Organisations are putting aside the retrenchment of the recession years and once again looking to IT to underpin the transformation and growth ambitions of their businesses. This is the clear takeaway from research conducted at EMC’s EMEA Forums in late 2012. More than 6,500 business and IT management professionals from 22 countries were surveyed to determine how businesses are changing in today’s economic climate.There are a few key parts to this survey that are telling of where the industry is headed. One of these reflects the complete change in the transformation of IT within the businesses that they support. Traditionally, IT has been a cost centre and a way of providing more automation to the business. That is changing fundamentally. We are still trying to drive out cost from our business but the change is that IT is becoming the fundamental change agent for agility, business operations and customer experience. This was borne out of the survey and features prominently in the conversations I have with CIOs and CFOs across EMEA every day.To remain competitive, there is a race to change and the challenges of the new IT environment lie in three key subject areas:Standardisation – Organisations must standardise more than they ever have before, which changes many business processes as well as how IT is viewedVirtualisation – Traditionally a server-based subject, organisations must now virtualise storage, network and applications completely so that business applications are separated from their physical infrastructureAutomation – Businesses cannot continue in an environment which is overwhelmingly manual. Processes must be automated, and at scale, so that IT resources can spend more time innovating and adding value back to the business.Investment in innovative technologies will enable organisations in EMEA to create disruptive business models and that will help ensure that the region can remain competitive on a global scale.For more from Adrian on the results of the survey, watch his full interview below.
Despite great uncertainty and sudden changes that cut their senior year short, the Saint Mary’s class of 2020 had no shortage of great memories to share about their college experience as they reflected on their time as Belles. For business administration major Maggie Cloud, her favorite Saint Mary’s memory happened during her first week of freshman year. “We would play card games every night that week, and that is how I met my best friends,” she said in an email. “Since that first week, we have been inseparable, and I always remember that week as the first time I really fell in love with Saint Mary’s and it became home.”These were the moments that solidified her friendships and contributed positively to her experience at Saint Mary’s.“It was small moments like playing cards on the floor of my dorm room with my friends that really shaped my entire experience at Saint Mary’s, and I am forever grateful for that time,” Cloud said. Rebecca Strom, a humanistic studies and English writing major, said in an email that her favorite memories of college include both her earthly and supernatural college friends. “The ghost in our Le Mans dorm, Paul, liked to play Cards Against Humanity with us,” Strom said. “Sometimes, he even won.” The pandemic is not the first unprecedented circumstance the senior class experienced during their four years. Psychology major Olivia Rake’s favorite memory took place during the temporary cancellation of classes during the Polar Vortex of 2019.“It was so fun just being able to spend all that time with my best friends,” Rake said in an email. “We were living in Le Mans at the time. We spent a solid two days binge-watching shows, laughing and eating way too many snacks. It was great.”Rake said her time at Saint Mary’s was made special by the amazing people she met. “Having these close friendships has enabled me to have a ’family’ at school, and I think that’s what I will miss most,” she said. “I can’t wait to come back for football games and see all my friends again.”In addition to the extreme cold, warm weather has also contributed to many great memories for students. History and political science major Molly Donegan said in an email that her favorite memory is playing frisbee outside Le Mans.“One of my most favorite memories at SMC occurred the spring semester of my junior year,” she said. “One of my friends had a frisbee in her backpack, and it was such a beautiful day, so she suggested we go throw it around on Le Mans Green. We made our way to the iconic side of Le Mans and just threw it in a circle for a couple of hours with not a care in the world.” Donegan said experiences like this one and the welcoming community made Saint Mary’s feel like a second home for her. “The friends I’ve made here are lifelong friends,” she said. “I truly feel I am somehow a part of this giant extended family. I am going to miss barging into my friends’ rooms to see what they are going to wear on a night out and our late Steak n’ Shake outings. Most of all I’m going to miss living right down the hall from my best friends. This tight-knit community is what I’m going to miss the most.”Despite all of the changes that occurred this semester in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional hooding ceremony still was a highlight for chemistry major and engineering student Andrea Ruiz-Montoya. “My favorite memory is the hooding ceremony,” she said in an email. “Even amid a global pandemic and having it virtually, the people who I cared about were there and that was enough for me.”Ruiz-Montoya spoke on behalf of her class, stating that experiencing this virtually helped provide her with the closure she needed. “I was able to speak on behalf of the class of 2020 and express our gratitude towards the people who made this possible,” she said. “Although it was last minute, I was happy to see it resonated with many people. There was something about putting my feelings into words that gave me the sense of closure a live ceremony probably wouldn’t.”Biology major Kassidy Jungles said in an email that her time at Saint Mary’s was defined by moments that made her understand what it means to be a Belle. “I have so many special memories of Saint Mary’s, but I will never forget walking over with fellow Belles to attend Domerfest,” Jungles said. “A few hours earlier, I remember saying tearful goodbyes to my parents and in a matter of hours, I felt so welcome and as though I truly belonged at SMC. When we walked past Le Mans, juniors and seniors opened their windows to display SMC posters and shouted, ‘Belle Yeah!’ to the first-year students below. In this moment, my entire college journey existed right before my eyes and I would do anything to be able to experience it all again.”Becoming a resident assistant and participating in the Study of the United States Institutes for Student Leaders (SUSI) had had a positive impact on gender and women’s studies major Genesis Vasquez’s experience, she said in an email. “I was a RA 2017-2019 and in the SUSI program summer 2018,” Vasquez said. “I met amazing people and some of my best SMC friends that have been with me through a lot of different phases in my college career and personal life. They have shaped me into the person I am today, and I thank them a lot for really having my back.”Abigail Seubert, a psychology major, said in an email that she will miss the wonderful people she has met during her time at Saint Mary’s.“The friendships I made in the first weeks of my freshman year that have become my lifelong friends,” Seubert said. “From Domerfest and dorm parties to spring breaks, sleepovers, holiday gift exchanges, wine nights, 21st birthday celebrations, all-nighters studying for exams, you name it … I’ve had my best friends by my side. I will miss living with my best friends, but I know the relationships I have formed during my four years at Saint Mary’s have foundations to last us a lifetime.”Tags: commencement 2020, dorm life, friendships, Graduation
19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John San Filippo John is the co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, Inc., a company that specializes in B2B marketing to community financial institutions. He started out in the savings and loan industry, but wisely … Web: www.omnichannelcommunications.com Details This has happened to me a number of times. Maybe it’s happened to you, too.You stumble across a hole-in-the-wall restaurant you never even noticed before. The food is absolutely fantastic. The employees treat you like family. And the prices make it possible to take the whole crew out for dinner without breaking the bank.Then one day you show up hungry as can be, only to find locked doors and a “closed” sign. What went wrong?Most likely, the owners suffered from what I call “Field of Dreams” syndrome. They thought that if they created a great restaurant, people would magically appear at their door. In other words, they thought they didn’t need and/or couldn’t afford marketing. Truth be told – and as time proved – they couldn’t afford to not market.Of course, “Field of Dreams” syndrome isn’t limited to just the food-service industry. In fact, I see quite a bit of it in the financial technology space. Companies large and small view marketing as somewhat of an extravagant expense – a nice-to-have rather than a must-have. The real fallacy here is looking at marketing as an expense at all.If you had purchased 1,000 shares of Apple stock in 2003, it would have cost you about $14,000. That’s not chump change. However, if you had held it until now, it would be worth several million dollars. Please, please tell me if you think there’s a single person on this entire planet who would moan and groan about the expense of having to shell out $14,000 for Apple stock, given this scenario. Clearly any sane person would view this as an investment, not an expense. And they’d be damned happy about it.With that thought in mind, it blows me away that companies grumble at the thought of putting money into marketing – an endeavor that’s proven to help grow companies and contribute to the bottom line. Marketing is an investment and – executed properly – it carries a measurable and favorable ROI. If your marketing isn’t making you money, you’re doing it wrong. There’s no other way to say it.The big question is: How much should you really be spending on marketing? Google around and you’ll find varying opinions, but they all seem to fall within the range of 5-10 percent of total revenue. And in fact, that appears to be what B2B companies are actually spending. A survey conducted by CMOsurvey.org based on 2013 data, but likely in line with what’s happening today, showed that in the B2B sector, both product and service companies spent about eight percent of total revenue on marketing. That’s across all revenue sizes.Interestingly, it was the smallest companies – those with less than $25M in revenue – that spent the most on marketing as a percentage of revenue. These companies spent over 11 percent of revenue on marketing. Incidentally, the lowest spending revenue range was $500M-$1B, at only 3.5 percent.Is your marketing investment at least somewhere in the general ballpark of the numbers I shared above? If not, do you think it’s because you know something everybody else doesn’t, or because everybody else knows something you don’t? I hate to break it to you (okay, honestly I don’t), but if you’re under-investing in marketing, you’re really doing your company a disservice.You know the old saying. You have to spend money to make money. That’s not exactly true. You have to invest money to make money. And when you invest wisely in marketing, you can make more money than you ever thought possible.