DatacenterDynamics and InsightaaS team up to launch CIA-Plus to support Canadian IT evolution

We are all tech companies…

Everyone recognizes that firms like Cisco and Microsoft are tech companies, and most would acknowledge that telecom firms are essential members of the technology ecosystem as well. But firms in many other sectors are also effectively tech companies today:

  • Financial services firms are dependent on technology to deliver service to customers and to report to management, shareholders and regulators – and technology is essential to keeping pace with non-traditional competitors like Apple Pay and Blockchain-focused Fintech firms.
  • Automobiles don’t look like rolling networks, but they are: currently, software is the single largest cost in a new car (ahead of electronics and metal) – and as with financial services, the automotive industry’s future will be even more tech-centric, as connected and autonomous vehicles become the norm.
  • Heavy industry is increasingly transformed by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). As GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt famously observed, “If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you’re going to wake up this morning as a software and analytics company.” IIoT is enabling industrial firms such as GE, Siemens and Hitachi to deliver new services to customers, and to develop high-margin software and services businesses.
  • Technology is enabling new competitors to transform entire markets. The Uber and Airbnb examples are well understood, and there are hundreds of well-funded startups targeting dozens of other sectors. In response, many companies are launching internal digital transformation initiatives designed to support the evolution of business technology infrastructure.

Integrating advanced technology into business operations isn’t simple or risk-free

The requirement for effective IT transformation may be clear, but for most companies, the path forward is still opaque. Successful firms don’t simply adopt and use IT. They need methods that identify options and provide insight into best practices, so that they allocate resources to the platforms and practices that best address their specific business needs, and which offer optimal payback from investments.

In today’s economy, technology is inextricably tied to risk:

  • Firms that move too slowly to adopt technology will fall behind those that successfully integrate new IT-enabled operational capabilities.
  • Firms that adopt the wrong solution, or take the wrong steps to integrate new systems into their operational fabric, can find themselves unable to keep pace with changing customer, social, investor and/or employee expectations.
  • Firms which prioritize advantageous options that are aligned with their needs, and which embrace best practices in solution deployment, integration and operation, stand out from the crowd – and establish a strong foundation for future growth.

CIA-Plus: Connecting Canadian IT to business success

To help Canadian management (and their organizations) successfully navigate the changing requirements for IT/business enablement, DatacenterDynamics (DCD) has teamed with InsightaaS and a group of analyst firms, best practice groups focused on advanced technologies, IT practitioners, and other IT supply chain members to launch CIA-Plus, a community designed to offer the insight, connections, data and professional recognition and interaction that Canadian IT leaders need to develop globally-competitive operations.

CIA-Plus contributes to member success in eight important ways:

  • Meetups and networking events. CIA-Plus members have priority access at events and meetups organized by DCD and InsightaaS. These include:
    • A major tradeshow (Toronto, December 14th, 2017)
    • Bootcamps focused on effective adoption of advanced technologies – such as an innovative “CAT6” bootcamp which will provide a ‘sampler’ of strategy and technical sessions on cloud, mobility, analytics/Big Data, IoT, AI and Blockchain – and regular meetups.
    • Please note: our next meetup is scheduled for June 22. It will include a presentation and panel discussion on the subject of “The Economics of Data,” followed by a reception.
  • Knowledgebase and Knowledgebase Pro. The Knowledgebase contains tools, templates, analyst reports and a series of Best Practices documents co-created by Canadian thought leaders for Canadian IT management. It is supplemented by the InsightaaS Insighter, a bi-weekly e-newsletter that is distributed to CIA-Plus Community and Professional members. Knowledgebase Pro extends to include other high-value materials, including an online curriculum of 11 cloud training sessions, each of which offers a ‘nanocertification’ on completion.
  • Price benchmarking. BidPrice Solutions – a joint venture between procurement experts 3Quotes and InsightaaS – provides CIA-Plus members with preferred access to pricing information that reflects customer-accepted bids for essential technology: servers, storage, software, networking and security products, and a range of services (colo, cloud, DR, managed security…).
  • Tools and training. A rich repository of best practice reports, bootcamps in which expert peers provide insight into real-world IT issues and opportunities, and a CIA-Plus version of cloud educational materials that have been developed by InsightaaS on behalf of University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies provides CIA-Plus members with a wide range of professional development tools and training.
  • Professional collaboration. CIA-Plus members can join working groups and SIGs focused on critical topics – in cloud, IoT, analytics/Big Data and other subjects – to exchange thoughts and perspectives on the application of industry innovation to Canadian business challenges. Experience with existing initiatives, such as the Toronto Cloud Business Coalition, shows that members derive enormous benefit from these peer-to-peer interactions.
  • Professional recognition. Members of CIA-Plus develop visibility as thought leaders: all members can display CIA-Plus as a ‘company’ on LinkedIn, members who work on Best Practices documents are identified by name as contributors to the work product, and members who are inclined to interact with audiences are often invited to act as panelists at trade shows, bootcamps and meetups, as guests at U of T School of Continuing Studies, and as sources for media reports.
  • Trend analysis. CIA-Plus includes access to research from leading analyst firms, including California-based Techaisle and Toronto-based InsightaaS. Collectively, these firms provide members with insights and data supporting business cases for IT strategy.
  • Peer network feedback. Launching in 2H17, the CIA-Plus Concierge Service will connect members who have specific questions with peer members who have relevant expertise, and/or with community experts (affiliated analysts, consultants, etc.) who can provide experience-based advice.

CIA-Plus membership levels

CIA-Plus members can join at one of three levels:

  • Associate Members are welcome to attend meetups, and may be invited to attend bootcamps, the DCD Digital Infrastructure Transformation/TCBC Symposium trade show event in December, and similar events
    • There is no fee for associate membership.
  • Community Members are invited to participate with peers in Best Practice groups focused on cloud, IoT, analytics/Big Data and other topics. Community members also have access to the Knowledgebase (including Best Practice and analyst reports, case studies and the Insighter), and can gain recognition as CIA-Plus members on LinkedIn.
    • The fee for community membership is $495. It is available only to IT or business professionals at buy-side organizations. The fee is waived for members invited to join CIA-Plus by DCD.
    • All community members are welcome to attend meetups, and will have priority access to bootcamps, DCD Converged/TCBC Symposium in December, and similar events.
  • Professional members have access to all Community Member benefits, plus no-cost access to the expanded set of Knowledgebase Pro resources that includes Canadian pricing analysis and advanced training materials. Professional members can use the CIA-Plus concierge service to obtain answers to questions from peers and/or analyst staff members, and are preferred panelists at CIA-Plus meetups, bootcamps and trade show events.
    • The fee for Professional Membership is $995 per individual per year. Corporate rates are also available.

Joining CIA-Plus

Please click here to register for CIA-Plus and gain access to professional material and network opportunities!

If you have questions regarding CIA-Plus, feel free to contact us at