Utilizing Virtualization

Carol Copeland, Director IT, Robins & Morton
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Carol Copeland, Director IT, Robins & Morton

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs

• Mobile devices of all kinds are finding their way into our environment. Controlling these devices and the company information they contain will continue to be a challenge as consumerization invades the business world.
• “Big Data” - how to store it, how to manage it and how to back it up. The growth rate of data just keeps increasing and we find ourselves struggling to keep up. Many lack a long term plan for managing this monster.
Disaster recovery old topic, but I feel it is still very important to a lot of companies. It’s one of those things you should have in place, but many don’t.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist

• Providing technology that meets the business needs of the company while reducing cost. This also includes fully utilizing all current systems to maximize the ROI.
• Finding cost effective and efficient ways to meet the needs and expectations of end users while empowering them to be more self sufficient.
• I think security has to be on everyone’s mind at some level. It is a constant challenge to stay on top of all the threats out there.

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment

• The increase of BYOD and mobile devices will have a dual impact. While they are becoming essential to daily business, proper control and management continues to be difficult. In our case we have to address not only the company owned devices but personal devices as well. We plan to utilize strong company policies and good management software to ease some of that challenge.
• We will be utilizing virtualization, though not a new trend, as an integral part and the first steps to our disaster recovery plan. It will not only provide redundancy, but quick fail over in the event of a disaster while minimizing business disruption.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

My role has required me to become more of a strategic thinker and somewhat of a technology wrangler. I am no longer only responsible for creating IT strategy that aligns technology with company goals. With the increase of technology acquisitions within business groups, I find myself responsible for coordinating and tracking these acquisitions rather than making them. Technology savvy employees are no longer willing to be held hostage to long deployment schedules. It is critical to be involved in the process as early as possible by the business groups in order to insure proper fit and alignment with the overall company goals.

Lessons learned as a CIO

• Understanding the role of technology and how it can be used to sustain and/or grow the business is crucial.
• Stay current on emerging technologies.
• Create peer relationships. They can prove to be very valuable assets.
• Work to create and maintain a positive face for IT. It will help prevent you from becoming a constant target.
• Stay flexible and open minded.

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