It`s Always Sunny in Orlando



It`s Always Sunny in Orlando
It’s Always Sunny in Orlando:
Leveraging local gems to win the Talent War
and 8 other key learnings
Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum, Orlando 2015
About the IEF
An invite-only community, the Innovation Executive Forum gives
senior IT executives a platform to share experiences and engage
in discussions about trends affecting their business and their role
as a leader.
In April 2015, the IEF made a stop at the Waldorf Astoria in
Orlando, Florida, bringing together senior IT leaders from across
industries to share a dinner and their stories from the field.
What follows is a distillation of 9 key findings that were unveiled,
offering insight into best practices and challenges for those
working in the innovation department, everywhere.
Talent Wars becoming unsustainable
Recruiting people with the right skills and education is harder than
ever. Unfortunately some organizations are setting new financial
benchmarks to hook young people to the tune of $95k – leading to
the question, “how sustainable can this practice be in the future?”
Technology + entertainment = happy talent
In Orlando, like other university towns, businesses and local
government struggle to keep talent after graduation. The solution?
Re-establish the district in a way that brings technology and
entertainment together.
It’s always sunny in Orlando
Local IT leaders are attracting new talent by leveraging bad winters
and inviting candidates down to Orlando with the whole family to
interview. Highlighting life in Florida places a new level of “work/life
balance” on the table.
Cloud pricing - an unknown
Today, services such as AWS are incredibly cheap. But consider
what happens when they turn up the dial from 1 penny to 2. All of a
sudden, budgets need to double. Planning for the future should not
only account for the fee structure of today but the costs of
tomorrow, too.
Be a listener and an enabler
Listen to various lines of business to find ways to work with them
and get things done. Shadow IT is an example of how you can do
more to support the business. IT should be seen as the broker of
new services – not the police.
Hail to the chief (of security)
The demand grows for security leadership. Why? Simple: It’s more
important than ever to the business – and the brand.
Core or contextual?
Understand your business so intimately that you know what is
“core” and what is “contextual.” This lets you partner with
organizations that do things better than you and can bring far more
value to your business.
Cloud FOMO syndrome
Some IT leaders notice a plague in the executive circle, cited as
the “Fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome.” This is causing some
to dip their proverbial toes into the cloud, without having an actual
plan or strategy. That’s a poor way to start a massive undertaking.
The business analyst rises
We are seeing ever more business analyst roles in IT– clearly
there is a growing need. As one member stated, “it just makes
sense as they know and are skilled in managing both the technical
and business outcomes discussions.”
Want more from your peers?
Take part in IEF and discover free resources such as
whitepapers at
Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum – Orlando participants
The Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum Membership represented senior executives from a
cross section of industries from various sectors and sizes of organizations each bringing unique
perspectives together as thought leaders within their own business. The membership included:
Chief Information Officer at a large University
Chief Information Officer at a largest Consumer Protection and Personal Injury Firm
Vice President of IT at a largest Recycler of Refinery and Natural Gas
Director of IT Operations at a leading Supplier of Cellulose Specialties Products
President, CEO and Founder of a Software Solutions Company
Softchoice participants
• David MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer
• Erika Van Noort, Senior Director, Strategic Customer Enablement
• Chip Stein, District Sales Manager
Guest IEF participant
• Bob Meyers, Account Manager Orlando District, Cisco Systems
IEF Sponsorship
A Special Thank You to our Innovation Executive Forum Platinum Sponsors
“As key Softchoice partners, Cisco, Dell, VMware and Microsoft share the same belief of connecting a community of
IT Leaders, I’m honored and thankful that Cisco, Dell, VMware and Microsoft have accepted our invitation to act as
the Softchoice Innovation Executive Forum - Platinum Sponsors to support this peer-to-peer experience focused on
driving innovation back into our businesses collectively.”
– David MacDonald, President & CEO
About Microsoft
About Cisco
Founded in 1975, Microsoft
(NASDAQ: MSFT) is the worldwide
leader in software, services, devices
and solutions that help people and
businesses realize their full potential.
For more information, news and
perspectives from Microsoft, please
visit the Microsoft News Center at
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the
worldwide leader in IT that helps
companies seize the opportunities of
tomorrow by proving that amazing
things can happen when you connect
the previously unconnected. For
ongoing news, please go to
About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and
delivers innovative technology and
services that give them the power
to do more. Dell Services
develops and delivers a
comprehensive suite of services
and solutions in applications,
business process, consulting,
infrastructure and cloud services
to help customers succeed. Visit
Dell Services on LinkedIn and
follow us on Twitter
About Vmware
VMware is a leader in cloud
infrastructure and business mobility.
Built on VMware’s industry-leading
virtualization technology, our
solutions deliver a brave new model
of IT that is fluid, instant and more
secure. Customers can innovate
faster by rapidly developing,
automatically delivering and more
safely consuming any application.
With 2014 revenues of $6 billion,
VMware has more than 500,000
customers and 75,000 partners. The
company is headquartered in Silicon
Valley with offices throughout the
world and can be found online at

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