Customer-centric IT

Today’s guest is Chris Pesola in part two of a two part episode. Previous episode is located here: Listen in to the continued talk with Chris regarding the Customer-centric IT model he champions in his current company and the benefits of a cloud system. Chris will touch on application churn in IT and how the cloud can help with the churn in a Customer-centric IT model as well as the security implications. We’ll also touch on a lecture series Chris participates in as a speaker at Oakland University and how he connects it with the Customer-centric IT model.

Show Notes:

5 years focused on Customer-centric IT

  • Results are in a word “awesome” inside Chris’s current company
  • In old IT world, silence meant you are doing a good job
    • Tony once had a sign in his office stating “it’s a good day if the VP didn’t know your name”
  • Customer-centric IT is a more in your face approach
    • People go way out of their way to say how much they like this method
    • Employees will state they never worked at a company with an IT organization so good to work with
  • The Technology itself isn’t superior. It’s all about the approach
  • People who come from traditional IT orgs will say they got what they needed to do their jobs so much sooner in this type of Customer-centric environment
  • Day one is the first impression you get in IT to impress the end users with how you can enable them

“So.” instead of “No.”

  • Less of a “No” environment and more of a “So.” environment. It’s not a Yes by default environment…simply more interactive
  • “As we move into the future, everyone knows about IT”-Chris Pesola
  • “As we go into the future, everyone is a propeller head”-Chris Pesola
  • Everyone has developed their own way of being efficient with technology. Some more than others.
  • The Gig economy is a good example of this as people are looking for ways to do what they want when they want and how they want
  • If you don’t pay attention to your end users, they will go somewhere else to find what they need. So, it’s better to partner with them up front
  • Example: People will go and find a way to get to Facebook. Let them, but put up the needed areas and security for it.
    • “Follow the rules, but beyond those rules, what are you allowing?”-Chris Pesola
    • Network segments help with this from a tech perspective
  • Little things like letting people connect their phones to a cordoned off area of the network to not have to use their own data plans, is a way to build that relationship with the end users

Lecture me this

  • Chris participates in a lecture series at Oakland University
  • It’s a master level course called the connected world.
  • Students invent a connected product as part of this course. The course details from a high level about how things are connected by technology these days. Students work to solve a problem of a something not yet connected today.
  • At the end it’s a shark tank style panel for reviewing the products and determining how viable such a product would be
  • Seems to be a mix of different generations involved in these classes. Majority have some professional experience
  • Customer-centric IT comes up in topics like connected manufacturing. Leans more towards business and manufacturing connected product vs. consumers
  • Past semester took conversations into connected work force which does delve into more Customer-centric IT methodologies and how those interact with the cloud

Eliminate the blinking light

  • As part of the cloud initiative, Chris’ company has a project to eliminate the blinking lights. It’s actually called “eliminate the blinking light.” This is part of their push to the cloud
  • Local Domain controller is all that is usually required
  • First reaction back when we first used virtual servers was they were slow and unusable. Now it’s a matter of turning a dial to get more speed. This is part of what makes the cloud so much more flexible for businesses today
  • It all comes down to the technology being great…when it works. That part of IT hasn’t changed. There is still no such thing as perfect technology. It’s a constantly changing environment and cyclical and IT people will be needed to keep it running and improving it further.

IT Speak this Episode

KVM – Keyboard Video Monitor – Used to describe those objects needed to connect to a server. Usually KVMs for servers connect to multiple servers for consolidated control

Domain Controller – A critical server/device which allows you to authenticate or logon to your work network and helps tells your computer/device how to get from point A to point B


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