Search This Blog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

IT Leadership Conference At Interop NY 2011 - Part 1

My colleague, Kyle Knack, recently attended an IT Leadership track at Interop in NYC.
Interop is billed as the Leading Business Technology event dealing with subjects like Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Network Security, Mobility and Data Centers. 

Kyle is a network systems, storage and server expert who’s built an impressive team handling the design and deployment of our media and publishing infrastructure at National Geographic.   His thoughts from the IT Leadership conference are worth sharing.  

Professional development opportunities like this are not only educational and motivating, but they get us out of the day to day grind (albeit for a short period) and give us the ability to think about the big picture.  Below is Kyle’s summary:

Bottom of Form

 IT Leadership Conference At Interop NY 2011 - Part 1

      I had the opportunity to attend a two-day IT Leadership conference at
the Interop conference in NY early last week, hosted by a panel of
past and present Fortune 100 CIOs and IT executives.  During the
intensive workshop we were immersed in panel discussions, Q&A,
stories, trends and more.  Part 1 of my report will be a common
element of all of the speakers - value and innovation in IT.

      The seasoned vets all had one common message about what a world class
organization needs to do to be successful - bring value to the
business through IT products and IT innovation.  And more often than
not, the two go hand in hand.  So what does value in IT mean anyway ?
We defined value as the contribution IT makes to improving a companies
products and services, and thus the bottom line, above and beyond the
day to day operations.  Although that seems like a simple concept,
it's often overlooked in many organizations due to a disconnect
between the business owners (and ultimately the CEO/President/CFO) and the
IT management.  As an IT executive, just ask yourself this question - What have
you done in your tenure (besides adding servers, network, etc) to grow the
front-end business, suggest and bring new products to market, or
otherwise bring new value to the organization?

      So what does it take to produce business value in IT ?  Organization
and innovation.  Organization is an important factor, which we'll
cover in part 2.  So let's dive into innovation.  We all know today's
IT landscape - too much work, too little time, not enough resources,
not enough budget, the list is endless.  But let's pretend none of
those exist.  At that point, much like say Shell Oil or Boeing,
innovation becomes the key consumer of resources.  Now in reality, 95%
of IT organizations have to worry about those afore mentioned factors,
but without focusing some dedicated resources on innovation and
problem solving they will be forever treading water.  And innovation
is two-fold.  It helps the IT organization, by having a dedicated
staff to address key issues internally without interrupting day to day
operations.  But it also helps the business by having key staff
focused on new and up-and-coming technologies, giving the organization
a valuable advantage above its competitors.  And there's that magical
word - value.

      Now bear in mind, not all organizations are large enough to go off
and create a whole unit tasked with R&D.  But that doesn't mean there
isn't still opportunity to get into the mindset of growing the
business from the backend.  It could be as simple as bi-weekly tech
sessions, where IT staff meet with business owners to understand their
challenges and share their own ideas.  Or it could be a more elaborate
program where certain IT staff dedicate some of their time each
day/week/month to non-operational tasks.

      The takeaway here is we should start considering the value we receive
from our technology, where we can improve the business through technology,
and how IT in general can help drive the front end of the business to reach our
organizational goals.
Kyle Knack
Director, Infrastructure Systems
National Geographic Global Media

No comments:

Post a Comment