Looking Ahead to 2016, the Technology Areas We’re Considering

By:
12/03/2015
Executive Voices

Being the CIO for a company that writes about, researches, and connects the technology community has its challenges and its advantages. I have access to knowledgeable resources that would not normally be available to a CIO for a company our size, but I am also regularly challenged by colleagues as to why we aren’t using a specific technology or why we follow certain protocols that may seem outdated. In large part, this is due to our IT organizational structure, which is a federated model. Thirty-seven percent of organizations fall within this model meaning that some decisions and budgets are centralized, but other choices and assets are distributed to business units.* In IDG’s case, when our employees have a need for a technology (above and beyond the basics like email) to do their jobs, they sometimes contract directly for that technology. We don’t consider that to be shadow or rogue IT, it’s how we do business. The Corporate IT team that I manage will step in to help the business units vet a technology, negotiate a contract and make sure they have considered all of the implications of administration, integration and security. This opportunity for collaboration is a benefit for both groups.

Our team’s core functions include managing the back-office, infrastructure and base technologies for about half of the U.S. based employees and also to manage the financial systems for all U.S. employees. Like many other CIOs out there, there are a number of technologies that are always on my mind. These are the technology areas we are currently trying to figure out solutions around, and I have a feeling many of my executive IT colleagues might be looking at these as well.

  1. Backup. We have a large amount of data to backup, including video, databases and other large format files. Right now, our backup is on premise. We hope that we’ll find that cloud backup solution that doesn’t break the budget, and allows us to manage the backup and restore as we think about the business needs.
  2. File Storage. There are so many tools and so many services our employees are confused – what should they use? Which service is right for which use? It’s confusing to us also. We hope we’ll find that one solution that handles it all but are not holding our breath.
  3. Access Control. Security is always top of mind, and one area especially on my mind is access control. Given our approach to managing and purchasing technology, there are technologies in use that IT has nothing to do with. We manage financial and HR technologies that are used by employees that are native in a different domain, but need to be in our domain for access to those systems. Employees can be frustrated by the various technologies, access issues and passwords. We are on the lookout for a solution that would allow them to manage their passwords without a lot of administration by us (and fits in our budget). Maybe what we really need is a good password management application to give to all employees?

Many companies are still working to transform into digital versions of themselves, and with that comes technology challenges that need solutions. Does your organization operate within the areas mentioned above? Are you a CIO looking at these areas? I’d love to hear what your challenges are and what solutions you’ve found. Tweet at me and let me know your thoughts – @Newkirk_IDG.

Source: IDG Enterprise Role & influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Study, 2015

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