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The Horizon CIO Network book club recommended reads

What the Horizon CIO Network has been reading and discovered from those tomes.

Side Hustle
By Chris Guillebeau,

When Richard Cross was CDO of engineering firm WS Atkins he informed me that as a business technology leader he’d become aware of, and was happy that members of his team had hobby careers, more often called side hustles.

Many people in organisations have a entrepreneurial streak, but need the reliability of a regular job. Author Chris Guillebeau says in his title the micro business conducted in the spare time of employees is a good compromise and should be accepted by the modern business leader. Some side hustles, as he calls the micro business and his book, fill a market niche that is as yet unexplored. In Side Hustle Guillebeau says it is vital that the role is treated as a business and as CIOs in the network have expressed, it can help team members become “commercially savvy, not just technology savvy”. Guillebeau adds that the side hustle must have a workflow and the same clarity of measurement as you receive in the modern enterprise.

Broad Band
By Claire L Evans,

Diversity has become a major issue for the CIO and CTO community as Claire Priestley discussed on the Horizon CIO Podcast . Important as a renewed focus on diversity is, women have played a key role in the development of technology in our society and organisations. Claire L Evans reveals the critical role women have played from the early days of working out complex mathematics, by hand in the US military, who were then followed by the women who wrote the first code for mainframes and early microprocessors. Evans’ book is littered with historical evidence and interviews. Evans completes her story with how social media has given female technologists more of a profile, but as recent scandals in the Valley have shown, there remains much to do.

Meltdown
By Chris Clearfield and Andras Tilcsik,

Does computer controlled mean safe? The duo of authors details a series of major outages where the protective measures failed and their title aims to show that we live in an age of the meltdown, hence the book’s title.

The move to AI and software defined infrastructure will increase the likelihood of meltdowns they argue. They argue that over specialisation will cause these problems, however many in the CIO community are moving away from specialised technology and adopting off the shelf technology to counter this very problem. On the positive side, the development of cross functional teams is seen as a positive move that will prevent meltdowns as a broader cohort of people in the organisation operate and understand technology, which they argue will prevent blind spots appearing.

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens,

CIO Editor Mark Chillingworth has a bit of a Charles Dickens obsession and Dickens’ story about the disruption caused to people, communities and the capitals of London and Paris in A Tale of Two Cities, is, to Chillingworth’s mind, a worthy read, though not Dickens’ best book. In a recent CIO Column for IDG Connect Chillingworth cites that Dickens’ novel details how businessman Mr Lorry fails to grasp the complexity of the disruption, calls for help and “guidance”. Fast forward to 2019 and business leaders in almost any vertical market are failing to grasp how their sector is being disrupted by the technology revolution that is in the hands of the consumer, whether that be B2C and B2B. Chillingworth says it is imperative that business leaders understand technology and that CIOs and CTOs help them understand the wave of revolution. Dickens is a master at the character story and is always well worth reading for those looking to increase their understanding of people.

Invisible Women
Caroline Criado Perez,

“Invisible Women takes on the neglected topic of what we don’t know – and why. The result is a powerful, important and eye-opening analysis of the gender politics of knowledge and ignorance. With examples from technology to natural disasters, this is an original and timely reminder of why we need women in the leadership of the institutions that shape every aspect of our lives.” Cordelia Fine

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About Mark Chillingworth 274 Articles
Mark Chillingworth has over 20 years of journalism and editing experience across all media platforms including online, live events, print magazines and television.

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