The year in review … for network admins

A selection of top stories from 2015 — from the rise of wearables in the workplace to the end of unified communications as we know it.


In 2015 we’ve seen oil prices plummet, new federal and provincial governments rise to power, and a rather shocking Game of Thrones season finale that almost shut down the Internet.

In the world of IT, we’ve continued to see new technologies take hold — but we’ve also seen the same problems crop up, such as ineffective meetings and siloed departments. Here are some of my favourite stories from expertIP over 2015, looking at everything from tech trends to facing some of those common problems that hold us back.

1. Beyond the runway

Earlier this year I attended the Life & Tech Wearable Tech Expo in Toronto. And though it was aimed at consumers, a chat with Tom Emrich, founder of the We Are Wearables user community, enlightened me about why wearables will give the enterprise a makeover. While consumers are interested in wearables for fun and fitness (and maybe even fashion), the enterprise will turn to wearables for productivity apps, as well as identity and authentication (such as Nymi, which uses a person’s electrocardiogram — or heartbeat — as a secure biometric identifier). Pretty cool stuff.

2. Spot the UC&C subtext

In a humorous (and not-so-surprising) article, Christine Wong looked at some of the best posts from MeetingRant.com, a site where users voice their unified communications and collaboration frustrations. While most of the rants involve human faults and foibles, such as “woman who constantly goes off topic,” technology is a big pet peeve. For example: “Wasting half the meeting watching the host try to get either network access, web conferencing running, or accessing a resource that requires VPN. OH GOD. THIS IS EVERY MEETING.”  Christine also points to resources to help both enterprises and SMBs successfully adopt UC&C — many of which are essential to making the modern meeting happen.

3. Follow the torch

This summer Toronto hosted the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games (of which Allstream was the Official Managed IP Communications Supplier and Official Hosted Collaboration Solutions Supplier). Shane Schick considered what the torch relay could teach IT departments: “Until recently, the way IT work was passed on in large organizations was nothing like the Pan Am Games’ torch relay. Responsibilities for things like network administration, security and application development were given in a linear fashion as junior staff moved up through the ranks, from help desk to IT manager and possibly to CIO.” Following the flame, he said, is a good metaphor to describe the way technology leadership is changing.

4. Deloitte on the new IT job description

Earlier this year Deloitte CTO Bill Briggs gave his thoughts on the future of the IT executive job description to expertIP blogger Jared Lindzon. This new job description, according to Briggs, is a result of technology seeping into every core business function. He explains that IT is no longer a yearly budget item, but a standing agenda topic, and CTOs are increasingly receiving questions they may have never been asked before.

5. The end of UC?

At Allstream, there’s a lot of talk about UC. But Stefan Dubowski looked at the end of unified communications as we know it — as it evolves into something called CACC. According to Forrester researchers, CACC is “a future vision of communications and collaboration technologies that will help optimize the operation of the customer experience ecosystem.” Dubowski breaks down the jargon, explaining what it means and how to make it work for you.

While it’s impossible to predict what the next year will bring (though many analysts will try), the team here at expertIP is dedicated to bringing you the top tech stories — and insightful commentary, tips and advice — to help you along the way.

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos

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