Sustained Communication in the Face of Consistent Change
By Rod Sagarsee, CIO, Brinks Gilson & Lione
There are the typical audio/ visual technologies that everyone utilizes in today’s business world and surrounding hardware/software to support the sharing of information and collaborating on projects. Yet, there is so much more involved with true collaboration today. Technology is the vehicle to every means of remote and in-person business communications and is most evident in the area of collaboration. Research, sharing, and presentation of data involves a subset of technology to collaborate more effectively and efficiently, all while addressing strategic execution for implementing solutions. I believe that if you implement the latest in unified communications strategies, then you are able to consolidate your technologies used in collaboration and, in turn, mitigate some of your existing costs. The latest abilities of cloud-based PSTN, combined with traditional Internet-based video conferencing with People+Content, presence, and language translation are all changing the landscape and the scope of doing business. The productivity enhancements and savings on traveling costs, both domestically and internationally, only add to the benefits of using technology to minimize and potentially eliminate certain recurring expenses within an organization. If you implement the proper backbone, segment infrastructure, and WAN/LAN topologies to support these ever-growing needs to stay competitive in your market, then not only will this approach ease rising costs of collaboration, it will reduce costs, while enhancing productivity. However, I would caution that whatever set of solutions you put in place, ensure that you have a fallback / fail-over in-place. Whether that is an on-premise solution or hybrid solution, you should always have a backup. This applies to all technologies, but is especially true with communications and collaborations, as those are the heart and soul of conducting business. Without reliable means of communicating with each other, especially with clients and sharing of information, you will not succeed in today’s high-paced and overly demanding world of business.
Without reliable means of communicating with each other, especially with clients and sharing of information, you will not succeed in today’s high-paced and overly demanding world of business
Mastering Change Management— Added Role of a CIOOne of the unique lessons learned as a CIO for me has been that of balancing and managing change. When I speak of change, I speak of every aspect of the word in a business sense. Balance and change in client needs, internal firm-wide needs, departmental needs, personnel needs, network foundation needs, higher-level technology needs, policies and procedural needs, budgeting needs and overall firm-wide and departmental strategies. The business world is ever-changing and the needs surrounding information systems and technology are in constant evolution. Keeping up with and strategizing around constant evolution is, in itself a paradigm shift. You must be self-aware in order to stay ahead of the competition and you must put the onus on yourself, rather than on others to stay consistent, profitable, streamlined, and efficient. In order to help the organization as a whole sustain the highest levels of success, you must balance and manage change. One key focus that has helped me to manage change is having a 5-year departmental strategic plan that is built into and in-line with the overall firm mission. One that is flexible and updated annually to keep abreast of the unexpected and ever-changing shifts in goals. One that will most certainly have to keep up with the changes and shift in technologies and overall business needs that technology plays a major role in and factors into the long-term success of the firm. The role of my position has changed dramatically as technology has changed. The CIO role used to be one of management, budget and overall structure. I feel that the evolution of technologies such as BYOD, VoIP, high-speed wireless, International UC, the IOT and data security with cyber intrusion safeguards are just the beginning of a paradigm shift. My role now is determined by making sure we keep up with our clients’ needs related to every aspect of technology used and with the utmost secure levels of communication. In order to do so, I am in constant contact with my peers exchanging ideas. I am constantly researching ways to streamline our existing technologies, integrate new technology while leveraging our existing investments to create a lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and highest level ROI (Return on Investment). The pressures surrounding my position have increased dramatically due to the stress placed on the needs associated with technology to conduct and accomplish just about every aspect of business. You cannot fall behind in any areas of technology, or it will cost the company in overall revenue, and there will be a decrease in productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness at every level of the company. Technology is constantly evolving and changing, so is the paradigm in a shift. I have learned that as a CIO I now need to be part of the paradigm shift in order to be part of the evolution of change.
Headquartered in Chicago, Brinks Gilson & Lione is an intellectual property law firm in the US, that helps clients around the world to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights.