The Changing Role of IT: 5 Things Every CIO Must Know (and Respond To)

Changing Role of IT

In the world of IT, ten years feels like a few lifetimes.

Just think …

A decade ago, you needed a huge capital investment and a team of professionals to buy, install and manage software. Today, low-cost SaaS and high-bandwidth Internet allow you to receive most business technologies through the cloud.

Ten years ago, employees used corporate-issued devices for work. However, with consumer technology evolving faster than business technology, employees now want to use their favourite consumer devices at work. In fact, 50% of workers reported that their employer’s technology tools are critical in their decisions whether or not to work for a company.

Plus, remember all those kids who were entering high school or university ten years ago? They’re now becoming managers in Fortune 500 companies and will soon run the joints! And these millennials don’t remember what it was like before technology allowed them to access anything at any time from any device.

As these forces drive the IT revolution, here are five things you must do as a senior IT leader to stay relevant.

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Take The Guesswork Out of Your Mobile Network

Take the guesswork out of your mobile network

Depending on your organization, BYOD means a lot of different things. BYOD can be a welcome change (employee retention, talent acquisition, employee satisfaction, productivity enhancement, lower IT costs, and potentially customer satisfaction) or a challenge (security, access/restriction of data, lost devices, etc).

Regardless, the first step is knowing the who’s, what’s and where’s of your network. The Softchoice Mobility TechCheck gives you visibility into how many devices and what kind of devices are already on your network.

With this data, companies can start to develop a plan around BYOD, such as:

  • Should companies provide freedom of choice or restrict choice to specific devices/operating systems
  • Should companies provide a stipend for the device or service
  • What does an acceptable use document look like in a BYOD world
  • What data/applications should a company allow access to …where …when …to whom

I’m holding a special mobile security webinar in December to answer your questions – read on for full details on this and our assessment.

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The Winchester Mystery House – Don’t Let It Happen To You!

The Winchester Mystery House - Don't let it happen to you
Recently Stephen Speirs from Cisco wrote a blog post about The Winchester House, as an analogy to explain how IT often evolves in unplanned ways.

I’d like to extend Stephen’s analogy a little further by using the Winchester House as an example of what can happen when organizations over time continually enhance and upgrade their infrastructure without proper planning and foresight.

But first, what is the Winchester House? The Winchester Mystery House, located in San Jose, California, was the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun maker William Winchester. Sarah was obsessed with building out the house and so arranged for construction around the clock, from 1884 until her death in 1922.  Construction costs were estimated at about US $5.5 million in 1922; equivalent to over $75 million today.

The house’s real claim to fame however, isn’t the construction; it’s the complete lack of any master building plan. The house has 160 rooms, 24,000 square feet, 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 6 kitchens, 40 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and 47 fireplaces. Sixty-five of the house’s doors lead to blank walls, 13 staircases lead nowhere, 24 skylights are covered by floors.

So how does this relate to IT?

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Wakefield Canada Gets Ready For The Cloud

Wakefield Canada is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Castrol premium lubricants and Canada’s premier integrated manufacturer and distributor of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) under the brand name H2Blu. With a broad customer base across Canada, including retailers, warehouse distributors, quick lubes, fleet companies, new car dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers, Wakefield prides itself on delivering intuitive customer service.

Wakefield has been on Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies and Top 50 Best Employer lists for the past three years, and has received a Microsoft Pinnacle Award for its technology successes.

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City of Moncton Rocks Technology For Success

The City of Moncton is located in New Brunswick, in Canada’s beautiful Maritime Provinces. Formerly a transportation hub for the Canadian National Railroad, the city experienced an economic downturn in the 1980’s when the railroad closed its operations, resulting in unemployment and economic upheval.

The City quickly realized its new reality required a different approach to stimulate economic development and growth. Technology became a centerpin for many strategies to attract new business and recruit fresh talent from across the world into the city’s workforce.

The strategies were very successful through the 1990’s as the city became known as one of the largest call center locations in North America, with many major businesses relocating to take advantage of lower costs and a bilingual workforce.

With a history of encouraging technology and innovation, Moncton added another spur to growth in 2006 with the introduction of Canada’s first free outdoor wireless mesh network. Spanning the downtown core, the wireless mesh network enables businesses and residents to take advantage of internet access whenever and wherever they want it.

Building on the success of the wireless network, Moncton also incorporated WIFI into its bus transportation system, helping reduce traffic congestion as more people started to opt for the convenience of easy connectivity using transit.

Technology That Rocks

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Pure-Play vs.Platform MDM: Which Is The Best Fit For Your Company?

With the unabated growth of consumerization, Gartner Research recently stated that “mobile device management (MDM) is essential for IT success”. However, with so many options – which is best? There are several new companies in this space offering great solutions. Security vendors are expanding their offerings and you have major platform or systems management vendors adding ways to manage a variety of mobile devices.

Our own Director of Security Solutions Stephen Perciballi and Manager of Microsoft Solutions Architecture Tim McKellips recently sat down with the Softchoice Advisor to discuss the challenges and implications involved with managing this environment.

Softchoice Advisor: What is your overall opinion on pure-play versus platform mobile device management?

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