medical School, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, CEO of MA-Share, emergency physician and father. The answer is simple: highly efficient use of technology. Here's a typical day:

  • Storage Is the Fifth Utility

    When we add employees at Harvard's hospitals, we provide them with services like heat, power, light and TCP/IP, always available and in generous supply. We monitor usage and expand the supply accordingly, as would a utility firm.