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29 minutes | Nov 25, 2022
Episode 161: Business Now and Then
Carolyn and Seth welcome CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux to talk about the new concerns businesses have heading into 2023. CompTIA's IT Industry Outlook 2023 predicts that business as usual will get a reality check, and Todd walks through the many hurdles businesses face that will prevent them from simply returning to pre-pandemic operations. The threat of recession, the challenges of managing remote workers, and the importance of technology adoption are all factors that will shape business strategies in the future.
24 minutes | Nov 11, 2022
Episode 160: IT Industry Outlook 2023
Carolyn and Seth go over the highlights from CompTIA's IT Industry Outlook 2023, the annual report looking at the major trends for the year ahead. Companies are recognizing that business as usual means something different now, as workforce dynamics and economic uncertainty drive new behaviors. The metaverse will likely not be restricted to VR, but will define a new way of providing holistic digital experiences. IT channel firms will continue exploring business model changes, including both the shift to services and a shift toward becoming a strategic business consultant. Finally, IT pros will leverage a wide variety of training options to build skills, finding new opportunities to assist with digital transformation efforts. IT Industry Outlook 2023: https://www.comptia.org/content/research/it-industry-trends-analysis
21 minutes | Oct 28, 2022
Episode 159: Happy Volleydays
Carolyn and Seth welcome CompTIA CISO Randy Gross back to the show for the annual holiday episode. As always, the group talks about one thing in technology that is frightening (the failure to anticipate consequences of scaling), one thing they are thankful for (the open nature of technology professionals), and one thing on the wishlist (economic stability supported by tech innovation).
24 minutes | Oct 14, 2022
Episode 158: Cybersecurity in the Real World
Carolyn and Seth talk with James Rocker, CEO of Nerds That Care, about his experiences implementing cybersecurity for clients. James talks about the need for education, especially as zero trust becomes an overarching framework for cybersecurity posture. The group also discusses the need to include business executives in cybersecurity discussions and the "onion approach" to cybersecurity architecture using a wide array of different tools.
24 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
Episode 157: State of Cybersecurity
Carolyn and Seth talk about CompTIA's latest State of Cybersecurity research. Although organizations often say that cybersecurity is a high priority, there hasn't been much progress in sentiment around internal cybersecurity efforts. At a high level, companies need to build a policy of integrating cybersecurity with business objectives. With this mindset in place, companies can begin implementing process steps in line with a zero trust framework, such as multifactor authentication or network microsegmentation. One of the most crtiical steps in a cybersecurity posture is the people, with all parts of an organization participating in the cybersecurity chain and technical specialists focused on skills such as threat knowledge, network security and data analysis. State of Cybersecurity landing page: https://insights.comptia.org/2022-state-of-cybersecurity-it-pro/p/1 State of Cybersecurity main report: https://www.comptia.org/content/research/cybersecurity-trends-research
23 minutes | Sep 16, 2022
Episode 156: International Tech Adoption and Skills
Carolyn and Seth talk about CompTIA's latest research on international trends in tech adoption and skills building, with the help of the author's study, CompTIA's Amy Carrado, and someone with first-hand experience, CompTIA's Loraine Vorster. The discussion touches on the importance of technology to strategic objectives, the surprising lack of process in assessing skills, and the benefits of upskilling existing workers. Business Technology Adoption and Skills Trends report: https://www.comptia.org/content/research/2022-international-business-technology-adoption-and-skills-trends/
24 minutes | Sep 2, 2022
Episode 155: SMB Tech Trends
Carolyn and Seth talk about CompTIA's new research exploring technology attitudes and adoption among small and mid-sized businesses. Even with the current economic uncertainty, the research shows that SMBs feel fairly optimistic. Goals for technology have shifted from immediate tactical needs to long-term strategic objectives, and businesses are exploring many new paths for procurement. Technology partners that have traditionally led with products should shift more toward services such as consulting and integration.
22 minutes | Aug 19, 2022
Episode 154: Trends in Automation
Carolyn and Seth talk with Corey Simpson, COO of International Legal Technology Association, about trends in automation. Corey covers the need to approach automation from a cost/benefit perspective and how automation is part of an overall operational approach rather than a standalone goal. The group then talks about challenges in automation and how companies can avoid pitfalls as they use automation to handle growing complexity.
22 minutes | Aug 5, 2022
Episode 153: Whatever Happened To...
Carolyn and Seth look at four topics that used to make major headlines but have faded in the public eye. First, they discuss how computing power gets less focus, since most people and companies have plenty of power for their needs and have turned to software and services. Then, they look at unified communications, which showed how adoption can be more about user behavior than technical solution. Next, they cover BYOD, which is certainly present in most companies, but usually as an option rather than a primary approach. Finally, they talk about the software wars, where debate over winning languages faded as multiple languages have emerged for multiple purposes.
25 minutes | Jul 22, 2022
Episode 152: Partner Experience Part 2
Carolyn and Seth wrap up the series on partner experience, looking at the issue from the perspective of vendors and distributors. While a large part of partner experience remains focusing on the basics like tech support and financial compensation, there is a greater focus on ease of business and elevating partner success. Topics like communication and training are new initiatives that vendors are exploring, and this often means growing the skill set of the channel enablement team or partnering in new ways with distributors.
23 minutes | Jul 9, 2022
Episode 151: Partner Experience Part 1
Carolyn and Seth talk about CompTIA's new research around the topic of partner experience. With IT solution providers beginning to focus more on their own brand and the services they provide to clients, they are also focusing more on the overall experience of working with a vendor beyond product delivery and support. This episode examines the question from the partner angle--what areas are most important to them? While technical support still ranks as a top concern, partners are also looking to vendors for training beyond specific products, in areas such as marketing or business operations. Partner perspective research brief: https://connect.comptia.org/content/research/partner-experience-trends-2022-research-brief
23 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
Episode 150: IT M&A
Carolyn and Seth welcome Rob Rae, SVP of Business Development at Datto, to discuss the state of mergers and acquisitions in the IT industry. Rob talks about the ways that customer demand and economics are driving M&A, then covers the need within the industry to better understand the mechanics of buying a company or being bought along with the cultural considerations after two companies have merged. Learn more at DattoCon September 11-13: https://www.dattocon.com/
28 minutes | Jun 10, 2022
Episode 149: CompTIA Summer Events
Carolyn and Seth welcome two guests to talk about CompTIA's summer events, which are happening live for the first time in three years. First, CompTIA's VP of B2B Marketing Liz Wannemacher shares details on Partner Summit, which hosts academic partners, training partners, and employers to discuss the latest trends in IT training and skill development. Then CompTIA's Chief Community Officer MJ Shoer gives a preview of ChannelCon, which welcomes companies from all parts of the technology landscape to network and learn about industry trends. Both events are in Chicago during the first week of August, and there will be many opportunities to plug in to all the content. Partner Summit: https://connect.comptia.org/partnersummit ChannelCon: https://connect.comptia.org/channelcon
19 minutes | May 27, 2022
Episode 148: Blockchain Adoption
Carolyn and Seth talk about CompTIA's data around blockchain, including some general thoughts on emerging technology adoption. With so many new technologies on the market and such a high degree of digital operations already in place, companies need a well-defined approach to evaluating emerging trends and implementing technology to solve business problems. Many companies are in the early stages of this activity, and that shows up in optimistic viewpoints on blockchain knowledge and a shortage of killer use cases. Blockchain is a protocol-level technology that may not have direct impact for every organization but could indirectly influence a wave of applications in the future.
26 minutes | May 13, 2022
Episode 147: Trends in Workforce Learning
Carolyn and Seth welcome Gordon Pelosse, CompTIA's senior vice president of employer engagement, to discuss the recently released Workforce and Learning Trends 2022 research report. Many challenges in building technical talent were exacerbated by the pandemic, such as finding skilled candidates or holding on to existing workers. While many employers are turning to new tactics such as dropping a four-year degree requirement, building a skills-based approach requires significant effort. The core issue for many businesses is finding a way to quantify the skills they need and then creating development plans to attract and grow those skills. CompTIA's Workforce and Learning Trends 2022: https://www.comptia.org/content/research/workforce-and-learning-trends-2022
31 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Episode 146: Developing Tech Support Skills
Seth and guest co-host Amy Carrado welcome Randall Edwards, CompTIA's director of product development, to have a discussion around the role of technical support. In the digital era, most companies are considering some level of in-house technical support in order to drive efficiency. Many traditional skills are evolving as endpoints become more diverse and backend functions migrate to the cloud. In addition, cybersecurity has become a critical skill for tech support specialists. CompTIA's newly refreshed A+ certification uses industry input to validate these modern skills in job seekers. CompTIA A+ overview: https://www.comptia.org/certifications/a CompTIA's State of the Tech Workforce: https://www.cyberstates.org/ The Role of Technical Support in Modern IT: https://www.comptia.org/blog/tech-support-in-modern-it
27 minutes | Apr 15, 2022
Episode 145: IT Operations
Carolyn and Seth start with some quick thoughts around social media in the wake of Elon Musk's offer to take Twitter private, then they dive into CompTIA's new data around IT operations. Even after the pandemic, there has not been dramatic change in attitudes around technology adoption. Organizations that are closer to the cutting edge are focusing on new ways to evaluate and implement new technology. Organizations that have more measured technology adoption may be considering increased investments as a way to accelerate their strategy, and the plans for those investments reflect the need to fully understand the dynamics of modern IT.
29 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
Episode 144: Trends in Managed Services
Carolyn and Seth talk about the latest research around managed services. With the pandemic beginning to fade, MSPs are feeling optimistic about the prospects for the future. Many are exploring the addition of premium services, which may require changes to the business model since areas like cybersecurity or data analytics do not necessarily follow repeatable processes. In order to serve the full range of customer needs, MSPs may need to further explore partnering with specialists. The ultimate goal for most MSPs is improving customer experience, both for their own clients and their clients' clients. Trends in Managed Services research brief: https://connect.comptia.org/content/research/trends-in-managed-services-2022
28 minutes | Mar 18, 2022
Episode 143: Employee Experience
Carolyn and Seth welcome James Stanger, CompTIA's Chief Technology Evangelist, to talk about employee experience. Employee experience is becoming a critical discipline for businesses as the post-pandemic workplace evolves, and James talks about the need to improve hiring practices, the ways to help employees avoid burnout, and the importance of developing skills. McKinsey article on employee experience: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/this-time-its-personal-shaping-the-new-possible-through-employee-experience
22 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
Episode 142: Data Management and Analytics
Carolyn and Seth talk about CompTIA's latest research in the field of data management and analytics. More and more, companies are looking to their data to be the differentiating factor that will drive internal efficiency or external growth. While the ultimate goal is data analytics, most companies are finding that the first order of business is building structure and process around the data they already have. The overall effect is a huge demand for data skills, whether that's database administration, data analytics, or data science.
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