VIDEO: Mobile Security Trends with viaForensics

http://avnet.me/64341

What mobile hacking tactics have security experts most concerned? Why isn’t mobile antivirus effective? What should every company with a BYOD policy do to keep their mobile devices secure?

Andrew Hoog, CEO of mobile security firm viaForensics, discussed these topics and more at our recent Avnet IT Security Summit. So I  sat down with him afterward to briefly answer these questions for the broader Tech Trends audience as well.

CLICK HERE or on the image above to access this brief 2:30 video.

Special thanks to Andrew (follow him at @ahoog42 on Twitter) for taking the time to speak and participate in this year’s Summit.

- Steve

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The CIO in 2014: Adapt or Die


Over the last decade, a number of changes to the business landscape have steadily worked to take IT out of the CIO’s control. Consider:

  • Managed services has reduced—or eliminated—the need for many companies to own and operate their own data centers.
  • Cloud computing has taken core application development and maintenance functions and outsourced them to a host of third parties.
  • Bring your own device (BYOD) has democratized the selection, procurement and upkeep of corporate PCs and mobile devices.
  • A recent string of high-profile data breaches has promoted IT security—previously an item on the CIO’s staff meeting agenda—to a board-level issue, subject to a whole new degree of scrutiny and oversight.

It’s clear that the skills that got many of us into the CIO role years ago are not the same set of skills that will keep us in the role in the years to come.

TAKE THE “ADAPT OR DIE” QUIZ

So with that in mind, how well are IT leaders adapting to the changing needs of the CIO position? I recently had an opportunity to speak to a panel of fellow CIOs, and I reviewed the following quiz with them. Feel free to take it and see how you fare.

But there’s one important catch, however: you can’t assess yourself. You have to answer the questions the way your business colleagues would rate you.

Some of this response is baked into the business you’re in, of course. But if most of your value comes from infrastructure and maintenance, it might be time to update your definition of success.

In today’s business world, there are no IT problems; there are only business problems.

The more you incorporate the metrics of your business into your own planning and dashboards, the more you’ll align your team with the rest of the organization.

Following up on question #2, it’s impossible to know what the business metrics are unless you actually ask the business leaders themselves.

Since the best strategies and organizations are able to adapt to market forces quickly, chances are the business priorities and goals you discussed last quarter have probably been updated since then.

As CIO, you should be an integral part of C-suite meetings. And, if you don’t already have them in place, get a regular cadence of 1:1 meetings established with your business colleagues.

While setting an example for your team is essential, the actual execution will happen among your managers and individual contributors.

So if the business leaders don’t feel like their teams are collaborating with yours on a regular basis, it’s a warning sign your team might be too insulated to be effective.

These last three questions are more of a reflection on you as an individual rather than your team as a whole.

One way to determine how aligned you are with the overall needs of the business is to consider how frequently you volunteer to solve business problems by leading new companywide initiatives.

These initiatives may have minimal association with IT, or none at all. The important part is that you’re proposing them and offering to lead them.

While question #5 may be indicative of your involvement in the broader business, question #6 should give you a sense of where you stand among your peers in the C-suite when it comes to who the CEO trusts to get the high-value work done.

If your CEO frequently looks to you to launch and execute new initiatives, congratulations. If you’re passed over frequently—especially for non-IT related initiatives—you likely have some work ahead of you.

Think back to your last executive leadership or board meeting: did you only perk up when it was your turn on the agenda, or were you engaged throughout? Were you actively involved in the discussions, or just responsive to technical questions?

In years’ past, many CIOs were content to sit in the back of the room and speak only when spoken to. Today, technology is integrated into every facet of business, so it’s up to us as CIOs to be knowledgeable about every aspect of the business as well.

Otherwise, you may be missing a golden opportunity to deliver value.

THE FINAL TALLY

So how did you do?

If your average score was a three or better: chances are you are keeping pace with the rapid evolution of the CIO role.

If you had a few ones and twos mixed in: you know what you need to work on.

If you averaged a one or a two across all seven questions: that’s a pretty strong call to action. It’s time to adapt quickly or … you know the rest.

- Steve

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The Avnet Tech Games IX Welcomes the Inaugural JDA Supply Chain Challenge

Saturday, April 12, the University of Advancing Technology campus in Tempe, Arizona will once again serve as the host for the Avnet Tech Games, now in its ninth year.

It was an honor for me to serve as Master of Ceremonies for this event over the last eight years, and see firsthand the way it has grown.

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF STEM STUDENTS

What started out as an opportunity to inspire the next generation of technology workers has become a cornerstone event of the Arizona SciTech Festival, an annual statewide initiative devoted to getting students of all ages engaged and excited about science, technology, engineering and math, also referred to as “STEM”.

As you might expect, the Avnet Tech Games allows teams of college students to compete head-to-head across a variety of timed events based on real-world technical skills, from building and programming robots to coding Java-based applications.

There’s a lot more than pride on the line in these live and virtual events as well: the winning teams receive scholarship checks to help offset their tuition!

Just as Avnet the company would not exist without our supplier partners, the Avnet Tech Games also would not exist without the generous support of our suppliers and partners that help us create, facilitate and underwrite these events and prizes for the winning teams.

INTRODUCING THE JDA 2014 SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGE

This year, I am especially pleased about a new event called the “JDA 2014 Supply Chain Challenge.” This event brought teams of two to four students together to form Littlefield Technologies, a fictitious manufacturer of digital satellite system receivers.

Just as they would in real life, each team had to assemble and solder a kit of loose components onto a motherboard, test the units, tune them, and conduct final testing on them before they ship to the “customer” – our judging panel.

The contest was more than just a technical exercise; it also tested each team’s supply chain skills as they related to forecasting, inventory management, pricing, capacity planning and other real-world materials management challenges.

The event was a great addition to the Avnet Tech Games, as well as a perfect example of how the Games continue to evolve, just as the technology evolves each year.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Three members of "Team Pony Express" from SMU

This particular event actually took place in February – some national events are held prior to the local completion on April 12 here in Phoenix – and I’m pleased to announce the winning team was the “Pony Express” from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas!

The winning team consisted of:

  • Matt Mulholland
  • Tushar Solanki
  • Aaron Barnard
  • Meredith Titus

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL INVOLVED

I’d like to congratulate the SMU “Pony Express” team for winning the inaugural “JDA 2014 Supply Chain Challenge”, and I also want to thank the team at JDA for their active support of this event in particular, and the Avnet Tech Games as a whole.

Last but not least, I want to recognize and thank the many supplier sponsors, as well as the volunteer judges and coordinators – many of whom have been involved from the beginning – that make this wonderful event possible each year.

Congratulations to all the participants and winners to be announced on April 12th at the Avnet Tech Games awards ceremony!

- Steve

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The Internet of Things: Are You Ready?

Here at Avnet, we run a regular series of opinion pieces from our leadership team called Avnet Insights. I had an opportunity to contribute a piece on a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately this year: the Internet of Things.

In my role as CIO, I try to keep a balanced perspective, considering the strengths and opportunities of any new technology or methodology and balancing those with potential weaknesses and threats as well, particularly as it relates to security. It’s clear the Internet of Things offers plenty of upside in every facet of our personal and professional lives, but we can’t overlook the potential for misuse either.

I’ve included the first few paragraphs of the article below, and I’d encourage you to click the button at the end to view the rest of the piece.

- Steve

When the news broke in January that Google was buying Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion, the eye-popping valuation indicated the acquisition was about more than just pretty thermostats and smoke detectors. While speculation about Google’s intentions has run rampant since then, in my mind it’s a clear sign: the Internet of Things (IoT) is finally upon us.

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” With humans making up less than half the world’s Internet traffic today—according to one estimate, we only accounted for 38.5 percent of traffic in 2013, down from 49 percent in 2012—it’s clear that the world’s information will increasingly be created by machine, not humans….

 * CLICK TO CONTINUE

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