The One Thing Every Tech-Savvy CFO Does

There are CFOs who are comfortable with their involvement in the company’s IT and there are CFOs who continually struggle with their technical responsibilities. There are various reasons for the difference and those generally include their level of technical knowledge, their experience level managing IT, and the capabilities of their IT staff. Yet, there is one thing that almost always predicts which group the CFO falls into: successful CFOs structure their IT involvement.

This is particularly interesting given almost every good CFO has a sound structure set up for their financial responsibilities. So it should be no surprise that CFOs who effectively manage their IT responsibilities well do the same. From a practical standpoint, this means they create systems and processes to:

1.      Ensure their work is performed well
2.      Ensure their work product is in line with company expectations
3.      Create a repeatable process to attain a desired level of consistency.

When put this way, it seems obvious. Yet, what happens in most cases is CFOs find themselves out of their comfort zone and they rely on their technical team to provide them with a structure. This is a mistake. Here’s why:

IT people are some of the sharpest, most creative, and dedicated people you’ll find in the workplace. However, unless there’s a CIO on your technical team, developing a business structure for the company’s technology is unlikely to be the IT-team’s forte. Even more, most IT professionals don’t really want that job. Hence, when CFO’s allow the IT team to create the structure – whether it’s by design or the lack thereof – they’re delegating work they’re almost certainly better at. Additionally, the structure put in place by the IT team will generally be technically-driven instead of business-driven and although the technical components are critical, they won’t lead to good IT for the company all by themselves.

At a basic level, the structure a CFO needs will address:

·  Who’s responsible for what?
·  Who does what and when?
·  How does it all work in practice?

The bottom line is that both a technical and business skill set are required to create a good IT structure for any company. The challenge, of course, is how to blend them (business and technical) in a way that works for everyone.

This blog originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse, authored by Joe Ulm, a Senior Technology Consultant.
You can access this article ‘The One Thing Every Tech-Savvy CFO Does’.  

All About Azure – Top Features

Here’s what we love most about Azure.

Imagine getting unlimited, on-demand compute, storage, networking and software as a service… from anywhere in the world. Welcome to the cloud. Cloud computing is changing the way networks are utilized, managed and secured. Network traffic is now shifting from on-premise, private and closed networks to the public cloud. Whether you are a one-person shop or a global enterprise, Microsoft’s cloud computing makes it easier to do business with customers and partners around the world.

  • Security
    Your data and communications have to be safe. Microsoft has made significant investments in security, compliance, and privacy. With features like Multi-Factor Authentication and Azure ExpressRoute, Azure provides the most secure sign-on experience and network security. Read more about the robust security features of Azure in ‘Safeguarding your cloud resources with Azure security services’.
  • Connectivity
    Reach people all over the world. Connect from anywhere, to anywhere from any device. Plus Microsoft has just added strategically located network edge sites. They now have over 130 edge nodes around the world and more than 4,500 connections globally. Which means….less latency for you.
  • Performance
    Your business demands it. Microsoft has created a scalable data center network fabric. Each virtual machine is provided with up to 25 Gbps bandwidth, with optimized end-to-end performance. These network optimizations free up your CPU to handle application workloads, which means a great networking experience for you and your customers.
  • Scale
    …Because you want to be able to access anything you want, wherever you are, and whenever you need it. Scalability means flexibility. Have a seasonal business? Perhaps you are an online retailer and gearing up for the holidays. You know that 80% of your sales happen during October and November. Turn up your network for smoother online transactions during high volume times, and pay only for what you actually use.

Microsoft has been a pioneer in cloud networking. Azure is their flagship public cloud. Learn about all unique features their cloud offers for end users, your business, your customers and your services. Join ITP for an Azure Workshop, a half-day session dedicated to understanding the impact Azure could have for your business. You’ll leave with a proof of concept that is custom to your environment and business needs.

Get a workshop >>>

Mobile Device Threats: Protecting Your Data

The numbers behind the threats that exist today to mobile devices are staggering (and growing). Fake apps and games plague Google Play Store and Apple App Store. In 2016 alone, there was an estimated 65 million mobile threats that were blocked. Of those blocked threats, 19.2 million of these threats were unique and malicious Android Apps.*

It’s no surprise that IT Security professionals are increasingly concerned about the security of mobile devices. In one study, the Ponemon Institute found that 84 percent of IT security practitioners are very concerned about mobile malware.* These security-focused professionals realize that application malware is a big concern, and that it’s important to be proactive in protecting the devices and individuals with devices in their environment.

The scary part? Experts are estimating that the attacks on mobile devices have just begun. Security trends for 2017 put mobile devices in the cross hairs of hackers and cybercriminals. From unsecured websites to Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile devices are an easy entry point into an organization’s worst security nightmare.

Take a proactive security stance for mobile devices with Trend Micro’s Worry-Free Services. This cloud-based product is a industry-leading endpoint security solution that protects iOS and Android devices from a single web management console. 

Other threats covered by Trend Micro Worry-Free Services:

  • Ransomware
  • Viruses
  • Hackers
  • Spyware
  • Dangerous Websites
  • Phishing
  • Data Threats

Already have anti-virus or Continuum? Consider Trend Micro’s Worry-Free Services as an additional layer of security to your environment and specific to mobile devices. That extra insurance that the devices coming in and out of your organization are safe, secure and being actively monitored. Get the peace of mind that your data is locked down with Trend Micro’s Worry-Free Services.

*Fake Apps, Fake Games: An update on Gaming Malware – Trend Micro

March Webinar – Office 365 for Healthcare

Announcing our March webinar training session!

Join ITP and Microsoft as we dive deep into the modern healthcare organization in our webinar ‘The Healing Power of Tech‘. We’ll be sharing why medium and large healthcare organizations choose Office 365 and cloud technology to power hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers securely, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll be hosting a 90-minute session on Wednesday, March 29th at 1PM CT.

During this session we’ll hear from Microsoft Director of Industry Engagement, Shawn Remacle. He’ll be sharing his insight as a healthcare CIO, and discuss common issues healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes face when it comes to technology. Shawn has been leading conversations for Microsoft in healthcare systems for over 10 years. Information Technology Professionals CEO, Paul Hager will contribute best practices and case studies during the session.

This session will outline Microsoft’s capabilities of providing better productivity while conforming to HIPAA / HITRUST regulations. Shawn will outline how Office 365 is enabling better patient care, better disaster recovery planning, proactive budgeting, and more much.

Participants will leave this session with:

  • A better understanding of Microsoft Office 365 and cloud technology
  • Best practices for planning and budgeting for technology upgrades
  • Tips for remaining compliance and better protecting patient data

Register today! This session is free to attend and is now open for reservations. Join our webinar to stay up-to-date on emerging technology trends and applications specific to healthcare organizations.

Register for this session >>>

News from ITP: March Edition

 


Meet Nutanix

We’ve added a new partner to our line card. Meet Nutanix, our newest big data partner. Their hyperconverged solution simplifies the datacenter by pairing server + storage resources on an easy-to-use web platform. It’s the perfect mix of public and private cloud. Get the security and control of on-premise infrastructure with the flexibility and affordability of a cloud platform.

Help us welcome Nutanix at our “Basketball, Beer & Big Data” event. >>>

Upcoming ITP Events

Each month we curate the emerging tech news and trends that you need to know. Join us for some fun, networking, and knowledge. Check out two of our upcoming events:

Basketball, Beer & Big Data – March 16, Madison
Meet the Nutanix dream team. Join us for lunch on the first day of the NCAA tournament. Hear the Nutanix story while enjoying basketball and beverages with our team.

Webinar: Microsoft Office in Healthcare – March 29, Virtual Event
Hear from CIOs in large healthcare systems. We’ll be sharing their best practices and lessons learned. Our Microsoft host will discuss why CIOs in healthcare choose O365 for productivity and compliance.

ITP is Growing!

It doesn’t look like much yet, but our Madison office space is expanding! Our team has been through a major growth spurt this winter and we need more space. Check out our 360 Tour of the Madison space on our Facebook Page.

And we’re seeking a few new faces to join us this Spring. We are currently seeking a Service Desk Engineer full-time in our Madison office. Read the position description and share with your network!

ITP Earns Microsoft Gold Partner Status

Today, Information Technology Professionals (ITP) announced that they have achieved Gold Partner Status in the Microsoft Partner Program. As a Gold Certified Partner, ITP has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and a proven ability to meet their customers’ needs. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners receive an expanded set of benefits that include increased program access, training and support, giving their customers a unique competitive advantage.

“I am so proud of this achievement,” said Paul Hager, ITP President and CEO.  “Earning the Gold Partner Status elevates ITP as a premier Microsoft resource in Wisconsin, and enables us to offer even better technology services to our clients. With access to Microsoft resources that are exclusive to Gold Partners, our team will be able to refine their skills further and create even more innovative solutions.”

Achieving Gold Partner Status is no easy feat; organizations must pass difficult certification tests, meet all expertise requirements and declare a Microsoft competency. Competencies are designed to differentiate an organization’s abilities within a specific product group or service, and are specialized to meet a specific industry need. In addition to their already existing competencies, ITP has achieved the Silver and Gold Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions and Silver Cloud Productivity competencies. This enables ITP to add more value to their customers, and expand their offerings even further.

In 2016 ITP was also recognized as a ‘Microsoft 2016 US SMB Champions Club Central Rising Star’. Awarded annually at Microsoft’s World Partner Conference, the ‘Rising Star’ award recognizes the top new SMB partner in their individual regions based on revenue growth.

See all of ITP’s partner status levels and certifications.

The Microsoft Partner Program was launched in October 2003 and represents Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the success of partners worldwide. The program offers a single, integrated partnering framework that recognizes partner expertise, rewards the total impact that partners have in the technology marketplace, and delivers more value to help partners’ businesses be successful.

ITP March Madness Viewing Event!

A March Event Madder than the Rest!

Join ITP for our March event happening at the Thirsty Goat. We’re hosting an afternoon of basketball, beer and big data in Madison.

We’re also welcoming our newest partner to our line card. Meet Nutanix – the Enterprise Cloud Company. Nutanix delivers solutions to elevate IT to focus on the applications and services that power business. They specialize in hyper-convered storage and servers resources on an easy-to-use web platform. What you get is the perfect mix of a privacy + cloud access.

The event is being hosted Thursday, March 16th at the Thirsty Goat in Fitchburg. We’ll be hosting light lunch, beverages.. a few games and giveaways. Join us anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 to enjoy some basketball, hear the Nutanix story, and meet some other IT professionals from the area.

We’d love to see you! Take an hour to stop by to hang out with the ITP and Nutanix team.

Register for this event >>>

Webinar Recap: IT That Makes Dollars & Sense

Did you miss our ‘IT that Makes Dollars & Sense: The CFO’s Guide to IT’ webinar? No problem!

This webinar training session is now available anytime in our resource library. Stream this session or share it with a co-worker. Simply complete the form below to access this content anytime, on-demand.

Today’s CFO is asked to do some of the most difficult work in any business. Forecasting business for the coming year, helping departments maintain their budgets, and maintaining clear lines of fiduciary responsibility across the business. But that’s not all.

More and more, CFOs are being asked to help manage the company’s IT in one capacity or another. Yet they’re being asked to without any training or resources. It doesn’t need to be that way, though. There are a wealth of tools and resources to make the CFO’s role in technology easier and more successful. Access the resources that Joe mentions during this session on our ‘Technical CFO‘ page.

Stream this webinar for: 

  • Insight into better and strategic IT management
  • Key resources and guides for leading a successful IT team
  • Best practices for choosing the correct software and hardware, the first time
  • How to translate technology jargon into a business case

Get Access to this webinar.