IT Matters | Tech Solutions and Strategies for Every Industry

Opkalla

Welcome to the Opkalla IT Matters Podcast, where we discuss the important matters within IT as well as the importance of IT across different industries and responsibilities.

About Opkalla:
Opkalla helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the technology solutions that are right for their business. They work alongside IT teams to design, procure, implement and support the most complex IT solutions without an agenda or technology bias. Opkalla was founded around the belief that IT professionals deserve better, and is guided by their core values: trust, transparency and speed. For more information, visit https://opkalla.com/ or follow them on LinkedIn.

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Episódios

Technology's Impact on the EMC Industry, with Anthony Kent
05-04-2024
Technology's Impact on the EMC Industry, with Anthony Kent
In this episode, Keith and special guest Jesse are joined by Anthony Kent, VP of Information Technology at Four County EMC, an electric membership cooperative in North Carolina. Anthony shares insights into the technological advancements and challenges faced by electric cooperatives, particularly focusing on the integration of new technologies and AI into their operations.Conversation Highlights:[00:17] Introducing our guests, Anthony Kent and Jesse Erickson[01:17] How Jesse and Anthony met[02:46] Anthony's career journey and background[06:32] Explaining what an electric co-op is[09:18] Technologies impacting Anthony's role[15:27] AI in the EMC industry[19:30] Anthony's integration challenges[24:51] Learning from failures in his role[29:13] Innovations in the OT space[33:41] Anthony's message to IT leadersNotable Quotes:"You need to have some buffers in place to help protect yourself, your data, and your organization, but AI is here to stay. And it's going to be a bigger part of the future going forward." Anthony Kent [12:23]"Just keep moving along. We're all human. We all make mistakes. All we can do is just try to be better." Anthony Kent [34:53]Connect With Anthony KentLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthony-k-b3ab0b5/Off the Wire: https://open.spotify.com/show/4hTvTSA935imZPY41wXS39?si=0c7eb684d6754b51The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT. It is produced by Opkalla, a technology advisory firm that helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the solution that is right for their business.
Implementing Zero Trust Architecture, with William MacMillan
21-03-2024
Implementing Zero Trust Architecture, with William MacMillan
William MacMillan serves as the Chief Product Officer at Red Cell Partners, an incubation firm building rapidly-scalable technology-led companies. After nearly two decades of military service, he transitioned into the role of Chief Information Security Officer at the CIA, safeguarding our nation against cyber threats. In this episode, we discuss the process of implementing Zero Trust Architecture in your organization and its importance.Conversation Highlights:[00:23] Introducing our guest, William MacMillan[01:26] MacMillan's experience in the service[04:02] Transitioning to the CIA[06:14] CIA in the film industry[11:38] Origins of Zero Trust Architecture[18:09] Zero Trust Strategy in the CIA[26:19] The impacts of Generative AI[29:00] Introducing Red Cell Partners[34:45] Advice to young people interested in cyberNotable Quotes:"We're starting to see Gen AI harnessed in ways that are going to help the overworked and overwhelmed cyber defenders that need to operate a lot more efficiently." William MacMillan [28:05]"I can't emphasize enough, I don't know why people wouldn't want to work in cybersecurity. It's where the action is." William MacMillan [35:27]Resources Mentioned:Spycraft Entertainment: https://spycraftentertainment.com/Jerry O'SheaJohn SipherKari AmelungPhil ReillyConnect With William MacMillanLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-macmillan-b835714/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT. It is produced by Opkalla, a technology advisory firm that helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the solution that is right for their business.
Understanding MDR Services, with Brennan Manion
07-03-2024
Understanding MDR Services, with Brennan Manion
Brennan Manion serves as a Senior Account Executive at Red Canary, a Managed Detection Response service providing 24/7/365 protection for their customers. Through Red Canary's innovative approach, which integrates AI and human expertise, organizations can effectively mitigate cyber threats while minimizing false positives, providing peace of mind in an ever-evolving threat landscape. In this episode, we discuss the significance of MDR and the intricate differences between EDR, MDR, and XDR.Conversation Highlights:[01:39] Introducing our guest, Brennan Manion[07:12] Defining MDR[12:30] Discussing the origin of Red Canary[13:32] Adopting a cloud-first model[15:39] False positives in MDR[18:09] Comparing EDR, MDR, and XDR[21:16] Partnering with Red Canary[24:25] Leveraging AI in MDR services[27:10] Brennan's message to IT leadersNotable Quotes:"The number one core value at Red Canary is we do what's right for the customer." Brennan Manion [15:19]"If you feel strong about something, push the button. You'd be surprised at the amount of greatness that you can bring the world." Brennan Manion [28:30]Connect With Brennan ManionLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brennan-manion-5a916639/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT. It is produced by Opkalla, a technology advisory firm that helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the solution that is right for their business.
Navigating IT Challenges in Healthcare, with Todd Capriotti
15-02-2024
Navigating IT Challenges in Healthcare, with Todd Capriotti
Todd Capriotti serves as the Chief Information Officer of Wahiawa General Hospital, a community-owned, non-profit hospital serving Central Oahu and Oahu's North Shore. Hand-picked as the first-ever CIO for Wahiawa, Todd pioneered a comprehensive transformation strategy, reversing a 5+ year negative trend of delivery outages and service interruptions. In this episode, we discuss the unique challenges of revamping IT infrastructure and cybersecurity protocols in the healthcare industry.Conversation Highlights:[01:02] Introducing our guest, Todd Capriotti[06:08] Solution providers in Hawaii[09:15] Accepting the CIO role at Wahiawa[10:36] Todd's biggest struggles in the role[16:32] Aligning with the other C-Suite leaders[19:48] Stretching the IT budget in a non-profit[23:07] Protecting data in the healthcare system[26:42] Discussing public cloud service[30:12] Todd's message to IT leadersNotable Quotes:"We have to fix the infrastructure before we can worry about fixing security." Todd Capriotti [14:24]"It's not about being right. It's about getting it done correctly." Todd Capriotti [32:23]Connect With Todd CapriottiLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-capriotti/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT. It is produced by Opkalla, a technology advisory firm that helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the solution that is right for their business.
Defending Your Valuable Data Assets, with Kristopher Moniz
25-01-2024
Defending Your Valuable Data Assets, with Kristopher Moniz
Kristopher Moniz serves as the National Data & Analytics Lead for Centric Consulting, an international management consulting firm with unmatched expertise in business transformation, AI strategy, cyber risk management, technology implementation and adoption. Kristopher's focus is helping his clients tackle their Data & Analytics challenges, specifically in the insurance industry, where he has concentrated the last fifteen years of his career. Today we discuss the importance of a data strategy in your organization and the steps to building one.Conversation Highlights:[00:40] Microsoft Copilot updates [02:14] Introducing our guest, Kristopher Moniz[04:23] Explaining data strategy[09:49] Building an organizational data strategy[13:36] Utilizing a business plan[23:04] Data and AI[25:27] Security risks with LLMs[30:19] Compliance laws in the modern landscape[34:39] Cloud first approach[39:19] Emerging tech in data and analytics[42:12] Kristopher's message to IT leadersNotable Quotes:"You can't have AI without data." Aaron Bock [23:33]"Every bit of data has value, you just don't know exactly what that value is yet." Kristopher Moniz [43:16]Connect With Kristopher MonizLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristophermoniz/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT. It is produced by Opkalla, a technology advisory firm that helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the solution that is right for their business.
How To Not Make IT Audits a Nightmare, with Matt Huffman
10-01-2024
How To Not Make IT Audits a Nightmare, with Matt Huffman
Matt Huffman serves as the Information Technology Manager for Reinders, Inc, one of the Midwest’s largest full-service distributors of products to the commercial green industry. Matt has both administrated cybersecurity audits during his tenure at Wipfli and navigated them on the customer side. Through the years of seeing both ends, he developed a simple methodology to successfully save time and pass audits when they come around. Today we discuss those tips and tricks to help the IT leader manage what is traditionally a painful process.Conversation Highlights:[01:47] Introducing our guest, Matt Huffman[04:11] How Matt came about his role[08:38] What makes a good auditor[11:28] Audit organization strategy[13:38] Changes within audit processes across decades[15:14] Challenges in preparing for audits[23:49] Writing policies with ChatGPT[30:39] IT career paths for students[37:10] Matt's thoughts surrounding future tech[39:55] Matt's message to IT leadersNotable Quotes:"You shouldn't have to prepare if you're organized." Aaron Bock [11:25]"Know your value. No one's gonna do it for you." Matt Huffman [40:35]Connect With Matt HuffmanLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-huffman-47baba18/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT. It is produced by Opkalla, a technology advisory firm that helps their clients navigate the confusion in the technology marketplace and choose the solution that is right for their business.
Developing a Diverse IT Force, with Matthew B. Parks, Sr.
31-08-2023
Developing a Diverse IT Force, with Matthew B. Parks, Sr.
Matthew B. Parks, Sr., is the VP of IT and Security for The Pace Center for Girls and has been involved in IT since 1995. In this episode, we discuss old technologies as well as mindsets and how they trap the modern IT leader into doing things the same way in an evolving environment. Matthew is bullish on flip phones and a diverse workforce, which he thinks are both going to play important roles in future technology.Conversation Highlights:[00:26] Introducing our guest, Matthew B. Parks, Sr.[04:16] Discussing the technology of the 90's[05:37] Parks' first computer build[08:07] Favorite childhood video games[10:49] Exciting personal tech on the horizon[16:01] Discussing Parks' worst day in IT[19:19] Recruiting a diverse IT force[25:14] Creating well rounded leaders in IT[37:56] Refining discussions with vendors[40:08] What to avoid in the IT space[43:00] How to connect with Parks[44:42] Closing thoughtsNotable Quotes:"I always get asked, 'What would you tell your younger self?' Networking and relationships, do it earlier." Matthew B. Parks, Sr. [27:14]"The motto that I live by personally and professionally is 'If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready'." Matthew B. Parks, Sr. [41:16]"One thing we need to do is we need to redefine STEM, and we need to embrace vocation." Matthew B. Parks, Sr. [44:57]Connect With Matthew ParksLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-b-parks-sr-b507a813/Twitter: MatthewBParksSrThe IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT.
Decoding the Differences Between IT and OT, with Jason Christopher
22-08-2023
Decoding the Differences Between IT and OT, with Jason Christopher
Operational technology cybersecurity is an emerging industry due to the life-threatening consequences of compromised systems. The biggest question operations managers need to ask themselves is: What does a bad day look like, and how can I detect it coming? On today's podcast, we highlight Dragos and cutting-edge solutions to mitigate the risk of operational technology compromise.Conversation Highlights:[01:15] Discussing ChatGPT article[02:47] Introducing our guest, Jason Christopher[03:47] Differences in IT and OT[05:57] The largest OT breach to date[09:19] How OT security systems have evolved over the last 10 years[11:20] The catalyst for the adoption of another layer of OT security[14:13] How would Dragos advise a new CEO concerned about OT security [19:35]  Which industry will be the next one to adopt this technology[24:04] Where Dragos has thwarted attacks[26:28] How cloud enters the OT conversation[27:40] Consulting with Dragos[30:22] Introducing IIOT[31:52] IOT within the food industry[33:33] Where the industry is going[36:11] Government regulations in OT security[38:02] Jason's message to the world[39:01] Getting in touch with Dragos[40:53] Closing thoughtsNotable Quotes:"So prevention is ideal; detection is a must. I'd further qualify detection without response is probably of little value, right?" Jason Christopher [13:24]"If it looks and feels like a maintenance event, when would you ever know it's a cyber event?" Jason Christopher [28:59]Mentioned Links:ChatGPT Article- https://www.reuters.com/technology/chatgpt-maker-openai-says-it-is-doubling-down-preventing-ai-going-rogue-2023-07-05/ Dragos- https://www.dragos.com/DISC Registration- https://hub.dragos.com/disc-2023 Connect With Jason ChristopherLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jdchristopher/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT.
Getting Your Board on Board with the Cloud, with Anthony Darden
03-08-2023
Getting Your Board on Board with the Cloud, with Anthony Darden
Some say cloud investments are not meeting their promised ROI potential. Today our guest Anthony Darden speaks about how to sell the vision of moving to the cloud to a board by formulating the proposals as initiatives other departments need to perform better. We also discuss how AI is affecting application development teams and what young college students should consider post-graduation as AI continues to impact the job market.Conversation Highlights:[00:07] Intro[00:33] Discussing the Microsoft lawsuit in Europe[03:50] Introducing our guest, Anthony Darden[04:37] How to communicate the value of the cloud[07:39] Whether the pendulum will swing back to the traditional model[14:06] Delivering a vision of digital transformation[19:41] Comparing cloud conversations to infrastructure conversations[24:30] How AI is impacting IT workflows[27:47] Advice for students interested in tech[30:05] A new role within the IT space[34:19] The biggest (!) debate in the history of our podcast[36:36] Thoughts on AI-generated resumes[40:42] Anthony's message to the world  [42:24] Closing thoughtsNotable Quotes:"There's one phrase that I think resonates for this conversation. It's that every company is a technology company now. That being said, that means you're touching every corner of your organization." Anthony Darden [18:44]"Look around, everything's changing. So you either adapt and adopt or you kind of age out. And that's kind of what we're seeing." Aaron Bock [31:39]"Listen to your coworkers, be empathetic. Not everything requires a snarky reaction in return. I just think we need to get back to that. And I think we would all be better off both personally and professionally." Anthony Darden [42:08]
Adopting AI, ChatGPT, and Other New Technologies in Your Organization, with John Rouda
18-05-2023
Adopting AI, ChatGPT, and Other New Technologies in Your Organization, with John Rouda
Join the conversation with John Rouda as he shares his thoughts on bringing AI and ChatGPT into the workplace and schools. We also cover the importance of learning the basics before using AI, how John approaches adopting other new technologies in his role managing an IT department, the impact of streaming services on content ownership and more.John is VP of IT at INSP, LLC. He comes with over 20 years' experience in IT leadership and is an expert in software engineering, networking, and cyber security. He has honed his skills in all aspects of project life cycles, including agile methodologies. Aside from leadership positions at some of the most deemed IT companies, John has also served as an IT professor at York Technical College and an adjunct professor at Winthrop University. In his spare time, John hosts his own podcast - A Geek Leader.Conversation Highlights:[00:07] Intro[02:41] A bit about our guest, John Rouda[03:14] What it’s like adopting new technology in an old industry[07:42] What computer science majors are learning today[11:59] The importance of real-life experience in college education[16:18] Current changes in the media industry[21:08] The future of AI and how it will impact the media industry[26:16] John’s experience with GPT and false narratives[30:03] AI prompt engineering course on LinkedIn learning[34:08] Blocking Twitter and putting a six month hold on it[36:27] John’s message to the whole world[37:56] Closing thoughtsNotable Quotes“Back when I was in college, we had to learn operating systems. You had to learn compilers. You picked a language or two that you studied courses on and that's what you went through. Now there are different areas that you can go to. There are a lot of different options within a Computer Science degree.” John Rouda [08:40]If I'm hiring someone out of college, I don't want to see that they just took classes. I want to see that they were involved and that they have a portfolio of some sort, or some kind of history of work, whether it's an internship, whether it's being able to do these projects.” John Rouda [12:28]“Five years ago, we were saying everyone is cutting the cord, but I actually think it's kind of coming back where people are starting to go back to the cable companies because there are too many streaming services.” Aaron Bock [19:22]Connect With John RoudaLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnrouda/The IT Matters Podcast is about IT matters and matters pertaining to IT.
How to Advance Your IT Career, with Scott Finkhouse
04-05-2023
How to Advance Your IT Career, with Scott Finkhouse
Advancing in the field of information technology requires a combination of technical knowledge, problem-solving skills and an understanding of the future of technology. IT professionals must stay up-to-date on new technologies and trends as the world rapidly evolves. Join the conversation with Scott Finkhouse as he shares more about how he got to be a CIO. We also discuss how you can advance in IT and some of the challenges you'll likely face along the way - including one of the bigger challenges, balancing budget and risk.Scott is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer at NN, Inc. He joined NN in 2017 and was appointed Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2021. Prior to joining NN, he held several IT positions with Tier 1 automotive companies, leading technologies, resources, information systems deployment, and development divisions for high-growth organizations. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and Computer Information Systems from Ferris State University and has earned his Chief Information Security Officer certification.Conversation Highlights:[00:01] Intro and a bit about our guest, Scott Finkhouse[01:37] Scott’s personal and professional backstory[08:14] How Scott navigated the difficult task of selecting a college course[13:57] How someone very technical might move into leadership[16:22] Why technical wizards should be involved in every sector of the business[20:03] Scott’s strategies of balancing risks and investing in manufacturing[27:50] Tips IT leaders can implement to improve how their ideas are listened to by executives[31:34] The power of honesty in your IT job[37:00] Trends in IT for manufacturing that Scott has started paying attention to[42:30] The one message about the future of technology that Scott will give[45:56] How to reach out and connect with Scott[46:38] Ending the showNotable QuotesMost of the people that really excel, if they're technically driven, will become level three Cisco engineers- high-level windows engineers.  Scott Finkhouse [14:47]Technical wizards should be involved in all stages and levels of a business because that's how they will learn cross-functional aspects of a business.  Aaron Bock [16:22]At its core, business is all about relationships.  Aaron Bock [18:56]No matter what we do, there is always a risk. We only need to have the right balance between risk and investments.  Scott Finkhouse [25:18]It’s important, to be honest. It won’t help you and will only make your job harder if you don't.  Aaron Bock [31:37]Technology was made to help us do our jobs better, not do our jobs for us and not do life for us.  Aaron Bock [45:02]Connect With Scott FinkhouseLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottfinkhouse/Email: scott.finkhouse@nn.com
Building Collaboration Between IT and the Rest of the Business, with Kevin Hughes
20-04-2023
Building Collaboration Between IT and the Rest of the Business, with Kevin Hughes
In preparing our teams for the next step in digital transformation, how do we map the best path? Without understanding each person’s needs and challenges, we cannot use technology effectively to assist them and move our business forward. Throwing technology at problems without understanding team needs is a Recipe For Disaster. On the flip side of that, learning how to build an effective collaboration between your wider business and IT is the key to staying ahead in digital transformation. In this conversation with Kevin Hughes, he shares about the “digital transformation” buzzword and strategies to get IT and your business working together more effectively. Kevin is an innovative and decisive Vice President of IT Operations at Sharonview Federal Credit Union with extensive progressive experience directing and supervising IT operations. In his role, he leads a high-performing team of driven IT professionals committed to giving internal and external customers an efficient, secure, and engaging digital experience.Conversation Highlights:[00:01] Intro and a bit about our guest, Kevin Hughes  [01:43] Kevin's career background and how he got to where he is today  [04:09] Lessons Kevin has learned working in different roles, including at Sharonview [07:23] What makes a credit union unique from a technology perspective [09:37] What inspired Kevin to transition into technology and leadership roles[11:50] How to nudge people into their passion and stretch them outside the backroom roles [17:51] Kevin's success stories interfacing technology with different departments  [20:52] What happens when the business and IT don’t work together effectively[22:10] Shadow IT, what it is, and why it doesn’t work  [24:07] Using communication to simplify things between business and IT[26:03] Digital transformation - not just a buzzword, what it means, and how to apply it [29:16] Impactful digital transformations that Kevin has led recently [33:25] Trends in IT you need to look out for in the credit unions and rural banks space [36:55] Blockchain technology and how it’s expected to affect financial institutions[38:54] Kevin's advice on how to integrate technology into your business[39:51] How to reach out and connect with Kevin[40:37] Ending the show Notable Quotes People don't care about what you know until they know you care; it's caring about your people and making sure you're growing them as well.  Kevin Hughes [09:57]If a business is not getting involvement from IT in getting the technology it needs, it’s going to find it on its own.  Kevin Hughes [20:49]If you want to oversimplify things, enhance communication between business and IT.  Kevin Hughes [24:09] Digital transformation is driving efficiency; it’s driving innovation to improve efficiency and make it sustainable using technology.  Kevin Hughes [26:15] The only way you can drive efficiency is by understanding what the business is; you cannot improve what you don't know.  Kevin Hughes [26:36]Unless you have conversations with people, unless you understand what their needs and challenges are, you cannot use technology to assist them. It will be a disaster to just throw technology at problems.  Kevin Hughes [39:16]  Connect With Kevin HughesLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-hughes-824764ba