Keeping The Data and Assets Secure Is Challenging
Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations
Keeping the data and assets secure has already become very challenging, because of the influx of portable devices such as tablets and smartphones and the wide spread use of social networking sites. I believe this trendwill continue during 2013 and beyond. Though we are a mid-sized company, we started to pay special attention to security last year. We updated our security policies and procedures and created basic security training for all of our employees and independent contractors who work with us. I believe all companies, including the small ones should create concise and easily implementable security policies and procedures in order to protect their enterprise.
The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier
The main thing that keeps me awake at night is our ability to continue business in case of a disaster scenario. Though large enterprises may have a lot of funds and resources to maintain multiple data centers and redundant infrastructures, small to mid-size companies such as ours may not always have enough resources to be completely prepared for a disaster scenario.
One way to mitigate the risks may be what we are trying to do- moving some applications to the cloud. For example, we already moved to Microsoft Office 365 for Email and SharePoint.We are also trying to find a cost effective Disaster recovery solution based on a hybrid approach. In addition to our maintaining our data center, we are planning to find a cloud based secondary Disaster Recovery (DR) site that would allow us to continue our business even if a natural disaster like super storm Sandy makes our primary data center non functional.
Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
For the last few years, I have been following a few trends such as Software as Service on the Cloud, Enterprise Security, Agile Development, and Apps on smartphones or tablets. All of these trends except probably the Apps on smart devices are important for our organization.We are trying to move some services to the cloud and tightening security. We also adopted agile development practices in order to deliver products quickly and to control the cost and schedule.
My roles and responsibilities as CIO
I believe the prevailing market conditions brought the IT focusback to where it should be- building applications and system that will make the jobs of other departments little easier and make the business more efficient. Also, gone are the days when you could go back and ask for more money for a project. An old favorite, governance is also back. We spent a lot of time last year for improving our governance process, resulting in on schedule and under budget projects.
Lessons learned as a CIO
1. IT is NOT about technology, it’s about how technology can make the life of other employees better and make the business more efficient.
2. Talk to the CEO or CFO in their language, don’t assume they understand IT acronyms.
3. When you submit aproposal (such as the need for upgrading the infrastructure or updating a system) identify and express business benefits, instead of IT needs.
4. Build partnerships with other department heads by showing respect, by understanding their business and pain points, and by being honest.
5. Show confidence and don’t bother other department heads with every small IT issues. They just have to rely on IT and are not interested inevery little problem IT has.
6. And finally, have hope- no disaster scenario is permanent.
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