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Blue Mantis CIO Fireside Chat Recap: Embracing the Modern Workspace

I’m thrilled to share my experience hosting the latest Blue Mantis CIO Fireside Chat, a live webinar where we discussed the journey today’s CIOs are taking to create modern workspaces for their businesses. We had three esteemed and eloquent guests for this final CIO Fireside Chat of the year:

  • Scott DiGioia, Vice President of Professional Services at Blue Mantis.
  • Geoff Smith, Senior Practice Director of Modern Workspace and Managed Services at Blue Mantis.
  • Bill Brown, Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer at Abacus Insights, a technology leader providing secure data management and analytics for the healthcare industry.

Blue Mantis Defines the Modern Workspace

Our conversation began with Scott DiGioia noting that nearly 50% of the workforce operates either remotely or in a hybrid environment. Therefore, the modern workspace is more than just a physical location. Most CIOs should look at the modern workspace as an ecosystem of digital tools, cloud services, and video conferencing that empowers employees to work securely, productively, and happily, whether at home or in the office. Scott highlighted the financial benefits and the importance of investing in such an environment.

Geoff Smith added his perspective, defining the modern workspace as a blend of technologies, processes, and procedures. To build a modern workspace, CIOs should look at ways they can provide their employees with the necessary tools, platforms, and services to work effectively from anywhere. Geoff emphasized the importance of building cybersecurity into every aspect of a modern workspace, noting that Blue Mantis architects our Modern Workspace solutions with a zero-trust security framework.

The Customer’s Viewpoint from Abacus Insights

Bill Brown, as the CISO and CIO at Abacus Insights, brought a customer’s viewpoint to the table. He described the modern workspace as a mindset shift towards efficiency and productivity. Bill shared anecdotes from colleagues who relished the absence of a dreadful commute and the comfort of working in pajama bottoms and a suit coat. “I wish that this shift had occurred 30 years earlier,” Bill joked.

CIOs, Employees Adapt to the Modern Workspace

When asked about the cultural impacts, Bill acknowledged both positive and negative aspects. While some employees miss daily interactions, others enjoy the flexibility and efficiency of the modern setup. This duality underscores the need for organizations to adapt and find a balance that caters to diverse employee preferences. Scott and Geoff both agreed with Bill, acknowledging there are sometimes challenges to disconnecting from work in a remote environment and CIOs and employees could struggle to manage work-life balance.

Calculating the ROI of a Modern Workspace

We posed a poll question to our live Fireside Chat audience: “As an IT business leader, what is your most desired business outcome when implementing a modern workspace solution?” An overwhelming majority (69%) of our audience responded with “Increased productivity so employees can securely work on any device from anywhere, anytime.” This response resonated with the panelists, affirming the importance of productivity, efficiency, and security in the modern workspace. Geoff highlighted that CIOs often see a great return on their investment in a modern workspace solution due to the quick onboarding for new hires. Scott emphasized the ROI gained by the broader talent pool accessible with modern workspaces along with improved customer support, as employees can respond to issues without the need to be physically present in an office. Bill Brown agreed, adding that for his organization, it meant an enhanced customer experience, with employees being more responsive and interactive with customers.

Topics for CIO Fireside Chats in 2024

As we wrapped up the chat, it was clear that the journey to a modern workspace is not just about technology; it’s about creating an environment that supports and enhances the work-life balance and productivity of employees. We were grateful for the insights Bill offered as both a CIO and CISO, because those real-world perspectives are valuable to his peers who are also navigating this modern workspace revolution. And while the modern workspace challenges and opportunities that Bill faces are unique to a highly regulated healthcare industry, his organization is not alone in the need to safeguard customer data while also maintaining a productive workforce.

Our final poll question to the audience, “What are the topics you want to hear more about in 2024?”, enlightened us about the concerns technology and business leaders want to discuss, with cybersecurity and artificial intelligence topping the list.

So, as 2023 comes to a close, happy holidays and stay tuned for future Blue Mantis CIO Fireside Chats!

Mario Brum headshot.

Mario Brum

Vice President Practice Areas & Technical Advisory Services

Mario Brum is an experienced technologist, business consultant, mentor and board member who has worked for several leading technology providers, innovative start-ups and fast-growth managed services providers during the past three decades.

As VP of Practice Areas and Technical Advisory Services, Mario applies his deep experience in designing and building best practices in IT Infrastructure to Blue Mantis customer engagements. He thrives on pushing the boundaries of what is possible and consistently delivers results that exceed expectations. As a builder and process-oriented mentor, Mario excels at fostering a culture of continuous improvement and empowering his team to reach their full potential.

Mario is a “boomerang” employee who rejoined the company in 2021 from ServiceNow and previously Loom Systems. In his first stint with Blue Mantis (formerly GreenPages), Mario spent nearly nine years in a variety of data management roles. In this capacity, Mario was a significant contributor of developed Solutions and Professional Services offerings and played a key role in establishing the company as a highly reputable and successful IT services organization.

A customer-first advocate, Mario has helped established businesses and startups develop and expand their go-to-market strategy, global presence, and brand awareness by establishing rapport and credibility. Among these start-ups include SimpliVity, where Mario served on the product direction committee board (PDC) and was instrumental in driving initial product functionality, vision and global strategy to help it become one of the fastest-growing startups to reach and surpass a billion-dollar valuation.

Mario is Portuguese born in Angola, Africa, and speaks, reads and writes Portuguese fluently. He also speaks Spanish.