CTO Insights September Newsletter

CTO Insights September Newsletter 

Incredibly it is already September, and Britain’s long hot summer is starting to head off towards the sunset! But the warm glow of CTO Insights remains. So, settle in for some of the things that have caught my attention over the last few weeks 

How do you engage with your organisation? 

One thing that people in IT don’t consider often enough, in my opinion, is the importance of engaging with an organisation. Asking questions to help better understand what the organisation needs from its IT team, in order to function better and be more successful. Too often we find ourselves, delivering IT solutions that were not asked for and we are then surprised when we get “push-back” to its adoption. It is important to remember that IT is there to empower and enable an organisation, rather than to launch “cool” IT solutions upon it.  

Recently I had a fantastic chat with an IT Director of a large manufacturing company who provided me some great insight into this very challenge and his approach to overcoming it. His approach was interesting and not something I’ve come across before. To ensure they properly asked the business what it was they needed for IT they employed an Engagement Manager. The role was specifically to have open discussions across the entire business and understand what is needed to deliver new capabilities, efficiencies and services. Interestingly the role also focussed on asking whether they had any applications they’d found that would help them more effectively do their jobs. That’s a refreshing approach, asking people who are experts in their roles about tools they may find useful, is a smart idea and not one that we naturally adopt in IT, but one we certainly should. 

It got me thinking about what tips others have for effectively engaging with their organisation. So, if you’ve got some tips, I’d love to hear them so send them over to me or pop them in the comments. 

Is MDR (Managed Detection and Response) now the only answer? 

A couple of recent articles caught my attention and have me wondering whether the answer to many organisations’ cybersecurity needs external support is. I do say that as CTO of a company that can offer such services, but bear with me! 

Recently I saw this article over at Cybermagazine.com which discussed a state of cybersecurity report from security automation company Swimlane. The article quoted Swimlane’s findings that 33% of companies surveyed felt they would NEVER have a fully staffed cybersecurity team. This was also paired with UK research that suggested that 51% of companies have a basic cyber skills gap.  

If what we are saying is that we have an ever-evolving cybersecurity threat, paired with organisations who lack the resources they need, this is only likely to have one outcome. What then is the answer? 

The answer maybe within another announcement that caught my attention and that was Microsoft’s announcement of its own MDR service, providing managed SOC (Security Operations Centre) capabilities to augment its security platforms. The use of managed services continues to grow and Microsoft are the latest leading vendor adding human beings to their technology to support customers.  

As the cybersecurity threat landscape becomes more complex and resources scarcer, maybe it is time to consider MDR. To provide a little more on the topic, I recently published the article “As Microsoft joins the party, is it time to try MDR? ”  over at GigaOm. Have a read and see what you think. 

Network as a service – future of enterprise networking 

The world of the CTO is not all about cybersecurity of course. There are a range of other things IT leaders need to consider as they look to modernise and transform the way IT and technology is used within an organisation to allow them to remain competitive in their market. 

One such topic is covered in this article from a colleague of mine over at GigaOm, Andrew Green. Andrew recently posted an interesting article looking at Networking-as-a-service and how this can be used to drive enterprise network innovation. It is not an area that I’ve ever considered and I’m not sure networking innovation is high on people’s list. But Andrew makes a great case for why perhaps it should be. Have a read here. 

Come and join us at our IT Leaders Forum 

For those of you in and around Liverpool on September 20th we are running one of our regular IT Leaders Forums. These events bring together local IT leaders with their peers and global IT vendors to share ideas and provide feedback on business challenges and vendor strategy. These are usually lively and interesting affairs, and you are welcome to join us. 

Our next event brings to Liverpool Sophos, where we are going to be joined by Jon Hope, Senior Technologist and Peter Mackenzie, Director of Incident Response. They will be sharing insights into the current threat landscape and Peter will be sharing practical advice on how to respond to an incident and build incident response plans. This is a great opportunity to raise your cybersecurity concerns, share your experience or just chat with true subject matter experts. 

If you are in town and want to join us, then find out more details here Events – Gardner Systems 

That’s all from this edition of CTO Insights. If you have ideas or would like to have a chat, then contact me at cto@gardnersystems.co.uk find me on LinkedIn or Twitter and Threads @techstringy or book a chat via my meeting link 


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