This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Brad Potter, Cloud Solution Executive at ISM Canada (an IBM company
The fastest growing SMBs have embraced the Cloud as a method to address four main IT Challenges:
1.High capital costs;
3.Scalability as the business grows, and;
4.Innovation as business matures.
Results are positive. Surveys indicate:
Organizations are finding Cloud computing provides immediate access to the tools needed to digitally transform their business and improve customer experience.
But many businesses are still reluctant to make the move to the Cloud despite these advantages. The reluctance to migrate is particularly evident in Western Canada, where we’ve seen cloud adoption be approximately 25 per cent less than the rest of Canada.
So, what’s holding you back?
Security is cited as the number one objection to Cloud for 49 per cent of organizations (IDC 2017). Should you be concerned? The security investments made by the major Cloud providers is significant and has created cloud platforms in which security breaches, due to vendor error are rare. In fact, the Cloud has proven to be more secure than most non-cloud environments.
A key detractor to cloud for customers in Western Canada is the worry that network connectivity will be insufficient to provide the type of response time and security that end users are accustomed to. With the major public Cloud providers located in Eastern Canada, it is understandable that network connectivity options should be well understood before proceeding. Several networking options exist to address the need for high bandwidth, security and connectivity to Cloud, including solutions based in Saskatchewan.
Service availability, including response time and user downtime, is a concern due to the perceived loss of control over the compute environment. To mitigate this concern, public Cloud vendors provide service levels for all their products with financial credits provided if they are not achieved. The robust engineering of the Cloud environment is such that high availability is consistently achieved. In a worst-case scenario, organizations can further protect critical applications by configuring them to automatically failover to alternate data centers should a Cloud data center go offline.
There is a general perception that services in the Cloud are more expensive than in the non-Cloud environment. This is often raised when the comparison between Cloud and non-Cloud platforms does not accurately reflect all the costs that make up the non-Cloud infrastructure.
With all the non-Cloud costs in the table above considered, there’s an almost 50 per cent reduction in support and maintenance costs when the Cloud is chosen. When doing a financial comparison or Cloud ROI, it’s also important to take into account the increased revenue that will take place as you drive your digital transformation results using Cloud services.
It can seem daunting when trying to decide how to get started. The best place to start often with consulting a trusted partner with experience in Cloud migrations. Cloud migration require skill and experience; often organizations who tackle this transition by themselves find it difficult and time consuming. If you want to know how to get started but aren’t sure where to begin, reach out and let’s grab a coffee. We can discuss your particular needs and help define a path forward to your organization to embrace all that the Cloud has to offer.
The Winnipeg Chamber: Businesses leaders don’t generally engage with their teams on cultural issues. Why is #MeToo different?
Shona Welsh: There are really two parts to your question. Let me start with the first part – the assertion business leaders don’t generally engage with their teams on cultural issues.
This has not been my experience. Of course there are always certain leaders who do not, but any leader who is serious about growing his/her business, engaging employees and building a work environment that attracts and retains top quality talent is serious about cultural issues.
Take the issue of diversity, for example. Certainly, 20 years ago this wasn’t on the radar in a big way for many of the leaders with whom I worked. But in 2018, it’s a huge issue and one leaders take seriously.
Which brings me to #MeToo. It’s not necessarily different than other cultural issues in terms of long term change. Anyone who’s a student of the women’s movement knows real change can often move at a glacial pace. I think two key things are at play in the #MeToo phenomenon: technology and momentum.
For technology, obviously social media has made the world much smaller and faster – we can know in an instant about an incident that happened in small town Manitoba while living in the heart of Toronto. Like so many other issues, sexual harassment and violence cannot withstand the glare of attention courtesy of technology. With regard to momentum, #MeToo stories appear to have reached a critical mass in the public consciousness partly due to the prominence of recently accused figures - Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, prominent political candidates and elected officials - and partly due to the fatigue of women in tolerating such behaviour. Whether motivated by profit or by the right thing to do, responsible businesses who want to stay in business ignore the #MeToo phenomenon at their peril.
WC: We’ve heard anecdotes from some members that a “chill” has descended on workplaces, with male leaders distancing themselves from female team members to avoid any appearance of impropriety. What’s your reaction?
SW: My reaction is I find this not only unfortunate but I regret it is an (I believe) unintended consequence of #MeToo. This is not the kind of workplace the vast majority of women I speak to want to have.
I am the mother of three sons and each of them has expressed this anxiety in one way or another, despite being respectful and professional young men. They worry they can have their careers destroyed by erroneous accusations. At the same time, I have two daughters who are also in the workplace and I don’t want them to experience the sexual harassment and assault I did. Women want to feel safe and respected at work.
The problem is that there are as many definitions of each of those terms as there are women in the workplace. The answer, I believe, lies in building respectful dialogue between men and women – we are all part of the answer. Isolating men from the issue is not a good strategy. I have spent most of my career working with almost exclusively male colleagues and the vast majority of them are professional, respectful and a pleasure to work with. Creating a workplace culture of blame and division will not get us anywhere on this issue.
WC: Do standards change depending on industry, sector, company size, etc.?
SW: Well I’m not sure what you mean by standards. If you’re speaking about legal standards, I’ll leave that up to the lawyers to answer. If you’re talking about standards of behaviour, then yes, in my experience things do vary from sector to sector and from small to large company. But reality is, there are no hard and fast answers regardless of industry sector or company size. That’s one of the key challenges of #MeToo or any confounding societal issue – black and white answers are not satisfying nor can they cover every eventuality.
As an example, I worked for many years at a large construction company. I can tell you for sure standards of behaviour varied wildly between that setting and when I worked for a provincial government department or post-secondary institution. Respectful and professional behaviour looks different depending on the setting. None of that means I felt less safe in the construction sector versus the public sector – it was just different.
Similarly, smaller companies can be more responsive to immediate issues due to size but they can also be less responsive due to the closer relationships among staff members. Larger companies can have more comprehensive policies in place and set an expectation of greater responsiveness but it can also be easier to obscure inappropriate behaviour in a large organization. As many of my HR colleagues will tell you, the very unsatisfying answer in all of this is often... “It depends.”
WC: What’s a story from your experience you like to share where an organization changed its culture?
SW: In the construction company I mentioned earlier, I was the first female they had ever hired as part of their executive team. This took some adjusting on both of our parts – them because they had to modify certain behaviours that had become common place in the work environment, and me because I had to be conscious of not taking offense or overreacting to instances of inappropriate behaviour. It was a learning process. We need to recognize that the human condition is such that even with the best of intentions, real change takes place over time – it’s not immediate. We can’t linger on every tiny offense when the overall direction is positive.
Two weeks after I started, I attended our international leadership summit where all the men (and me) met during the day and went on to dinner in the evening. Meanwhile, all of their wives (and my husband) had a separate dinner of their own. Apart from the fact my husband was the belle of the ball, when I good-naturedly ribbed the CEO about why we were having segregated dinners, he realized he didn’t have a good answer. So we weren’t segregated after that. It was a small start, but a start nonetheless, and over the next few years many significant changes took root – including the hiring of many more women at all levels of the company.
WC. Why don’t leaders take action on creating a safe, comfortable workplace on their own?
SW: It has not been my experience that leaders don’t take action on creating a safe, comfortable workplaces on their own. Of course there are always some who don’t. But I think it’s important to note a leader first needs to understand there is an issue before they can take action.
Let’s take for example a 2017 study of Canadian executives’ views on sexual harassment (95 per cent male). 94 per cent said it’s not an issue in their business. The third that did know of instances labeled them ‘infrequent’ and ‘rare’. They took a beating in the media for these perceptions, with many women accusing them of everything from obliviousness to willfully obstructing the truth.
I don’t think the explanation is as simple as those descriptors. We don’t have space to go into all the details here, but in describing to male colleagues over the years my experience with a workplace sexual predator, it became apparent to me they didn’t interpret the initial overtures of this predator in the same way me and my female colleagues did. The best analogy I can give is it was like the women had grown up developing ‘radar’ for such situations whereas the men did not. It was an ah-ha moment for me in realizing women and men often exist in two entirely different worlds in the workplace. And leaders – male and female – have a particular responsibility to bridge that gap in perception. Once they understand there is a gap then they truly take action on creating safe, comfortable workplaces. I think #MeToo has highlighted that gap in an urgent and concrete way.
On behalf of the Disabilities Issues Office
The Manitoba Government invites non-profit community organizations to submit project proposals to improve physical accessibility to Community Places Program (CPP) by May 28, 2018.
The Province of Manitoba will grant up to $50,000 in funding (must be matched with other sources) and planning assistance for facility or green space construction, upgrading, expansion or acquisition projects, including accessibility improvements. Projects should target sustainable recreation and wellness benefits to communities. The projects must be completed by March 31, 2019.
Community Places Program will be hosting an “Application / Project Planning Webinar” on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. for groups who are considering applying for assistance under CPP. This webinar will provide an overview of the program, eligibility criteria, Technical Services available and instruction on filling out the grant application.
Please register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have require assistance, please call Municipal Relations at 204-726-6352.
“We’re looking to create careers, not jobs.” – Minister Pedersen.
Recognizing the economy’s health is tied to the health of our communities, The Winnipeg Chamber has been an outspoken advocate for a comprehensive provincial strategy to support Manitoba business. We’re deeply pleased with the province’s recent work to build that plan (including a summit co-hosted with The Chamber for private business owners) as we look for action that leverages our strengths, addresses modern opportunities and shares prosperity with all Manitobans.
That dialogue and relationship with Minister Blaine Pedersen and the team at Growth, Enterprise and Trade continues. Today we hosted the Minister, Deputy Minister Dave Dyson and a number of our members for a wide ranging discussion, including
Online submissions to shape Manitoba economic strategy are open until May 18. You can share your insights, priorities and feedback here.
Cybercrimes are growing exponentially, posing tremendous threats to our financial markets, undermining public confidence, violating our privacy and costing hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
A recent PWC survey found over half of Canadians companies have been a victim of cybercrime. Accenture found few Canadians know how to respond to cybersecurity threats.
Booth UC, in partnership with global cyber education leader Cybint, is answering the call and offering two online cyber literacy courses this fall. The courses are relevant for anyone including the public and professionals who are hoping to stay ahead of the growing trend in cybercrime.
Using a unique "micro-learning" concept for maximum retention, these courses offer a comprehensive overview of cybercrimes, covering terminology, best practices to protect against cyber threats, unique online search and analysis techniques, and methods to uncover hidden data and recover deleted data from around the web.
Angela Davis, chair of the business program at Booth UC, says, “Educating everyday users, employees or both on cybersecurity risks is key today. These courses provide that education and also include practical tools that students can start using today. In addition to our financial crimes major in the BBA program, Booth UC is providing unique opportunities for the community to improve cybersecurity."
"Cyber literacy has become a core necessity within the workplace, and the demand for expertise in the cybersecurity and cyber intelligence fields continues to grow," says Roy Zur, Cybint CEO and global cybersecurity and cyber intelligence expert. "Our programs are designed to provide cyber literacy at both the individual level and managerial level – creating a broad network of cyber expertise that extends beyond typical technical expertise and adds value in any professional or business environment."
Although the courses begin this fall, for those looking to secure a spot in these popular courses registration is open now. For additional information contact admissions@MyBoothUC.ca or phone (204) 924-4887 or toll-free: 877-942-6684 ext. 887
TELUS Technology Accelerator 3 has expanded into Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
TTA3 is currently seeking startups from across Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan with technologies that TELUS can potentially use, integrate or commercialize in the following six priority areas:
For more information and to apply, please visit www.calgarytechnologies.com/tta.
Application Deadline: May 4, 2018
Data security and privacy breach: the most pernicious disease facing businesses today. Yet few victims will speak its name. Can your business survive a data security or privacy breach?
ISACA Winnipeg has invited Peter McCabe, Technology Practice Leader & Account Executive at PROLINK to speak on the subject of data security and privacy breach to shine a light on this dark topic.
The presentation will cover the following elements of this disease:
What about cyber insurance? Its purpose is to relieve the financial stress and provide access to experts. It’s only one piece of an ongoing risk management plan.
When: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 11:30 AM to 1:15 PM
Where: RBC Convention Centre – Millennium Suite (375 York Ave, Winnipeg)
ISACA Members: $40.00
Register online here
Most small business owners are adept at doing more with less and tend to acquire skills and knowledge on the fly.
From business development and sales to human resources and accounting, the skills required in small business are wide-ranging and demanding. And with entrepreneurs particularly short on free time, finding training or education opportunities to fill gaps in that skillset can be especially challenging.
Here’s where MOOCs might just be the answer. Learn how MOOCs (massive open online courses) can help small business owners access highly flexible training opportunities across a broad range of subjects and skills.
MOOC’s Canadian Connection
MOOCs were largely a product of the open educational resources movement, with the term MOOC first coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island. Cormier’s inspiration for the original MOOC concept was a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge(CCK08), which was led by George Siemens of Athabasca University and Stephen Downes of the National Research Council.
The course consisted of 25 tuition-paying students in Extended Education at the University of Manitoba, as well as over 2,200 online students from the general public who participated for free. Course content was available through RSS feeds, and online students could participate through collaborative tools, including blog posts, threaded discussions in Moodle, and Second Life meetings.
Where to look for a MOOC
While there are numerous MOOC providers these days, a few of the top providers are working with some of world’s most renowned institutions and most successful companies.
MOOC Benefits Compared to Traditional Learning
Free Learning: Do We Get What We Didn’t Pay For?
It seems unlikely that Harvard University or Google would risk diminishing their brand by delivering sub-standard educational programming, but there are some important aspects to consider.
Statistical analysis of MOOC uptake has revealed that completion rates tend to be low — the numbers vary from about three to 15 per cent. Several different factors are likely to blame, but the challenge for many seems to be the self-directed nature of the learning experience itself. Researchers did find that learners who made some sort of financial investment in the course (even $50) had much higher completion rates (closer to 70%).
As with any business activity you take on, whether it’s revamping your company’s visual identity or completing a two-week course in App Marketing, a good return on investment always starts with an investment. Making the most of MOOCs will still require an investment of your time, focus, and energy, as well as a plan that applies the concepts you’ve learned into the context of your business.
Canadian Business has released their rankings for the 2018 list of Best Managed Companies and we're thrilled to see proud Winnipeg Chamber members in every category. Congratulations to the organizations recognized for their tireless focus on their people.
View the full list of Canadian companies here.
Manitoba Start offers a wide range of Diversity and Intercultural training for Manitoba businesses and organizations. As the leading provider of career services for newcomers to Manitoba, they address employers’ recruitment needs by matching the unique skill sets of qualified, job-ready newcomers with employers’ specific job requirements.
They offer customized diversity training for management to frontline staff to meet workplace needs and support organizations in building cultural competence. As a starting point for building cultural awareness, they offer 4 signature courses that build on diversity competency objectives.
Level 1: Defining and Achieving Workplace Cultural Awareness: This foundational course helps participants to become aware of cultural values that affect all workplace interactions. By explaining in detail the dynamics of culture and diversity and specific cultural aspects that affect the workplace, the course helps participants gain useful strategies that can be applied immediately in the workplace.
Level 2: Workplace Communication: The Impact of Culture
Taking the foundational knowledge about culture and diversity to the next level, this course explores the impacts of cultural filters to the process of communication. Barriers to effective Intercultural Communications are identified and strategies for overcoming them explored, allowing participants to start applying them to their own workplace situation thus improving their communication with colleagues, clients, and customers.
Level 3: Recognizing Cross-Cultural Conflict in the Workplace
This course focuses on learning to recognize conflicts that may arise within a culturally diverse environment. Building on the diversity awareness and communication skills courses, this session helps participants to recognize their own cultural ways of dealing with conflict and to examine cultural norms that affect how others see and deal with conflict. It provides take away strategies and tools that can be applied in the workplace.
Level 4: Engaging your Diverse Work Team (Supervisory)
Specifically designed for managers, team leaders and supervisory staff, this workshop provides essential tools to assist in supervising diverse employees. This course explores ways in which cultural values and perceptions affect the process of managing and overseeing employees, and strategies to lead a diverse talented workforce.
We also offer three free one-hour sessions on three different topics:
These free courses can be delivered at meetings or incorporated into ‘lunch-and-learn’ sessions.
To request a free session at your workplace or explore Manitoba Start's signature training programs, check out their Diversity and Intercultural Training website or contact Jaime Chinchilla (Coordinator, Diversity and Intercultural Training) at 204-944-8833 x 165 firstname.lastname@example.org.