Sometimes when I tell people I’ve worked in IT for more than 20 years, I get that kind of wary look that says: “Let’s hope he doesn’t start talking tech.” And although I agree it takes a certain kind of person to want to debate the merits of software-defined networks and citizen development, the fact is that technology continues to both fascinate and amaze me—so I do find it hard to keep quiet about that!

I’m fortunate to work for a company that truly believes in digital transformation and has been investing in the technologies to make that happen for the past few years. As the person responsible for rolling out many of the applications and services that enable a digital workplace, it’s satisfying to see how deploying these solutions helps everyone to work in a more social, collaborative way.

It’s an approach that has really paid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enabling remote working suddenly became a “must have” for us and many of our clients. I realized quickly that the program I’d already started to introduce— the communications platform Microsoft Teams—needed to step up a gear. Now, it’s our go-to communications solution whose video conferencing and sharing capabilities help us to flex with the best—and maintain business as usual.

It’s not the only way we can all better collaborate. One of the things I’ve missed most during the pandemic is seeing my colleagues and clients face-to-face—and video and broadcast services are a great way to fill that gap. We have our own facilities in 22 studios around the world that bring the human touch to virtual events and meetings. And with 250 broadcast productions a month—often with cool features like online polling, question and answers, games and survey options built in—we can remind ourselves what it was like to get together for real.

One of the joys of technology is that it doesn’t stand still. Continually adapting and improving how we work to make the best use of innovation is how I approach my role too. I’ve seen how coupling technology with human ingenuity can improve people’s experiences exponentially and it’s satisfying to be at the forefront of that change.

So, next time you’re thinking of hosting a virtual coffee break or conducting training, you could think about using mixed reality experiences. Or consider offering an immersive experience, like the amazing Igloo shared immersion rooms where teams of people can experience virtual environments and effectively teleport in to share the same space together.

There’s plenty of ways technology helps to present information differently to have more impact. I often use tools like TouchCast Pitch as a way to spice up interactive client content or personalize thought leadership. I think we all need to use these new technologies to reach out to each other in practical, relatable ways. Even post pandemic, I believe innovation is the way forward in our personal and professional lives.

These are just a few examples of how technology continues to make a difference. And improvements are a moving target. While rolling out Teams, I worked with Microsoft and Avanade to set up a Rapid Resource Center that shares leading practices with clients, partners and vendors.

Also, the global IT team where I work launched People + Work Connect. It’s an employer-to-employer initiative that brings together companies reducing their workforces with those companies in urgent need of workers. We delivered it in just 12 days, from idea to the launch and it already has more than 400,000 roles available and 183 companies participating in 86 countries—and counting.

As a long-term Tampa resident, I hope to continue to be involved with local initiatives that share the joy of tech innovation. From my long tenure serving with Tampa Bay Tech, being a mentor for Tampa Bay Wave and being involved with Embarc Collective, I connect with peers in our area who are doing amazing things—and help me to expand my thinking. Tampa Bay is a hub for innovation where I’ve enjoyed an inside view for the last few decades. I truly cannot wait to see what’s next for our area.

I hope that tour through my tech world doesn’t mean your eyes are glazing over—and perhaps you’ll feel more like I do, that tech really is cool.

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