Bart Louwagie

Modernize your Information Technology. Focus on what is important. Complexity made simple. Change technology into strategy. Deliver solutions.

Contact me if you have those needs.

Bart’s key achievements and value:

Innovate and deliver results.

Examples:

AdvanceCareAlliance: Creating, over the span of a few weeks, a complete IT infrastructure for a startup organisation that is growing from 10 employees to 900 employees at a 100+ locations in the course of a few months.  Using a pure cloud approach with Microsoft Azure, Azure Information Protection, Microsoft 365, Enterprize Mobility Suite and Akamai Enterprise Access. Providing a secure, HIPAA compliant solution to users on Windows PCs, Google Chromebooks and mobile devices.
Create and implement NIST 800-53 security controls and procedures.

The Arc: Created innovative collaboration between IT teams of several healthcare organizations to form one team, one infrastructure, one approach, increasing know-how and services such as internal social networking. Combined teams from three organizations to become one group, encouraging each other to grow and innovate. Created a shared private cloud and regularly demonstrated disaster readiness. Moved LAN, WAN, Internet, Business Intelligence, Information Rights Management, Electronic Health Records and email protection services to the cloud.
Selected innovative solutions such as Ejenta (Artificial Intelligence in healthcare trial), Soha (universal secure access), Zscaler (deep Internet security), Meraki (software defined WAN and LAN) and more.

Flanders Language Valley: In less than a year, created strategic partnerships with Cisco and Microsoft to build a state of the art IT infrastructure for 26 buildings including a Voice over IP showcase and an early iteration of a Microsoft private cloud. This provided fully supported application, storage, communication, network, backup and Internet services to 30 different companies in a fully meshed fault tolerant secure setup.  Got Cisco to invest technology and $3M.

European Space Agency (ESA): In one year, completely redesigned the LAN infrastructure for the ESA research campus and designed an improved protection of the ESA networks. Hired ethical hackers to find weaknesses and address them.

United Nations: Built all IT services, infrastructure and software solutions for a new department that was created to take care of the victims of the first Gulf war.

Sailing: Sailing has been a passion of mine since I was fourteen. It has taught me a lot about teamwork and about commitment to results. When we were hit by a major storm during a race (Transat de Alizés) in 1995 only two of of the six crew on our boat still dared to steer. I was one of them. That race ultimately cost the life of 10 persons and many boats were lost. Getting everyone on our boat safe, as a team was a life lesson.

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Actualize and collaborate

As CIO, CTO, IT departments and vendors our goal is to make it easier for the organization we work with to reach their mission and vision.

Technology and technology discussions are only a means to get to that goal, yet often we (IT) create endless discussion about technicalities at all levels. We pretend that that is after all what our customers depend on: That things don’t break. Things not breaking is not good enough, not anymore.

I was challenged by the need to share and explain this goal with IT team members, management, vendors and partners. Organisations need to work towards the goal and the board and management needs to sponsor the right initiatives, hire the right people and vendors so that IT can become a strategic partner, not an operational technical resource.

In the hierarchy of (human) needs, Maslow explains that humans can only get to self-actualization if the needs below it are met first. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs inspired me to create Bart’s hierarchy of IT needs.

The lower layers in the hierarchy of IT needs are needed to support the top of the triangle and we need to focus up. The more organizations simplify and standardize on the lower layers the more they can focus on what distinguishes them. This is no different that Mercedes and BMW using the same fuel pumps or tires whilst focusing on what sets them apart and fiercely competing in those areas. Small and big organizations alike will be more successful if they follow the same thinking.

Collaboration can take that a step further. In that case the organisations don’t just standardize internally but the also standardize by collaborating with others, even when they are competitors.

Companies A, B and C may strategically chose to share resources, approaches and solutions to enable more focus on the Mission, Vision. For many this is a difficult concept, but the successful path has been shown before, in healthcare for instance where more and more healthcare groups end up forming larger entities, allowing for more specialization in more fields.  This can take many forms and shapes.  The cloud providers (IAAS, PAAS, SAAS) meet of lot of those needs by providing the lower layers as a third party.

Some guiding principles:

  • Collaborate with other organisations that work in the same field and share solutions
  • Things that already work well on the lower layers do not get revisited unless there is a major reason to do so. Even when agreeing on the collaboration one does not need to force sharing till the specific situation/need demands it.
  • When looking for a solution there should be dramatic improvements over what one already has.
  • Simplicity is critically important in selecting a solution.
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Experience

now:

  • Senior Architect and Security consultant at Advance Care Alliance (Care Coordination Organization/Health Home)
  • CIO consultant for several NY organisations.
  • Co-founder of a startup.

2006 – 2018: CIO at The Arcs of Ulster-Greene, Dutchess and Putnam.
Healthcare services for persons with developmental disabilities.

2003 – 2005: CTO at Jabinc.
Small startup offering mainframe software solutions.

2001 – 2002: Senior Product Manager at Aspect Software.
Manufacturer of call center solutions.

2000 – 2001: CTO at an Intel joint venture with Lernout & Hauspie.
Developer of software products that use speech and language technologies.

1998 – 2000: Director of Technology at Flanders Language Valley
A campus for business that focus speech and language technologies.

1996 – 1998: Consultant: Network Design Team Lead at the European Space Agency (ESA).
Engineers and builds space technologies.

Raised on a farm where we were always constructing, improving and fixing. The first computer arrived when I was a teenager, long before anyone else had computers, with the challenge to optimize the milk production through optimizing the feeding of the cows.

For more details about my experience, see my LinkeIn profile.

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Multi-disciplinary

Roles
  • Chief Information Officer.
  • Chief Technology Officer.
  • Founder.
  • IT director.
  • Product manager.
  • Application developer.
  • Electronics engineer.
Technology disciplines
  • Security and disaster readiness.
  • Local and wide area networking .
  • Servers, storage, computing infrastructure.
  • Vertical applications (selection, deployment, operations) .
  • Product and Project management.
  • Data  and business intelligence.
  • Software development.
  • Electronics and chip design.
Industry disciplines
  • High-tech, healthcare, government and fin-tech.
  • Non-profit and commercial.
  • Startup and mid-size.
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