This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with leading professionals. In this series of blogs, I have an exclusive interview with Teresa Hennig. Teresa is an international authority on MS Access, a top user group leader, a best selling author and a recognized and profiled MVP.

Enjoy!

Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP

Critical Issues for Organizations and ICT Professionals

Teresa HennigStephen: What are the five critical issues facing organizations today and how can they be addressed?

Teresa: I think that we're all facing the rapidly changing technology, costs of upgrades, competition from startups and lower cost areas, employee turnover and IT security threats.

As an independent contractor, I have to deal with all of these issues but on a much smaller scale. For organizations, it is hard to create and stick with a 5 year technology plan because by the time they get it implemented both the hardware and software will be outdated.

I suppose that industries will benefit now more than ever by focusing on the workforce. If they acquire and retain workers who want to be mobile and take advantage of flexible schedules, the organizations can lighten their infrastructure. However, there are many industries and situations where that isn't possible.

So, planning for expansion and making upgrades in stages may be their best avenue.

Stephen: What are the major challenges facing Information and Computing Technology (ICT) professionals and what do you propose as solutions?

Teresa: Here again the challenges seem to be rapidly changing technology both in the hardware and the software, increasing demands for web applications, overwhelming volumes of data, constantly changing security threats and of course the time and budget to provide a solution.

From my perspective, the solutions need to be based on good business practices. That means involving key personnel that can make decisions and authorize actions. They have to balance costs with features and the need to have flexibility to change direction or add more capacity. ICT people will have to have similar flexibility in their approach to supporting major transitions and upgrades. A key element will likely be periodic reviews for both lessons learned and status checks to see if new factors need to be accommodated.

Stephen: How can ICT professionals get involved in making a difference and how can they make contributions?

Teresa: Here, as in other cases, people make a difference by making informed decisions and being invested in the outcome. Be open to new approaches and ideas and be ready to explore and test concepts. Change will require team work, collaboration and cooperation.

If someone is in a bigger corporation or industry, they can learn about trends and working technologies from their trade magazines, networks, and conventions. You notice that networking shows up again. That is one of the best ways to share experiences and to leverage what others are doing. That brings us right back to user groups and other professional organizations.
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Look for more with Teresa in the next blog.
I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at sibaraki@cips.ca.
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