BizTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Business en Cisco Live 2020 Cisco Live Cisco Live 2020: What to Expect at the Virtual Event <p>They can’t attend in person, but <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco Systems’</a> thousands of customers, employees and other stakeholders will still have an opportunity, beginning June 2, to learn how to use the company’s technology to drive business outcomes and solve today’s unique set of problems.</p> <p>With large in-person events shut down for the time being, Cisco has adapted its flagship customer event, Cisco Live!, into a virtual affair, condensing the conference from the usual four-plus days to two and focusing the content squarely on more than 40 webinarlike sessions.</p> <p><em>BizTech </em>will be covering keynotes and other sessions, interviewing thought leaders and discovering Cisco’s latest tech offerings. <a href="">Keep this page bookmarked</a> for articles and videos from the <em>BizTech</em> team.<br />  </p> Bob Keaveney Tech-Loaded Accelerators Support Startup Companies’ Success <p><a href="" target="_blank">Embarc Collective</a> nurtures the growing tech startup community in Florida’s Tampa Bay area as it works to turn the region into the next hotbed for technology innovation. To do it, the nonprofit has built a state-of-the-art facility that is giving the area’s startup ecosystem a major boost.</p> <p>The startup hub’s new 32,000-square-foot headquarters, opened in January, features private offices, collaborative workspaces and conference rooms where startups can work and learn from mentors, experts and each other. It also has a cafe, a library and a 250-person space for hosting communitywide events.</p> <p>“Tampa is going through tremendous growth and has all the makings of a thriving startup market,” says Embarc Collective CEO Lakshmi Shenoy. “The facility allows our members to build their companies, learn and collaborate. It’s also a central landing zone for the community’s activities around entrepreneurship, innovation and technology.”</p> <p>The renovated, century-old brick warehouse in downtown Tampa features a content creation studio for recording videos and podcasts and videoconferencing equipment for meetings.</p> <p>“We make sure our members have easy, remote access to their investors and customers, wherever they are,” Shenoy says.</p> Wylie Wong Comprehensive Security: IT and Business Leaders Get on the Same Page <p>Whether your users log in remotely or from the office, security remains critical to ensuring a safe and productive work environment. But often, protecting your data and systems is easier said than done.</p> <p>While there’s no one reason that organizations might struggle to manage risk, a lack of alignment between IT and business leaders will make any security obstacle — whether it’s tied to resources, regulations or information silos — that much more difficult to overcome.</p> <p>Open communication is key to bridging the understanding gap and paving the way for a proactive, comprehensive security approach that empowers business goals. That means technical and nontechnical stakeholders must come together to explore their organization’s needs, goals and challenges from all sides.</p> <p>This infographic outlines key ideas that can help guide conversations between IT and business leaders. It includes:</p> <ul><li>Data and talking points about the likelihood and impact of a breach</li> <li>Explanations of how top-priority security solutions support wider objectives</li> <li>Additional considerations, such as common security obstacles</li> <li>High-priority action steps for IT and business leaders</li> </ul><p>Print it out, share it with your colleagues and reshape the security discussion at your organization.</p> Make the Case for Security Spend <p>Comprehensive cybersecurity is as critical as ever to keeping businesses of all types up and running. And in recent months, security has taken on greater urgency as hackers seek to exploit the added strain on networks and employees’ anxieties in the face of long-term remote-work scenarios. </p> <p>Yet even during ordinary times, security often comes up short in the competition for budget dollars. And these are far from ordinary times: Budgets are being squeezed tighter during this period of economic retrenchment.  </p> <p>Research from CDW and IDG indicates that business leaders expect to devote around 24 percent of their IT budgets to risk mitigation over the next two years. Modernizing IT, improving collaboration and transforming user experiences — all vital priorities for businesses in their own right — are mostly being funded at higher levels.</p> <p>That’s not necessarily a problem, but if an organization isn’t spending what’s needed to secure data and systems properly, that could be a sign that IT and business leaders aren’t on the same page about their organization’s risk posture.</p> BizTech Staff When Business Growth Leads to Chaos, Collaboration Tech Is Part of the Answer <p>Like most organizations, the <a href="" target="_blank">Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies</a> relies on close collaboration among employees to innovate and provide the best service possible to its 200,000-plus members. But until it introduced new collaboration tools, employees relied on clunky, outdated processes to share information back and forth, making it difficult for everyone to get on the same page.</p> <p>“It was attach and send, and then hope everybody could work off of the same document,” explains Tom Nugent, director of human resources at the organization, noting that employees also sometimes used <a href="" target="_blank">USB drives</a> to share information. “We would route things around and we’d end up with 14 different versions. Eventually, managers would bring everybody into the same room to look at the same document. We needed to find a tool that would allow us to work collaboratively.”</p> <p>The Michigan Farm Bureau was founded in 1919 to defend the rights and interests of farmers, and over the past century, it has become the parent organization for several subsidiary companies. These include Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, started in 1949 to satisfy the insurance needs of its membership.</p> Calvin Hennick Knowledge 2020: Unpacking a Successful Digital Transformation <p>A companywide digital transformation is a daunting task. It’s a process that involves cooperation and input from multiple departments, a roadmap to implement, and execution by employees. </p> <p>Under normal circumstances, this is a challenge. With the global health crisis leaving the future of business operations unclear, many organizations are being forced to move through this challenge faster than anticipated. </p> <p>“There’s a lot of change going on,” said Steven Horvath, chief architect for management solutions at CDW. “As executives, it’s something we deal with on a daily basis, especially in IT.”</p> <p>During <a href="" target="_blank">ServiceNow’s</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Knowledge 2020</a> virtual conference, Horvath pulled back the curtain on what it takes to plan and execute a successful digital transformation. </p> <p>“It’s like widening the road when you still have to drive,” he said.  </p> Keara Dowd To Thwart Cybercriminals, Businesses Turn to Each Other <p>There’s a popular image of cybercriminals as solo actors working in the shadows. But that’s wrong. Real threat actors work in corporationlike teams, sharing information, developing specialties and creating new approaches together to thwart security controls.</p> <p>In fact, if anyone has been working in isolation, it’s often the organizations that are trying to defend themselves. Worried about becoming targets of the bad guys, businesses have tended to keep a low profile when it comes to security — seeking information, perhaps, but not sharing much.</p> <p>This is changing.</p> <p>Today, a new focus on cybersecurity collaboration among professionals is emerging. As threat actors continue to up their game, many CIOs and CISOs are realizing that going it alone is leaving them in the dark. Now more than ever, companies — even competitors — work together on cybersecurity methods and strategies.</p> <p><em>BizTech</em> brought together a panel of corporate cybersecurity leaders to discuss the value of collaboration and the ways cooperative alliances help them keep businesses and customers safer. The roundtable included Dave Estlick, CISO of <a href="" target="_blank">Chipotle Mexican Grill</a>; Jamil Farshchi, CISO at <a href="" target="_blank">Equifax</a>; and Gary Hayslip, CISO for <a href="" target="_blank">SoftBank</a> Investment Advisers.</p> Erika Gimbel New Videoconferencing Tech Eases Burdens on Companies <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Clearwing Group’s</a> employees work behind the scenes at music f­estivals, national concert tours and other live events across America, building stages and creating audiovisual spectacles that feature swirling lights, d­igital sound and live video.</p> <p>But support for these large-scale productions takes good planning and close coordination among Clearwing’s employees, who are spread across three offices. To improve communication, the company’s IT staff recently installed <a href="" target="_blank">Logitech Tap</a> videoconferencing equipment in its meeting rooms.</p> <p>The technology — used in combination with <a href="" target="_blank">Google Meet</a>, a cloud-based videoconferencing service for businesses — makes it easy for teams to hold meetings between its Milwaukee headquarters and Phoenix and Denver offices, says Patrick Doran, Clearwing’s IT manager. Remote workers can join in from anywhere.</p> <p>“There’s something more with face-to-face communications,” he says. “It’s dramatically improved everyone’s camaraderie and communication level and understanding because they can actually interact, and it’s not just a voice on the phone.”</p> Wylie Wong