Cloud IT Live Recap: Key Takeaways & All 10 Session Recordings

After two days and 10 sessions, the second-ever Cloud IT Live has come to a close! The event covered a wide array of topics–from IT strategy to security to Google Apps Script and more–and we wanted to share our key takeaways from several of the sessions.

To view the video recordings from ALL 10 of the sessions, click here.

If you have any questions that you’d like to ask out presenters, head over to our new BetterIT Slack community. There, you’ll find an active community of innovative and forward-thinking IT professionals.

How to Win Budget and Influence People

Presenter: Gavin Whatrup, Director, ME8 Consulting Ltd. & CIO Advisor

Our keynote session from day one of Cloud IT Live yielded some excellent insight from Gavin Whatrup about how to win budget and influence people. These were our top takeaways:

  • People think IT teams just “keep the lights on.” It’s business as usual. Most people don’t really understand (or appreciate) what IT does.
  • A good start to fixing that is to promote your success by publishing basic KPIs. But by itself, it’s not going to build the influence you need to win budget.
  • To truly influence people effectively, your influence plan should have seven key objectives: De-mystify IT; de-grumpify IT; advertise your successes; encourage conversation; promote your services; engage with stakeholders and hidden influencers; and gain executive buy-in.
  • To win more budget, you need influence. To win more influence, you need credibility and presence. To win those, you need to engage at the people level. This is a two-way conversation. Listen to people and what their concerns are, and then prove that you’re a proactive source of help and advice. They will start including you in their conversations.
  • You can’t get more budget unless you have metrics. Put stats together that prove that you know what’s going on and how that translates to the company’s financials. Here are some examples of metrics you can use: helpdesk stats (cost per ticket), user satisfaction scores, cloud licensing reducing wastage, reduction in capex spend, etc.

IT Renaissance: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Creating a Digital Workplace

Presenter: David Politis, CEO & Founder, BetterCloud

The meteoric rise of SaaS apps has transformed the way we work. BetterCloud’s CEO, David Politis, took everyone through the positives (and negatives) of creating a digital workplace, and what this means for IT. These were our top takeaways:

  • The vast majority of the working world is held back by the technology offered at their organizations. (Think about checking files in and out of SharePoint libraries, VPN errors, and client-side crashing.) But those enabled by technology are experiencing enormous benefits, like real-time editing, agile storage, the ability to work anywhere, and flexible, enhanced collaboration.
  • The new way of working is impossible without SaaS applications. The rise of the SaaS-powered workplace is what’s driving this new way of work. That’s the good.
  • But as amazing as the impact of SaaS apps is, a recent survey we did found that 57% of IT professionals’ jobs say their jobs are getting harder because of the increase in SaaS apps. That’s the bad.
  • Three major challenges of the SaaS-powered workplace that we learned in our survey include onboarding and offboarding, lack of visibility and control, and a disconnect between IT execs and non-execs. And here’s the ugly: 53% of IT professionals say they fail to give new hires access to the right applications often or very often. Half of IT professionals believe they lack visibility into their SaaS apps. 61% of IT professionals don’t believe they have complete control over their SaaS apps. IT execs don’t see headcount challenges. Data is leaving with employees, but IT executives are unaware.
  • All companies need to be technology-enabled in order to compete. All of the industries that are getting disrupted are being disrupted by companies wherein tech is the centerpiece. You are the technology experts; this is your opportunity to shine. Organizations are going to start feeling the pressure to become technology-enabled just to keep up. IT is changing the business–now is your opportunity to shine.

From Zero to One, Not Zero to 100: How the Cloud Can Transform the Way IT

Presenter: Andy Schwab, Sr. IT Manager, Adventures in Missions, and Author of Ultralight IT: A Guide for Smaller Organizations

 

There is a knowledge gap when it comes to great SMB IT resources that will help you master your craft and take your department–and organization–to the next level. That gap is smaller now after Andy Schwab’s presentation on how lean teams can transform their organizations. This is a must-watch for any IT professional, period–not just the ones working for SMBs.

  • All SMBs have a “scope” problem, meaning there is too much to do. This makes it impossible for SMBs to do everything well.
  • To prove the greatest value, IT needs to focus on people. How can you do things to serve the people better and anticipate their needs?
  • A people-focused approach to IT is going to be more beneficial than a systems-focused approach. If you take a step back and focus on people’s needs, you’ll realize that technology is for people.
  • There are three key elements to Ultralight IT: Simplicity, Support, and Security.
  • With simplicity, it comes down to ensuring your team excels at fewer things, rather than meets expectations in a large number of areas. Don’t stretch your IT team too thin. Instead, focus on what will directly benefit the people in your organization.
  • With support, invest in professional development. If you can’t hire a strong team, you can build one through training. Set aside time each week for you and your team to learn.
  • With security, don’t get bogged down in thinking that security will always be a friction point with your employees. There are ways to improve security while simultaneously enabling your employees (for example, creating one single digital identity for your users).

We hope you found Cloud IT Live informative and useful. If you have any suggestions or are interested in speaking at our next Cloud IT Live event, drop us a line at clouditlive@bettercloud.com.

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