Truckers Are On Board With IT Convergence, Are You?

We at Consumer Buzz decided to shed a little light and love on the IT people in our lives, especially since System Administrator Appreciation Day just passed. (Make sure that next July 28th you have some cake and ice cream ready, just in case you forgot.) To celebrate them, we’re going to put some emphasis on the work that they do and how it can improve productivity, efficiency and (ultimately) profitability for any industry.

According to a new theory, one of the biggest keys to improving Information Technology lies not in specialization, but integration. While many IT departments focus on cloud, mobility, social collaboration or big data technology, Drue Reeves posits that the true value of these services lies is their interoperability. While delivering the opening keynote at Gartner’s Catalyst Conference, Reeves suggested, “We have to think of IT as a factory.” Taking the raw materials of information and labor and increasing their resultant output, Reeves claims that, “In the middle IT adds value.”

Though this may seem like a natural progression, it also represents a radical shift in the way IT departments are managed. Instead of having one person or department handle each of those four topics, technicians may find themselves wearing increasingly more hats, with specialists sprinkled in relevant departments. Large sets of data could soon be available in mobile and cloud formats to more easily inform social collaboration—which is just one of the ways that all four of these departments can be interlocked to create a functional, thriving network that makes the end-user (i.e. your employees) more engaged and less frustrated.

For proof of the effectiveness of this approach, Reeves invited several innovators in IT integration to speak to the Catalyst crowd. Harper Reed, chief technical officer of President Obama’s reelection campaign, was first to reinforce Reeves’ message. Explaining how his team relied on speed, data and metrics, Reed claimed that his team of 40 was a recognized (and greatly appreciated) authority on the direction of Obama’s successful campaign—relying on cloud software for most of their large data while on the move.

But the most interesting and clear-cut example came from an industry that usually (and apparently erroneously) isn’t associated with cutting-edge IT: trucking. Odell Tuttle, CTO of XRS, explained the technological advancements implemented by his company. With cloud networks, XRS is now able to collect six terabytes of information per rig every year using mobile devices installed in the trucks. This means that data can be broken down by route, driver, truck, state or any other number of quantifiable data sets in order to increase productivity and efficiency for the company. With so much data at their fingertips, XRS has a distinctive advantage over its competitors in terms of information accessibility and collaboration.

Perhaps it’s time your company got on board.

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