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Where in the World is Matt Lee?

Matt earns a “master’s degree,” plays with Microsoft Bookings, and dishes on PaaS

November found me doing 12 presentations along with lots of networking opportunities and my typical chaotic calendar. My meetings this month included appearances with IT Nation Evolve, Channel Future’s Pro, virtual mission briefs, lots of product advisory boards, and all the usual suspects and engagements. I also met with several of our partners and made some awesome progress, and sat in on part two of Iconic’s Modern Workplace Journey series webinars. 

I recently met with vlogger and business coach Andrew Moon for an interview about the future of MSPs. I really enjoyed this interview, and we are planning on doing a series of ongoing interviews around this topic (which is one of my favorites). Andrew Moon is a very popular vlogger, and I’m always amazed when the big-league players pay attention and take notice when I speak. It’s just further proof of the authority Iconic IT is gaining in the MSP world.  

In case you missed it, I passed my CISSP (Certified Information Security Specialist Professional) test in November. It’s a beast of a test, with up to 150 questions. You need to finish 100, but I finished 106. Not to brag, but in the UK this certification is the equivalent of a master’s degree. That would be helpful in London, but I must admit it’s a great feeling and accomplishment here in the US, too! 

I have been playing with Microsoft Bookings, the app that lets people schedule meetings directly on to your calendar. I love that I don’t have to juggle finding availabilities for meetings, but take my word for it: schedule buffer time or you will be in back-to-back meetings 24/7.  

I want to take a minute to talk about Platform as a Service. I feel like we are missing a key component of PaaS when we focus on productivity and connectivity without talking about reducing risk and increasing control. 

Let’s start by putting value on an object, say for example, a laptop computer. We’ll set the physical value at $1000. But let’s go a little deeper.  

Data is owned by the company. It is “lent” to users. It has value. How much? The value depends on many factors, but let’s say for this example that the data can be valued at $10,000 if it is lost or stolen. That’s the cost of the data loss itself, as well as fines and legal fees following an incident.  

Let’s put another value on that laptop: responsibility. Did you know that more and more CEO’s and users are being held personally responsible for data loss following an incident? Ouch. 

So, if we say that this one laptop is worth $11,000 and multiply that by the number of laptops within an organization, you can see how devastating a single incident can be. Tech, data privacy, and systems all have inherent risks. PaaS is all about increasing control and decreasing that business risk.  

Yes, PaaS is a great way to increase productivity. In fact, PaaS allows an element of measurability for productivity by giving access to important metrics that couldn’t be tracked before. Response times, hours that are the most productive, time spent in meetings and other personal benchmarks can be measured by cloud-based apps such as Microsoft’s Cortana digital personal assistant.  PaaS gives time back to users, increases productivity, streamlines efficiency, and improves capabilities.  

But let’s not forget that one of the biggest benefits of PaaS is protections, security, and control. These are elements of PaaS that aren’t emphasized nearly enough by cloud services providers. 

We talk about the Modern Workplace Journey as consisting of three phases:  

React: Here is a problem. We need to fix it. 

Respond: Here is the solution, Platform as a Service. 

Reimagine: Let’s measure, streamline, and address our problems for a better outcome. 

Remember that the Modern Workplace Journey is a marathon, not a sprint. While every step increases capabilities, it’s the entire process that yields the measurable, quantifiable results. 

Until next time, everyone take care and have a safe, enjoyable holiday season. See you next year! 

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