According to an analysis by the Corporate Executive Board, less than 25 percent of the current IT workforce is estimated to remain in standalone IT roles by the year 2015. Additionally, the skills of the average corporate IT professional are already becoming redundant or obsolete. Does this mean IT jobs will be going away? Far from it — “Businesses will need more highly skilled technical talent in the future than ever before, as corporate systems grow even more complex and critical.”
The author of this CIO Insight article predicts that, “We are about to see the IT organization morph into a business operations group dominated by intimate domain knowledge, internal customer management and business change. As a result, the internal IT organization of the future will forge relationships with a consortium of suppliers that have the talent and assets it no longer possesses in-house.”
The author sees this transformation as a welcome change. “IT can let go of the old way of doing business—being responsible for everything end-to-end—and embrace this new digital ecosystem of strategic partners, increased agility and lower costs. The business will dream up its vision, IT will offer technology options in support of that vision and a team of vendors will effectively deliver it. The relationship will evolve from partnership to co-creation to co-innovation.”
As an Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, EasyStreet is witness to this emerging trend. Our forward-thinking customers and prospects are discarding the idea of owning and managing the technology and instead focusing on the business value of the information it contains.
And so, the author concludes, “Businesses that are early adopters will reap the benefits. The others, which idly wait and see, will miss out on them.”
For other parts of a company, an aura of mystery often surrounds IT, which means it’s difficult for non-IT people to know if IT employees are using their time most efficiently. Meanwhile, every IT employee knows time is sometimes wasted, often on needless micromanagement.
“Work items and progress is managed down to the most microscopic level,” says John Wyss, director of product management at Intuit. “Cost estimates are compiled, prioritization and cuts are rendered, and workload is distributed carefully down to each productive resource.”
While this could be an example of a best practice, tracking the progress of a project right down to the last detail could be a problem. As Wyss goes on to say in a recent TechRepublic.com column: “If you are building a bridge, a skyscraper or an aircraft, this is essential, because predictable progress and proper sequencing is more important than maximizing results. If you are trying to build software against a strong set of constraints, it’s poison.”
SOURCE: TechTarget, “Enterprises consider working with MSPs, SaaS providers in 2013,” February 25, 2013
This year will see significant growth and increased confidence in the cloud, according to a major new survey. The positive outlook for the cloud comes from the 1,000-plus respondents of the TechTarget 2013 IT Priorities Survey.
Nearly half of IT leaders said they’re spending more dollars on cloud services this year, and 30 percent said cloud spending is now a proportionately larger part of their overall IT budgets.
Of the various types of cloud service providers, managed service providers (MSPs) – companies such as EasyStreet – are attracting the largest amount of business, with 55 percent of survey respondents say they intend to work with MSPs for their cloud needs. The next highest provider segment is specialty cloud providers (like SaaS) at 44 percent.
MSPs are attracting this cloud growth because of their emphasis on improved cloud services and good vendor relationships. Many MSPs also are adding managed security services to their cloud offerings to remain competitive.
Flywheel UPS manufacturer VYCON’s VDC-XE system has been awarded EC&M magazine’s product of the year in its power conditioning & backup power equipment category.
These entries were evaluated carefully by a panel of 12 judges, representing electrical professionals from the engineering, contracting, and the plant facilities and maintenance industries.
The category winners will go on to vie for the 2013 Product of the Year Platinum, Gold, and Silver awards, which will be determined through an online readers’ poll and announced in the July issue.
EasyStreet uses VYCON’s energy-saving flywheel-based UPS systems in our innovative Data Center 2 because of their environmentally friendly on-demand power.
Click here to read VYCON’s press release.
Blending IT and Marketing roles is continuing at companies large and small as digital technologies continue to gain traction in both sectors. But there’s still a lot of water-and-oil separation between the two, especially when it comes to budgets and project control.
Typical of the ongoing tensions at large companies was a discussion at the recent Adobe summit meeting in Salt Lake City. During the session, Adobe’s senior VP of digital marketing, Brad Rencher, observed, “Marketing people don’t want to be IT, and IT people don’t want to be marketing.” He emphasized, however, that IT people now need to understand brands and business metrics, which are becoming a much larger part of the IT mandate.
Sitting on the panel with Rencher, and next to Adobe’s chief marketing officer Ann Lewnes, the company’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen, was asked about who ultimately controls the technology strategy. “I’d say the CMO wins,” he told the audience.
Click here to read more.
Email is now regarded as an application well suited for the cloud, according to IT leaders surveyed in the 2013 TechTarget IT Priorities Survey. Of the 1,000-plus survey respondents, 51 percent said they expect their company email to be cloud-based by the end of this year.
Other applications the IT managers consider excellent for the cloud are file sharing/syncing and customer relationship management (CRM). Respondents said cloud-based applications will replace existing versions of these apps, while other respondents said cloud versions will supplement their legacy versions.
Cloud-readiness is a major factor in determining which apps will move to the cloud and when. Respondents noted that they are dependent on cloud providers to assess when apps can be considered cloud-ready — and indeed, EasyStreet can help businesses with this determination.
Jack Flug, EasyStreet Vice President Finance and Human Resources
EasyStreet is proud to announce our Vice President of Finance and HR, Jack Flug, was named the 2013 Small Private Company CFO of the Year by the Portland Business Journal. The awards ceremony was held on May 16 at the Governor Hotel.
In case you missed it in the print version, click here to read the Journal’s article about Jack and the substantial contributions he’s made to EasyStreet over the seven years he’s been with the company.
“He brings integrity,” said Rich Bader, president and CEO of EasyStreet. “You’ve got to be able to trust the guy who manages the money, and with Jack there’s just a lot of personal integrity. He’s also got a range of experiences that provide a broad perspective, and the right perspective, to what are often multi-dimensional challenges.”
This past Saturday, 11 EasyStreet employees, friends and family members participated in the 5K and 10K Lake Run in Lake Oswego. Following are a couple of pictures, including everyone showing off their new EasyStreet running shirts. We hope to participate in other outdoor activities together in the future.
At EasyStreet, we know how important trust is in the relationships we share with our customers — the more we trust each other, the better we can work together to optimize each customer’s solution to leverage the reduced risk, increased speed and lower cost benefits we deliver.
So it was interesting to find a CIO Insight article by Charles Araujo about how trust helps IT leaders deliver the most business value to their organizations.
Says Araujo, “Creating business value is not alchemy. It is about being close enough to your business partners that you can see how your team can contribute to the organization’s mission, vision and strategies in immediate and tangible ways. That takes trust.”
He continues, “To contribute to business value, IT leaders and managers have to understand the organization’s mission, vision and strategies. They must possess an intimate understanding of how IT can affect them and how they play into the bigger picture. And all of that starts with one thing: trust.”
It’s almost a cart-before-the horse kind of thing. How do you learn to trust someone if you don’t first give them the opportunity to show they can be trusted? As Araujo puts it, “Yet, how often, as IT leaders, do we fail to offer that same kind of trust, as a gift, to others? And then we are shocked that they failed to deliver, which ironically reinforces in our minds that we were correct to withhold that trust to begin with. But when we start by offering up trust as a gift, things change. People have this tendency to live up to the expectations that are set upon them. When you believe that they can do something, more often than not, they will do it.”
Click here for the entire article. Trust me — it’s worth a read.
SearchCIO posted this informative video and synopsis of an interview with Dave Castellani, CEO of New York Life Retirement Plan Services. Castellani provides advice for CIOs on how they can better align their IT strategy and technology with a company’s overall business goals.
In a nutshell, his three points are:
Optimize of your model. “You have such competition for capital internally, and there’s never enough; it’s a finite source. How do you maximize the use of that capital to the greatest effect for your business?”
Have a vision for the future. “Where is the business going to be three years from now or five years from now, knowing full well that the rate of change we are going through is tremendous?”
Have a plan for expanding your revenue base. “The vision of where you are going to compete next is important. Of course, technology plays a huge role there.”
Castellani’s comments fall in line with the session that EasyStreet’s CEO Rich Bader recently presented at the Oregon InnoTech Conference — “How to Communicate with your Pointy-Haired Boss.”
Says Castellani, “Sometimes, IT is caught up in jargon, or finds it desirable to be left in blissful isolation, when, really, you need to be embedded into the organization.” And, on the other side of the dialog, “I think most senior leaders will have to have a deeper understanding of technology today. It would be my wish that they’d have a very deep understanding of technology, because it touches everything we do.”