Well planned events make you feel good no matter who you are. If you’re an attendee, you get food, drinks, networking opportunities and lots of new information to bring back to your organization, keeping you on the cutting edge. If you’re a sponsor, you get business reps on the floor meeting individuals that might not have been contacted otherwise. You’re able to advertise your brand and continue to learn about the industry you’re marketing to, especially if able to attend the sessions yourself. If you’re part of the planning committee, the actual event days are the most rewarding. By that point, it’s usually the fun responsibilities that live on your to-do list, and hopefully you get to take a breath after the final stretch. No matter what role you play, good events leave you with inspiration – to explore, create, and innovate.
I spent three days last week at the Radisson BLU in Chicago for AGC’s IT Forum. The event was recommended to us by a client near and dear to us, Aldridge Electric, a leader in the industry who attends this Forum every year. The conference is unique in the fact that CIOs in the construction industry are able to discuss challenges, new ideas, and successes they’ve had with technology at their own organizations. They’re all peers here, over 300 of them, all coming together to make each other better.
With a fantastic schedule formed around sessions like ‘Building & Leading High Performance Teams’ to ‘Trends Affecting IT’ and their disruptive impact, there was plenty of useful information packed into the conference. My favorites that I think had the best pieces to take away were those around cybersecurity, affordable IT solutions, and the changing role of IT.
I was intrigued by this session because we’ve been making a huge push ourselves to educate cloud users on the importance of cybersecurity and how to make sure they’re protected. This presentation confirmed the need for us to do so. According to Verizon, an average of 23% of people within an organization open phishing emails...and 11% of those users actually click the email link. This small user action means huge risks for the company (and any company, regardless of industry). That 11%, which may seem like a small number already, should be 0%, and there are simple strategies that you can enable to help your organization get there. We can encourage users to use passphrases rather than passwords, but above and beyond that, the best protection is all about using layers. All users should need more than just a password to enter their account. You can quickly learn more about 2-factor authentication by attending Cloudbakers Security Webinar Series.
It was during this session where the audience was asked by a show of hands how many people had a second form of verification enabled for their online systems. I was shocked when less than about 10 hands (out of that room of 300) went up in the air. When such easy and often times built-in solutions are available, there is no excuse not to make it an immediate initiative. As more and more applications move to the cloud – iAuditor, JobClock, Fieldwire, and the numerous others that were mentioned by the speaker and audience members – it’s important to educate users to understand that with the freedom of mobile technology also comes the responsibility of knowing the best practices of those technologies.
The Changing Role of IT
Another result of the ever-increasing number of software solutions out there is that as other departments discover better ways to accomplish their tasks, they find themselves looking to new technologies to help them get work done. This leads to technology conversations being discussed beyond just the IT team. IT has a sizeable opportunity here. They are now responsible for creating their entire cloud strategy, including migration to O365 or Google Apps, project management tools, and software that can help automate in-office tasks. This in turn gives them the ability to take advantage of security teams of hundreds, unlimited storage, and much happier end users overall.
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These conference sessions, along with the one-on-one conversations and even product demos, sparked a digital inspiration. As a cloud solution partner, Cloudbakers can contribute to your purpose and help you define, deploy and adopt your cloud strategy. We want to get to know your team!Originally published on August 07, 2016