For my inaugural blog post, I think it’s only right to tell you a bit about me and my position at Cisco. As vice president of services, I lead a team across Canada that works with customers to build and support innovative IT solutions to help those customers compete more effectively. To put it concisely, I help our customers get the absolute most out of their technology.
As a 14-year veteran of Cisco, and having spent 6 months as services lead for Canada, I genuinely believe that this is a truly incredible time to be in services. Why? Because every box, every switch and every IP phone has a lifecycle.
For example, when a new Cisco IP phone is placed on your desk, there is an entire process behind it getting to you – licensing and applications and infrastructure, to start – and services is at the heart of that process, making sure the phone, license and applications are optimized for your business. This true for every technology implemented at your organization, and with changing consumption models bringing more and more solutions into the cloud, IT departments need a trusted advisor to make this transition with them.
It is with this sense of optimism that I recently attended the Government/ITAC OUTLOOK Conference in Ottawa. ITAC, if you aren’t familiar, is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for a strong Canadian technology sector. They are committed to helping members, like Cisco, achieve success across the country. As someone who has worked with public sectors customers, including federal, provincial and municipal, for a long time I was excited to attend and hear from our public sector leaders about the challenges they are facing.
What I heard was revealing.
Throughout the conference, including my brief but enlightening conversation with CIO of Canada Corinne Charette, the two words I kept hearing were risk management. Government and enterprises alike are wondering how do they mitigate risk, recover from a disaster and address shared consumption models. Security, it seems, is on everyone’s mind.
But perhaps more revealing were the questions that kept coming up. How do I know my risk level? How do I measure my security preparedness? What do I do if we are hacked?
My answer is clear. Government and private sector organizations need to understand, in real-time, how their network security is performing. You need to assess your risk, and we can help.
Here’s why. In a country where our government is moving towards a single, shared telecommunications network (as part of the overall Shared Services Canada initiative) we have to ensure the security of that data. In no other time has the traffic on our networks been more valuable, or more vulnerable. But by assessing your infrastructure and optimizing a solution for your network, you can be confident that your data is safe.
As I said before, it’s an incredible time to be in services.