Interview With Ray Norris Of ItsOKC

by Jenny on March 5, 2010

ItsokcOn March 3rd, we interviewed Ray Norris of ITOSkc.  ITOSkc is an awesome non-profit organization that helps small business entrepreneurs with their information technology needs.  It was started in January 2010.

1. What is itsokc? How did you come up with the name?

ITOSkc is a Kansas City based, non-profit organization of Information Technology Professionals dedicated to helping Small Business Owners with their IT needs. ITOSkc is the acronym for “Information Technology Organization of Kansas City”… I came up with it by wanting the title to represent who we are … Also, the ‘ITSO’ portion flows well and will be branded and replicated country wide.

2. How did you get the idea for itsokc?

I wanted to give service (as I have done in other areas ‘Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, etc.), but wanted to do something I feel more skilled at.

3. Has it been a rewarding experience?

Super – it is still maturing but as it reveals itself (thru the maturing cycle), I become more excited and pleased.

4. What did you do before ITOSkc?

I was the CIO of major corporations, like, Novastar Financial, Saxon Mortgage and was a freelance consultant for large corporations, leading IT Organizations.

5. What do you see as the most common problem in established websites?

Websites that are already established are stagnant, not alive and servicing their audience well. Most were ill conceived.

6. What do you think is the most important thing for website to have?

Value – the website must continue and extend the value stream of the business. The website user (usually someone collecting information on way to making a decision) must realize the value. Most websites do not create this ‘value connection’ and therefore lose the ‘observer’ quickly; hence high abandonment.

7. How many pages should a website have?

Love that question. 10

8. Any suggestions on how a website should be organized?

Yes – they should be 3 layers deep, there ought to be 3 points per page that lead to the sub pages…. The home page focuses on 3 value connections, each leads to a sub-page which itself focuses on 3 value points, etc….

9. How is a website successful? Is it what the website contains? What the company sells? How they sell it?

Great question! It is one of the channels of extending value to the user/prospect/observer. If the website causes value to be received, it is successful (notice I did not state that it should bring in business… wanna be careful about that).

10. Do you think a business website should have a blog? Why or why not?

Yes – and a blog should be alive and two-way communication between the business and its customers or potential clients… it must create value, cause reflection, and invite participation…

Bio for Ray J. Norris Ray is a freelance Information Technology Consultant with over 25 years of leading large IT organizations. Since 2004, he has been working exclusively as a freelance IT consultant working with companies large and small.  He enjoys working with start-ups and helping them grow.  He loves creating and is happy as an ex-CIO.Ray is the father of one outstanding son, and he also loves to fish, play guitar, read his Kindle, travel, and create.  Learning seems to be his favorite past-time.He was born in North Tonawanda, New York and is one of six siblings. His degree is in Business Information Systems, however, his thesis was on the ‘New Computing Engine – Personal Computers’ (1985).  Ray has been a ‘ground-breaker’ all of his professional career.Ray is passionate about itsokc. The concept of serving the Small Business Community with Professional IT resources is very appealing to him. It just feels right …

Recent Books Ray Has Read: Last Night in Twisted River, Tortilla Flat, Don’t Make Me Think, I Know This Much Is True, Same Kind of Different As Me, Duct Tape Marketing, Inbound Marketing

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