Originally published on IT Peer Network

I have to admit, I’m fairly new to Intel’s business client team. Most of my Intel colleagues have held their jobs for well over a decade, making them an invaluable resource as I try to learn as much as I can about how Intel plays in the B2B client space. Tom Garrison, VP of Business Client Platforms, is one such colleague. He started at Intel over 20 years ago as a Field Sales Engineer and has risen through the ranks to now lead a team dedicated to helping CIO’s and top IT leaders solve their toughest business technology challenges.

When I discovered Tom was leading two conference sessions at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona this November, I felt it would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about digital business transformation and discover how Intel is planning on solving the challenges surrounding an emerging digital workplace. Not only did Tom take the time to answer a few of my key questions, shared below, Intel is also affording me the opportunity to travel to Barcelona where I’ll be reporting on the highlights and key takeaways from the event.

The Gartner Symposium event series just wrapped up an event in Orlando, featuring Intel’s Chad Constant, and will continue with conferences in Barcelona and Las Vegas. The theme of the series is all about digital business and includes tracks that help IT leaders plan for a digital future, architect the digital platform and transform the technology core. Along with identifying top business technology challenges, Tom lays out what IT leaders need to be focused on in 2017 and how to best navigate the journey toward digital.

What are three steps you would recommend CIOs and IT leaders take in the next 90 days to prioritize driving digital change in their businesses?

First and foremost: CIOs and IT leaders must begin evaluating the significant capability advances and ROI opportunity delivered by Microsoft Windows 10 on 6th Generation Intel Core vPro-based systems within the enterprise. The advancements in security, manageability, cost reduction and employee productivity are significant to the point where all enterprises should at least begin evaluating these opportunities.

In addition to Win10 on modern hardware, all IT departments should begin or continue their evaluations of recent breakthroughs in hardened security (Intel® Authenticate), manageability (Intel® vPro™), and conference room collaboration (Intel® Unite).

Which top strategic technology trends demand CIOs and IT leaders attention in 2017?

Intel’s business client strategy very much reflects the strategic technology trends that our CIO customers communicate to us:

  • Providing employees with the flexible, powerful tools they need to be productive in an increasingly mobile work environment.
  • Protecting the enterprise from the increase in frequency and financial loss associated with cyberattacks on business PCs.
  • Facilitating the move to smart workspaces.

Our customers tell us over and over again that these are their biggest pain-points and ask Intel to continue our development and innovation in these areas. Therefore our investments in powerful, flexible, and highly manageable business PCs, hardened security solutions such as Intel® Authenticate, and our collaboration tools such as Intel® Unite work to solve these challenges.

With data security breaches on the rise, what are your top recommendations for ensuring data security? How are you working with your ecosystem?

Corporate breaches follow a pattern, and understanding this pattern, or this anatomy, will help CIOs understand where to invest their security solutions to maximize benefit.

The first step of this pattern is to attack the corporation’s access and identity management system. Typically this is accomplished by exploiting a weak or stolen username/password combination. Since many enterprises today rely solely on username/password to access the network, once this combination is exploited, the hacker has access to corporate data.
True multifactor authentication represents the best mechanism to combat this. At the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Chad Constant and Microsoft executive, Rob Lefferts talked about how Intel and Microsoft are forging a deep security partnership that uniquely joins software and hardware to thwart attacks in a new way.

What are your top recommendations on how IT departments can help boost ROI and productivity when considering a technology purchase?

Enterprises are seeing the value that Windows 10 (Win10) on modern PCs powered by our 6th generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor can deliver to the IT department as well as the business end user. Forrester published an ROI evaluation of Windows 10 alone and determined a 188 percent ROI on upgrading to Win10, and Jack Gold and Associates in 2015 found more than a 500 percent ROI based on productivity gains when comparing 6th Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ platforms versus platforms only two years old. Combining this modern OS with modern hardware represents one of the biggest opportunities we have seen in a decade to significantly improve productivity and utility for the end-user, while delivering real cost savings for IT.

Photo of Intel's Tom Garrison

How are you helping CIOs and IT leaders make the digital workplace a reality?

Intel’s strategy to accelerate the digital workplace has three major components: device evolution, delivering advanced manageability and security, and collaboration.

For devices, we have been engaged in a multi-year effort to advance the business PC to maximize its value in the digital workplace. In addition to the significant performance advancements we typically deliver, we have enabled significant advancements in form factor for devices such as ultra-thin and light notebooks, 2 in 1s, mini desktops and fully integrated all-in-ones. Increased employee mobility and workplace transformation have created the need for differentiated devices — some focusing on mobility, others focusing on performance, some requiring a blend between the two.

Despite the need for differentiated devices, one thing is very clear: Employees still require and demand the effectiveness of a PC. A recent Intel survey of enterprise business users worldwide found that 92 percent of employees see their PC as very or extremely important to doing their job, and 91 percent would choose a PC if they were only allowed a single device.

What can we expect from Intel at the Gartner Symposium and Summit events?

Our goal will be to share not only details of the technologies Intel is delivering for the digital workplace, but to share insights and the data behind our investment and innovation strategies.

Tell us about the sessions you are leading at the Gartner Symposium Barcelona event.

I will be providing additional details, data, and customer examples around strategies and products — our investments and innovations in PCs, security, IT manageability and the move to smart workspaces. I will also be talking about the collaboration that I have been engaged in with my counterparts at Microsoft. The current level of partnership between Intel and Microsoft – this is really exciting time for us in terms of the velocity and magnitude of the solutions we are able to bring to market together.

Gartner Event Details

The Gartner Symposium, is a series of events including a European stop in Barcelona on November 6–10th 2016. The conference brings together like-minded CIOs and senior IT executives who will be solving digital workplace transformation challenges and shaping emerging technology trends for 2017. I’m excited to have the opportunity to attend this event and will be sharing highlights via @IntelITCenter and @LisaPeyton.

You can follow Tom on Twitter, @tommgarrison, for ongoing news and the latest developments in information technology.

If YOU are planning to attend the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona, I would LOVE to meet you! Just shoot me a tweet or email me at lisa.peyton.fagg@intel.com. Also be sure to attend Tom’s workshop sessions, both scheduled for Wednesday, November 9:

  • 10:00–10:45 a.m.: Three Steps to Making a Digital Workplace a Reality
  • 6:00–6:20 p.m. Intel Enhances Collaboration and Security for a Digital World