Elka Popova's Blog

The CIO's Letter to Santa

09 Dec 2012 | by Elka Popova
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Have you ever wondered what a CIO’s letter to Santa might look like?

In a previous post, I shared the key findings of two recent Frost & Sullivan studies that surveyed the opinions of North American C-level executives and senior IT staff on unified communications & collaboration (UCC) tools adoption and investment plans. Based on these findings and other research, I imagine the CIO’s letter to Santa this year might go like this:

"Dear Santa,

The new year is right around the corner, and it looks like it’s going to be another challenging one. Our sales in Europe and China have tanked, and we might be headed into a new recession at home. The CFO is being extra tough with the IT budget; he is demanding hard ROI for every IT dollar spent. With the CFO, it’s all about the bottom line. So there we are again, laser-focused on the basics—which in CFO talk is mostly price, of course. 

But then there is the CMO … She’s not like the CFO at all; all SHE wants to do is spend. I constantly hear about fancy new tools she wants to use—“to improve sales and better serve our customers,” she says. These days, social media is all she wants to talk about. Just thinking about the security issues with all these social tools makes me lose sleep at night. What’s worse, I suspect the CMO is already using some of that stuff behind my back—there is so much free software out there and so much more you can get on demand (on the CMO’s dime, granted, but then who gets to deal with it when things go wrong?)

As if the CFO and the CMO were not enough, the employees are giving me headaches, too. They are going wild with all kinds of new tools that they are using on the corporate network. Personal cell phones and tablets are used for work purposes all the time. Skype and Facebook are now on almost every company laptop. Don’t these younger people know anything about security and governance? 

There is something else going on, too—more and more people are working from home or some place outside the office these days. The cubicles are empty; I am not sure why we are paying for all this space and utilities. But I’ll let others worry about that. My concern is—how do I get them hooked up to the corporate networks and applications while they are sipping coffee in pajamas and slippers at home. We might have to give UC and video more serious consideration or the company will just break up into silos.

But that’s not all … Here in IT, we are constantly swamped and overwhelmed. We can’t manage our aging technologies efficiently anymore. Also, new regulatory requirements call for an infrastructure upgrade. But my IT staff hardly ever get the chance to work on strategic projects; ongoing maintenance and support consume all of their time and energy. With everything going on, it is now apparent that our existing IT infrastructure is no longer aligned with broader company needs and objectives.

Here is where we stand today. We are already half-way through with our IP migration, but we need to further consolidate our infrastructure and optimize our IT operations. Virtualization might be the answer, but we haven’t quite figured out how to virtualize our communications platforms yet. We are looking at new delivery models, too. In this economy, hosted or cloud services may give us some flexibility, but I am concerned about security and control. We want to make so many changes, but we might as well wait and see how things pan out. Everything is evolving so fast these days!

So you see, Santa, I have a lot on my mind and I am hoping you can help. My wish list is very long, but this is what I really need in 2013:

  • Cost-effective and secure mobile integration solutions. There is no keeping these smartphones and tablets off the company premises any more.
  • Social media integration and data mining tools. The CMO just won’t give me a break! 
  • UC technologies such as presence, web collaboration, and desktop video. I must find a way to keep these remote employees connected or they will never get anything done.
  • Hosted services for some of the branches. But I am confused about all the different options. So, I’ll also need help getting educated so I can make the right choices.
  • An interoperable and securely federated IT world. Can you get the vendors to cooperate more? Or is that too much to ask for?
  • If you can’t give me any of the above, just help me find a way to reduce infrastructure and operational costs. I need a partner who will understand my goals and objectives and offer solutions that best fit my case. I am tired of vendors trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Thank you in advance, Santa.


The CIO”


Well CIO your letter to Santa sounds much interesting and I hope Santa will give us proficient solution. I truly appreciate the angle of your shared Information. It reminds me same feelings when I manage my stuff Especially Employees. If you allow me to add my opinion, I must say that it’s very hard to manage ROI for CIO's including me and you. I mean why we need to take so much aggression to run the system if we invest bundles of dollars, anyone even teens who're in such level that they don't even know about cellphones, Tablets, iPad, or stuff like Entertaining Media can identify us because of our half shaved head. Please Santa listen frustrated CIO’s request and dig us out from infrastructure and operational cost issue especially. But if we let all issue's aside I want to refer you a solution as I follows it too, "At least I am a little bit satisfy regarding employee work. Look man! If I am investing then it’s my right to monitor that in which direction it is moving, and definitely to solve this issue I must have a genuine source or agent, for that purpose a little bit more investment required, and I did. Brought new official PC's, Laptops, Tablets and cellphones. I made a rule that I'll hold and monitor whole official stuff like Employees Accessories, Laptops, PC's and cellphone. Just now I can say that I'm Satisfy to operational angle of my investment. Said by one of USA investor, and if you ask me personally, staff monitoring was one of my top wish in my wish list. I feel happy to satisfy, and I’ll consider myself with relaxed CIO if someone implement this solution through my reference, I believe you'll feel same if a someone implement this innovative solution through your reference.
Posted by karen joseph | 16 Sep 2014

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