The right tech determines enterprise success: panel
TORONTO–Technology such as social media, cloud computing, basic software and hardware are important for any business, especially for enterprises that want to thrive, according to Steven Heck, chief information officer (CIO) at Microsoft Canada Co. and Veresh Sita, CIO at Colliers International Property Consultants Inc.

“Technology can help people work better together,” Heck said.

Heck and Sita participated in a question and answer period for IT professionals as part of IT World Canada Inc.’s Frankly Speaking Breakfast Series.

“We’ve ushered in the era of participation,” Sita said. “We’re really looking at social media and social collaboration.”

Enterprises must use social media to share information within communities and create enterprise searches for data within a company, said Sita.

Enterprises are especially in need of up-to-date technology, as many workers are working on the go and becoming more mobile, using their laptops, smart phones and tablets, said Heck. The ability to make phone calls through laptops allows for more mobility for workers, and businesses need to make a point of giving their employees the technology needed for them to be successful, added Heck. For example, Microsoft Canada employees are given laptops and other technologies needed to be productive on the first day on the job.

 
“A lot of enterprises are looking at how to do things faster and cheaper,” Sita said.
 
 If an organization cannot afford to buy a broad range of software for its employees, especially if it is an enterprise, it can use cloud-based technology, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), which are accessible online with minimal pay-as-you-go access fees.
 
“Cloud computing takes away from some of the tasks that IT would be responsible for (such as) buying servers and setting them up, getting them patched,” Heck said.
 
 
These models eliminate the installation process for IT departments. Cloud computing also allows workers to be more mobile by letting them access information from anywhere using any computer. This makes working from home easier as their data is online and password protected, according to Sita. Yet businesses may find setting up technology a waste of time and money, and therefore neglect to do so, warned Sita.