Exclusive Interview "Craig MacKinder"
Craig MacKinder is an IT executive, engineer, and author with experience spanning more than two decades. His IT leadership experience encompasses business administration, personnel management, and operations management as they relate to technology.
Could you tell us a bit about your new book and the inspiration behind it?
"SECURITY AND PRIVACY IN AN IT WORLD: Managing and Meeting Online Regulatory Compliance in the 21st Century" provides background and information for executives and managers about information technology legislation and regulations. I have a 25-year career in information technology. Regulatory compliance has become a big part of that career during the most recent 10 years.
As an author, what would you say were the three biggest struggles you faced while writing your book and how did you overcome them?
The regulatory landscape is changing all the time! During the draft phases of the book, President Trump was elected and entire chapters needed to be revised to stay current with the legislation changes made during his first few months in office.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself as a person while you were writing your book?
I was suprised to learn that I had a significant amount of business acumen in the area of regulatory compliance. In the IT world, we use standards, systems, and process every day. When you look at the origin of those processes, many have their beginnings in regulatory compliance.
Can you tell us about some of the responses you’ve gotten about your book from readers.
I have received some very kind emails from colleagues who appreciate the work that went into writing the book. Regulatory compliance has historically been a concern of only a company’s legal and finance departments. However, as e-commerce continues to dominate retail both in the United States and abroad, regulatory compliance is now a major area of concern for IT managers, everyone on executive teams, and entire boards of directors.
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I tend to write very early in the morning, or while traveling for business. When the entire household is asleep, or before work begins, I might spend a few hours from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. working on revisions.
Is there a message you want readers to take away from your book?
Internet freedom and legislation are working together everyday and this interaction goes mostly unnoticed in our daily lives. We hear about cybersecurity in the news, but rarely think about the marketplace, the laws, and the cost of doing business online. On top of these concerns, the U.S. government itself is in a rocky place with domestic politics threatening to stand in the way of business as usual for American companies. The nexus of “what can our networks do” versus “what are our networks allowed to do” is ever more complex. I hope executives and managers will take away a new appreciation of the capabilities of Big Data, Machine Learning, and the legislation that is struggling to define the guidelines for modern business.
On a more personal note: Tell us a little about your “real” (non-writing) life — family, job, hobbies.
I am the proud father of two wonderful children and the husband to a very supportive and loving wife for 16 years. We like to spend time on the Central Coast of California together, or around our hometown of San Diego. I share some hobbies with my kids : computers, music, movies. I love to spend time with my family and our two dogs when I am not working. Work requires some travel. so time spent at home is really cherished for me.
In the role of CIO or CTO or any executive management role really, I identify and execute a technology vision designed to enable the execution of objectives and strategies to achieve the organizational mission. The CIO devises and directs the technology strategy and ensures that all systems necessary to support its operations and objectives are in place. This type of IT executive selects and implements suitable technology to streamline all internal operations to help optimize their strategic benefits and improve customer experience. It is my hope that the CIO is a persuasive leader who inspires, motivates and guides others towards clear goals, continually leading by example and making technology an enabler for the customer. I have a track record of succesfully leading global operations of Information Technology organizations, including programming, operations, technical support.
Who is a creative person who has influenced you and your work.
Oh there are so many influences in each of our lives! And digital information has made it so much easier to have some casual contact with our influencers as an ongoing basis. I am definitely influenced by the writing of C.S. Lewis and the reseach and writings of Richard Feynman.
Do you have any advice for the yet-to-be-published writers reading this?
To the yet-to-be-published writers who are reading this, I would say...keep working at it and don't hesitate to revise an entire chapter again and again!
What's next for you? What are you working on now?
I continue to work on Internet engineering, IT compliance, and other information technology projects as a CTO, CIO, CEO, anything that is needed. My office is in San Diego and I travel to other locations to support the needs of the organizations.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, etc.) and link(s)?
Craig MacKinder in San Diego can be reached by visiting https://craigmackinder.com
Where can your book(s) be purchased?
"Security and Privacy in an IT World"
Regulatory compliance has historically been a concern of only a company’s legal and finance departments. However, as e-commerce continues to dominate retail both in the United States and abroad, regulatory compliance is now a major area of concern for IT managers, everyone on executive teams, and entire boards of directors.
Amid a recoiling global marketplace and bigger and more costly cyberattacks, the nexus of “what can our networks do” versus “what are our networks allowed to do” is ever more complex. New privacy regulations coming from some of the closest allies of the United States are increasing the need for all companies doing business online to understand and abide by regulations that are in constant flux.
On top of these concerns, the U.S. government itself is in a rocky place with domestic politics threatening to stand in the way of business as usual for American companies. How will CEOs navigate this minefield centered around Internet freedom? It will require boardrooms and network managers to focus in partnership on meeting new privacy mandates while also keeping networks safe from cyberattacks and data theft.