In the Inaugural CEO Corner, I focused on the history of Splashwire, reminiscing about the roots of the company and the role Y2K played in its creation all while pivoting to the vision that will lead us forward. Since that article, we welcomed in the year 2020, we officially are 20 years old and Y2K is definitively in the rear-view mirror. On behalf of all constituents of the company past and present to all the clients during those 20 years… THANK YOU! For prospective clients, we’re ready to welcome you aboard!
During the last 20 years, technology has evolved beyond our wildest dreams. I recall my ‘advanced pager’ with the monochrome screen, canned responses and two-way communication. I now wear a watch that talks to me, listens to me and sometimes corrects me. When I traded that pager and internal IT for a fancy iPhone and the consulting life, I came from significant experience in enterprise sized environments specializing in PCI and HIPPA compliance and SMB security was eye opening! Complicated, expensive solutions were reserved for larger entities with the burden of expertise and budget often too great for small business. I knew then I wanted to provide CIO services to the SMB market for business that did not have the financial luxury of full-time strategic IT resources. Every business needs and deserves strategic IT thought leadership and risk management at varying degrees.
I’d like to issue a call to action that 2020 is the year IT moves from operational necessity to a strategic part of your business. Define your security posture. Complete your disaster recovery plan. Create a culture for both and test them. Splashwire’s 2020 New Year’s resolution: Lead every client to grow their security posture, protect business assets, mitigate risks. How? CIO Services, Security as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a Service. Why? Quite honestly the risk of threats to your business are growing while simple, affordable solutions are more effective than ever in protecting your assets.
Welcome to the inaugural publishing of “The Wire” newsletter and my first swing at “The CEO Corner”. I have done some loose contribution writing to Network World in the past and rather enjoyed that so perhaps this will rekindle my enjoyment for writing for the benefit of Splashwire and our client base. As I begin writing this article, I am fresh off a 10-day trip to the backwoods of Montana with my father who is nearly 70. It was a great escape from the daily grind to living simply: electric from a generator, water from nature, and predators happy to prove who is truly at the top of the food chain when there is no Wegmans or Giant nearby. It was this experience that allowed me to step back from the work we’ve done over the last 2 years and think about the journey and the vision that took me to that mountain peak in Montana overlooking a valley and this dream to reality.
This company was built and curated with great vision, hard work and dedication for 18 years before it became time for a renewed vision and reboot of resources using the same hard work and dedication. With the launch of The Wire, the opportunity to tell the region about Splashwire’s nearly 20 years in business has arrived. Our vision will guide us and our mission will focus us.
Simplifying how technology is consumed has always resonated with me. For an IT guy, I have a lot of non IT business experience. I understand that the simpler things are, the easier and more openly the business and its people will adopt it.
— Josh Hinkle, President and CEO
My first years in the industry were the late 90’s. ‘IT’ was not an industry. Companies were just implementing email. I happen to be using PINE (if you have no idea what that is, consider yourself blessed). Most companies had no semblance of CRM and social media as we know it didn’t exist. It was a time of a huge shift in integrating technology in the work place with data becoming electronic. We were going to be better for it.
We’ve seen that keeping the technology simple and well aligned with the business workflow and needs is key. This becomes the intersection of mutual engagement, the symbiotic relationship where the business and IT need each other most. We know we don’t know your workflow as well as you, so teach and mentor us in the workflow, include us in the strategy and the results can help move your business forward.
Enhance how technology is experienced is defined by how well the technology works at the keyboard for everyone using it and the support that coincides with that. This means, you don’t care about all the technical jargon in the background, you want to know that the experience: logging on, opening your web-based app, running reports, data entry, two factor authentication and more does not get in the way of completing daily responsibilities. At this point, we are assuming we have had that mutual engagement that has laid the foundation of aligned solutions focused on the business. Budget, strategy and goal driven conversations at the executive level are minimal time commitments that are significant and critical pieces of any strategic and operational business unit; IT is no exception!
Lead with the strength of our capabilities is a function that I see in two separate but equally delivered services. First, it’s about our skillsets from a technical training and interpersonal consulting standpoint. In IT we focus heavily on technologies that become more and more specialized with time. We define that technology and our worth in implementation and managing through various nebulous acronyms certifying you as expert yet quickly we lose track of the latter skillset which is the interpersonal skills, task management, communication and relationship building if we are not careful. Worse yet, as IT folks we dedicate time and hard work and often fail to pivot to translating to creating value in the business.
Thought leadership is our focus for “The Wire”. We will proactively communicate information relevant to our client base whether it be operational updates, strategic nuggets, security alerts, data center or disaster recovery. We want the region to think of Splashwire as an integral part of important technology decisions and concerns.
Live our brand boldly is simple. Splashwire has a defined list of services, solutions and partners in our portfolio. None of those offerings, partners or team members make the line card if he or she doesn’t share the same credence and adherence to service and solutions for our customers. The bolder you live that brand, the more you attract like-minded clients who embrace that same commitment to technology. Clients have many options for technology partners to install hardware and software. We believe your commitment to technology is greater than ‘rack and stack’ and you deserve value added conversations. Our business is relational so yours is successful.
Thank you for taking time to join me in the CEO Corner!