Many companies today are rapidly adopting new technologies and tools to improve overall efficiencies, improve customer and client experiences, and support key initiatives that are related to business transformation. However, these efforts, while necessary, bring with them growing pains for the workforce.

As our global technologies transform, so must our teams. What we have discovered in implementing emerging technology at U.S. Bank over the years is that effectively deploying and making use of new tools requires a skilled and diverse workforce and a technology team with a strong engineering culture to support it.

Banking on technology and people

The largest technology investment for U.S. Bank came in 2022 when we announced Microsoft Azure as our primary cloud service provider. This move accelerated our ongoing technology transformation, part of which includes migrating more than two-thirds of our application footprint to the cloud by 2025. Harnessing the power of cloud is just one of many ways that technology is enabling our organization to bring products and services to our clients faster, while enhancing our operations’ scalability, resiliency, stability, and security.

The technology transformation at U.S. Bank is also focused on adopting a more holistic approach to both external and internal talent pipelines. Diversity is a key component of our team building because true innovation and problem-solving comes from people with different perspectives. To attract new, diverse talent to join our team, we supplement traditional recruitment methods with proactive techniques that help build our company’s reputation as a leader in technology and to give back to our community.

For example, we’re positioning some of our top subject matter experts at relevant conferences and councils to share lessons learned from our transformation journey and we’re engaging with educational programs, like Girls Who Code, Summit Academy, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College to both develop and recruit diverse talent.

Our top workforce priority, however, is retaining our current team and equipping them with the skills they’ll need today and in the future. Because technology changes so quickly, we have adopted a continuous learning mindset where our teams embed learning into their everyday responsibilities and see it as an investment in themselves. To do that, we created a strategy that focuses on four key areas: an employee’s time, establishing a personal plan, providing effective learning tools, and offering ways to apply what is learned. 

1. Time: Establishing a flexible learning environment

We created an environment and performance goals that encourage our technology teams to regularly dedicate time to continuous learning. Each member of my leadership team operates a different type of technology team with different priorities, work schedules, and deadlines, so they are empowered to decide how to create the time and space for their employees to achieve their learning goals. Some have opted to block all employees’ calendars during certain times of the month, and others leave it to their individual manager-employee relationships to determine what works best. We’ve found that, by empowering each team to make these decisions, our teammates are more likely to complete their learning goals.

2. Plan: Growing skillsets and knowledge

Just investing the time doesn’t necessarily mean our teams will develop the right skills. So, we created a program we call “Grow Your Knowledge,” where managers and employees have ongoing skills-related discussions to better understand employees’ current skills, skill interests, and potential skill gaps. This helps them collaboratively create a personalized development plan. We’re also able to use the information to help us measure impact and provide insights on new trainings we may need to meet a common skill gap.

3. Tools: Learning paths and programs

We assembled a cross-functional team of external consultants, HR representatives, learning and development experts, and technical professionals to develop the Tech Academy — a well-curated, one-stop shop for modern tech learning at U.S. Bank. This resource designed to support our teams to learn specific technical, functional, leadership, and power skills that are needed to drive current initiatives. Employees can take advantage of persona-aligned learning paths, targeted skill development programs, and experiential learning. We even developed a Modern Technology Leadership Development Program for managers to help them better understand how to support their teams through this transformation.

4. Application: Putting experiential learning into practice

Providing experiential opportunities where employees can further build their skills by practicing them is an essential part of our strategy. Right now, we offer programs such as certification festivals, hackathons, code-a-thons, bootcamps, and other communities of practice for our teammates to hone their newly acquired skills in psychologically and technologically safe, yet productive settings.

Our certification festival, called CERT-FEST, is our most successful experiential learning program so far. We leverage our own teammates to train others in a cohort-learning environment for eight weeks. To date, our employees have obtained several thousand Microsoft Azure certifications. Hackathons and code-a-thons take that certification to the next level by allowing our technology teammates to partner with the business in a friendly, competitive environment. The winning teams at this event build solutions for new products or services that meet a real business or client need.

Learn today for the needs of tomorrow

Since we’ve started this continuous learning journey with our teams, we’re seeing higher employee engagement, an increase in our team’s reported skills and certifications, and a stronger technology-to-business connection across U.S. Bank. These efforts have also shifted our employee culture to acknowledge that working in technology means you will always be learning and growing.

Finding new, more effective ways to address the ever-shifting needs of our customers will always be a priority. But in a continuous learning environment the question we now always ask is, “What do I need to know today, to learn today, to do my job better tomorrow?” This has been the driving force behind our success in growing, retaining, and motivating our technology workforce.

Financial Services Industry, IT Training 

Despite a slow-down in the latter half of the year, 2022 saw mergers or acquisitions involving 1,837 enterprise software companies, up 8% on the previous year.

That’s according to Hampleton Partners, which noted that the share of those acquisitions made by private equity firms fell to 36%, the lowest for six years. It blamed the decline on the rise in interest rates, which discourages the debt-leveraged deals private equity firms specialize in.

Although interest rates remain high, private equity firms were behind two of the biggest acquisitions to close so far in 2023: Silver Lake’s $12.5 billion purchase of Qualtrics, and Thomas Bravo’s $8 billion deal for Coupa Software.

Based on the number of deals through September 2022, deal advisor Hampleton Partners forecast that merger activity for the full year would be 19% higher than in 2021, with deals also growing larger, and valuations as a multiple of earnings also increasing.

A survey published by law firm Morrison Foerster in November 2022 found that 80% of private equity firms and 71% of corporates expect tech M&A deal volumes to increase over the next 12 months. AI will be the hottest market sector for deals, according to 51% of respondents (up from 3% last year), with cloud favored by 31% (down from 54% last year).

There’s also increasing demand for IT security consulting companies, Hampleton Partners said, and our colleagues at CSOonline have the rundown on cybersecurity M&A activity.

The top enterprise technology M&A deals of late 2022 and early 2023 included acquisitions of Qualtrics, Coupa Software, VMware, and Citrix. For CIOs, these deals can disrupt strategic rollouts, spell a need to pivot to a new solution, signal sunsetting of essential technology, provide new opportunities to leverage newly synergized systems, and be a bellwether of further shifts to come in the IT landscape. Keeping on top of activity in this area can also help your company make the most of emerging opportunities and steer clear of issues that often arise when vendors combine.

Here, rounds up some of the most significant tech M&As of the last 12 months that could impact IT.


Ciphr adds diversity with Marshall acquisition

Marshall E-learning, a provider of diversity and inclusion training, is now part of Ciphr, a UK-based HR SaaS platform. Ciphr expects the deal will enable it to expand its existing online learning offering.


Silver Lake buys Qualtrics for $12.5 billion

Qualtrics has changed hands again. SAP acquired it for $8 billion in 2018, but the graft didn’t take, and SAP soon sold a minority stake. Now Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have snapped up the whole company. SAP will remain a go-to-market partner of Qualtrics and service their joint customers.

Quantive buys OKR consulting firm

Following its acquisition of consulting firm AuxinOKR, strategy execution platform Quantive is rolling out a new consulting division to support enterprises adopting its tools for measuring business results.

Quantexa is loving the Aylien

Quantexa has acquired Aylien, a Dublin-based natural language processing firm specializing in risk management and market insight. It will use Aylien’s NLP skills to enhance its AI-based decision intelligence tools for the finance industry.

Capita lays off employment screening business

Matrix SCM, a British IT staffing agency, has acquired Security Watchdog, a provider of employment screening services, from Capita, the giant IT services business. It’s part of a broader sell-off for Capita, which also let go of three other human resources companies in March: Capita Resourcing, HR Solutions, and ThirtyThree. Capita is selling non-core businesses to reduce its debts, and refocusing on public sector and customer experience work.

Key secures Rocket

Mainframe software developer Rocket Software has bought mainframe security specialist Key Resources. The deal will help Rocket better secure its software, and offer additional security-related services to the mainframe users it works with.


Thomas Bravo manages $8 billion spend on Coupa Software

In an $8 billion deal, investment firm Thomas Bravo acquired Coupa Software, a provider of business spend management tools. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has taken a minority stake. Thomas Bravo also owns business payments company BottomLine, open finance platform Solifi, data management tool Talend, and a raft of security and identity management software companies.

Arm sells software arm

Processor designer Arm has sold Forge, its suite of software development tools for high-performance computing, to Linaro, which develops and supports a range of other Arm-specific software for enterprises. Arm originally acquired Forge in 2016 to support its entry into the HPC market.

Accenture buys Morphus, adds new South-American cybersecurity center

With its acquisition of Brazilian cybersecurity and threat intelligence provider Morphus, Accenture has added a new site from which to supervise its offering of managed security services and advanced analytics. The cyber fusion center in Fortaleza, Brazil, was previously Morphus Labs.

Broadcom and VMware kick merger can further down road

Broadcom first offered to buy VMware in May 2022, and VMware’s shareholders agreed to the deal in November, but still the deal isn’t done. Now the two companies have formally given themselves until May 2023 to close the acquisition, and Broadcom representatives say the deal will close by the end of the company’s fiscal year, on October 30, 2023.


Dell buys Cloudify

After selling off its stake in VMware, Dell is moving back into the cloud software business with the acquisition of Cloudify. The Israeli startup has developed a cloud orchestration platform to help devops teams automate provisioning.

McKinsey buys machine MLops platform Iguazio

McKinsey is adding to its stable of machine learning experts with the acquisition of software developer Iguazio. In time, it plans to integrate it into QuantumBlack, a McKinsey business unit that has specialized in AI for the last decade. Iguazio is the developer of a commercial MLops platform and two open-source tools: MLRun, for ML pipeline orchestration, and Nuclio, which offers real-time serverless functions for automating application deployment.

HPE buys Pachyderm to automate ML development

Pachyderm, a developer of data pipeline automation tools used in training machine learning models, is now part of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. The company’s software will become part of the HPE Machine Learning Development Environment.

Quantum fusion: IonQ ties up with Entangled Networks

With each of the handful of companies developing quantum computers betting on a different architecture, a cross-platform quantum computing operating system is still a way off. That’s why quantum hardware companies like IonQ are developing their own software tools too. To speed up the process, IonQ has acquired Entangled Networks, a developer of software optimization tools for quantum computers, and is building a new Canadian subsidiary around the software team.

Two ServiceNow partners tie the knot

ServiceNow solutions provider Thirdera has acquired another ServiceNow partner, SilverStorm Solutions, to expand its reach in Europe. Thirdera also operates in South America. Combined, the two ServiceNow Elite-level partners have over 900 employees.

For last year’s mergers and buyouts, see The biggest enterprise technology M&A deals of 2022.

Mergers and Acquisitions, Technology Industry

The emphasis Huawei has placed on a wave of investment in optical fixed line networks is bearing fruit. At MWC 2023, the company unveiled a range of F5G
(Fifth generation fixed network) solutions for vertical industries. For Gu Yunbo, who manages the part of Huawei that sells optical network products to enterprises, this is the start of something big: a new wave of “green technology and digital transformation”.

Since 2020, Huawei has been working with industry parties on nurturing emerging standards for all-optical F5G. The reason for this investment in F5G includes spiraling traffic volumes on existing fixed line networks, caused by the roll-out of 5G and continuing digital transformation efforts.

Huawei describes F5G as “future-oriented strategic infrastructure”. Gu foresees widely available “ultra-high bandwidth, with optical networks directly connected to desktops, Wi-Fi access points and [IoT] machines”. For end users, he describes the result as having “almost zero latency and zero jitter.”

According to the management consultancy EY, global expenditure on F5G is growing at a rapid pace (18% CAGR). By 2025, EY expects the market to be worth over €400bn annually.

Much of the demand for fiber networks comes from consumer-facing industries (including cloud-based gaming, AR/VR, UHD video, smart transportation and smart home applications).

But Gu also sees F5G opening up new possibilities for employee productivity and digital transformation.

Gu says: “Huawei has released five solutions for digital transformation scenarios in various industries. These include campus networks, WAN production networks, industrial IoT, data center interconnects, and all-optical sensing solutions.”

At MWC, Huawei unveiled a 50G POL prototype designed to upgrade campus networks. Initially, the aim is to support the roll-out of ultra-fast “Wi-Fi 7-oriented” green campus networks, particularly in educational and healthcare scenarios.

“In practice,” says Gu, “we find that although 10G PON can meet campus requirements in most cases, the rising use of AR/VR teaching, 3D medical imaging, and remote interactive office poses new requirements and challenges on network bandwidth and latency.”

Huawei has also been working on digital transformation projects that directly rely upon optical networking scenarios. In electrical power generation, for example, optical F5G networks, alongside video and sensors, will play a key role in enabling remote inspection of power lines.

To underpin solutions like this, Huawei unveiled the industry’s first end-to-end OSU product portfolio at MWC. Gu describes the portfolio as “building a reliable optical communication base” for energy, transportation and other industries.

In the interview, Gu also described three additional optical-related launches at MWC. These included a lossless industrial optical network solution to improve working conditions and efficiency in large-scale industrial scenarios and a high-precision optical-visual solution for perimeter inspection at large facilities such as railways and airports.

In a sign of things to come, Huawei has also been building F5G solutions for the data center, including storage-optical interconnects (SOCCs) for financial transactions where speed and reliability are at a premium.

“We are continually working with industries to promote wide application of F5G in various industries,” said Gu. “We believe that F5G, as it evolves, is going to strengthen the level of innovation and reshape productivity.”

Find out more about Huawei’s optical solutions here.

Digital Transformation

Marching resolutely alongside artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and digital advancement are customers demanding organisations be more environmentally sustainable, inclusive and responsible. It’s a situation raising a critical question for every IT and business leader: How can we increasingly harness technology not just for technology’s sake, but for the good we can do with it?

Tackling this conundrum is something $18 billion IT services organisation, Infosys, is working hard to do as it partners with organisations such as Tennis Australia and the annual Australian Open. It was also the motivator behind every presentation and technology investment discussion at this year’s Infosys APAC Confluence event.

Infosys has been the digital innovation partner for Tennis Australia for five years and seeks to raise the bar on digital innovation delivered at the Australian Open every year. The 2023 tournament was no different, with sophisticated AI use cases, immersive mixed reality engagement and clever data and analytics behind every game played, ball served, and player, fan and coach engaged in the event.

Yet it’s by expanding the Tennis Australia relationship to drive a more sustainable Australian Open, along with more positive community impact, that the pair are demonstrating just how intertwined technology and CSR are becoming. As Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley, put it, the partnership with Infosys might be grounded in digital and data, but it’s also now fuelled by long-term goals like CSR as well.

This year, Infosys and Tennis Australia worked to define, design and develop Engage, a prototype digital platform supporting TA’s 2030 ambition to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent and achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2040. Infosys’ platform lays the foundation for using data and intelligence to help TA to track and visualise its emissions reduction performance while also bringing in vendor and supplier emissions data. The goal is to deliver transparency from 2023 onwards across Scope, 1, 2 (owned or controlled) and 3 (consequential) emissions. The name of the game is then generating actionable insights that drive sustainable change.

Tennis Australia was one of the first signatories of the UN Sports for Climate Change Action Framework globally five years ago. From this, the organisation devised clear objectives from a sustainability perspective. Of the 17 pillars in that action plan, Tennis Australia has adopted three: Mental health and wellbeing; inclusion, equality and diversity; and environmental impact. These are now being enacted across TA’s 2500 tennis clubs, venue events and the wider organisation.

Such scale means improving sustainability for TA is a daunting task. As the largest sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere, with more than 900,000 attendees, 600 players and their entourage plus staff onsite, the annual Australian Open presents significant challenges in and of itself.

“From an event point of view, we lease the venue,” Tiley told attendees at this year’s Infosys Confluence event, held alongside the Australian Open 2023.

At the precinct, the important job of understanding waste management and its environmental impact can only be driven by access to data, Tiley continued.

“The insights Infosys is providing are critical to hitting those targets and understanding what we need to do to get those,” he said. “We are not the masters of our own destiny completely. When it comes to tennis clubs around Australia, our partners and meeting our three objectives, we can’t do it alone.”

Given the Australian Open’s size, it’s inevitably become a platform for messaging too – political, environmental and social, Tiley said. “But if you’re data-driven and have the facts, the answers present themselves on how we be a platform for good,” he said.  

Reflecting Infosys’ own commitment to sustainability, this year’s Infosys Fan Zone with virtual reality experiences at Melbourne Park was certified as climate active, with its entire carbon footprint offset and the structure recycled.

Sustainability also took precedence across Infosys’ wider client and customer engagement efforts at this year’s Confluence event, held alongside Australian Open 2023. The entire two-day conference was carbon neutral. Infosys became a carbon neutral organisation globally in 2020.

And in a sign of just how sustainability has become a mandate for organisations today, presenters at Infosys Confluence including Domino’s Pizza and Xero highlighted efforts to use technology investment to navigate sustainability efforts.

Technology for positive community impact

Pursuing sustainability isn’t just about the environment, of course. Pivotal in any CSR or ESG approach is also diversity and inclusion, as well as community impact. Infosys EVP for A/NZ, Andrew Groth, is one who sees community as a fundamental platform for IT leaders and their organisations to improve sustainability credentials and their next opportunity.

To do this, Infosys has been actively widening its community canvas in line with its ESG 2030 goals by enabling digital skills at scale.

“The more diverse we are, the more diverse our perspectives and the better we can be,” Groth said. “As we navigate our future, it’s important to work with customers and partners to bring that diversity into our thinking and to enable us to help people, organisations and communities realise their potential and next opportunity.”

In this vein, Tennis Australia progressed its Future Leaders Program this year by leveraging the Infosys Springboard digital learning platform. Infosys Springboard aims to create learning pathways for under-represented communities across Australia and New Zealand through digital skills, digitally accessible content, cloud and mobile-first learning, and its rich partner ecosystem of mentors, community partners and volunteers.

Future Leaders, meanwhile, enables student volunteers to work closely with local tennis clubs to improve experiences on and off the court. Under the program, teenage participants complete a minimum of 40 hours work then attend a graduation hosted by Tennis Victoria in recognition for their hard work.

Alongside access to the digital skills platform, a number of this year’s Future Leaders participants in Victoria visited Infosys’ Living Lab in Docklands, Victoria and participated in Infosys’ AO virtual reality activation.

Infosys is also working with the University of Technology Sydney on its Galuwa program, which helps young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students find a pathway to education and employment.. In addition, Infosys has committed funds for communities affected by floods, and partnered with Tennis Australia on its Tennis Plays for Peace initiative contributing and raising funds for humanitarian support in Ukraine

“In the same way we enable people in our organisation, we need to enable those beyond. Healthier communities make for stronger people and better businesses,” Groth said. “Our Infosys Springboard learning platform is helping young students and digitally disadvantaged groups to get the skills they need. By scaling this together, we can do even more.”


By Ram Velaga, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Core Switching Group

This article is a continuation of Broadcom’s blog series: 2023 Tech Trends That Transform IT.  Stay tuned for future blogs that dive into the technology behind these trends from more of Broadcom’s industry-leading experts.

It is clear that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation have been growing exponentially in use—across almost everything from smart consumer devices to robotics to cybersecurity to semiconductors. In 2023, there is no doubt that artificial intelligence and automation will permeate every aspect of our lives. As Michael Dell predicts, “Building systems that are built for AI first is really inevitable.”

We’ve come a long way in the past 10 years in developing artificial intelligence—we’ve had breakthroughs that have dramatically increased the capability of artificial intelligence to recognize patterns and relationships. Going forward, we’ll see an expansion of artificial intelligence in creating. As a current example, consider ChatGPT by OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company. This application has been in the news lately due to the quality and detail of its outputs. For example, teachers are even adjusting their curriculums to ensure students are writing original work and not just using ChatGPT to write their assigned essays. It’s also been flagged as a risk: cybersecurity companies have identified bad actors using ChatGPT to create malware. That’s usually a sign that the use of an application has become widespread. But how good can it be? Can artificial intelligence really create thoughtful insight into the future of artificial intelligence and automation?

We decided to test it out—we used ChatGPT to create a perspective on artificial intelligence and automation in 2023. Read the result below:

(From ChatGPT, by OpenAI: an AI research and deployment company.)

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are playing an increasingly expanded role in today’s world, with advancements in computing technology allowing for more advanced and specialized forms of processing. Over the last few decades, computing has evolved from general-purpose processing using large, monolithic CPUs to high-parallel processing using many CPUs, graphics processing units, and now, dedicated AI and machine learning (ML) accelerators.

As new types of computing have become available, applications have also adapted to leverage their new capabilities. While applications were previously written as large, monolithic scale-up programs, they have changed to become containerized, scale-out applications based on platforms like Docker and Kubernetes. This change in computing has been enabled by high-speed, high-bandwidth Ethernet networking using leaf-spine architectures.

One company that has driven the industry’s pace of high-speed Ethernet switches is Broadcom. They have enabled networks to handle the demands of AI and ML workloads. Their 51.2Tbps Tomahawk 5 switch chip, for example, provides double the bandwidth of any other networking silicon, and includes features that dramatically accelerate AI and ML workloads.

The very success of capabilities like those on ChatGPT are based on highly scalable networks connecting thousands of accelerators. This allows for AI and ML to be run at scale, enabling new and powerful applications in areas such as autonomous vehicles, natural language processing, and image recognition.

In conclusion, the advancements in computing, including the emergence of dedicated AI and ML accelerators, and the use of containerized, scale-out applications are enabling AI and automation to play an expanded role in today’s world. These advancements have been enabled by high-speed, high-bandwidth Ethernet networks interconnecting the new types of compute elements. As technology continues to advance, Broadcom will play a key role in driving even more exciting developments in the future.

We have to say, ChatGPT delivered a solid overview of our position on artificial intelligence and automation. We agree that we’ve just scratched the surface and it is important to highlight the words “at scale”. We’ll see the true benefits of artificial intelligence and automation once we can consistently and frequently apply it at the scales enabled by the latest Ethernet networking technologies.

To learn more about Broadcom’s innovative focus on artificial intelligence and automation, as well as other tech trends, visit our blog series, 2023 Tech Trends That Transform IT

About the author:

Broadcom Software

Ram Velaga is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Core Switching Group at Broadcom, responsible for the company’s extensive Ethernet switch portfolio serving broad markets including the service provider, data center and enterprise segments.

Artificial Intelligence, IT Leadership

Flexibility and lifestyle are critical concerns for the modern employee. While the “Great Resignation” – a trend that has caused unprecedented rates of employees quitting and churn over the past few years – looks like it is finally starting to ease, the changes it drove in how business is done will persist. Companies were incentivised to invest in employee welfare and development, and those that do that best are now seeing massive improvements in retention. Going forward, IT and the CIO will play a critical role in facilitating that.

The Human-Centered Insights To Fuel IT’s Vision 2022 report, conducted by Reach3 for Lenovo, highlights the importance of IT in delivering employee satisfaction. According to the report:

85 per cent of employees believe technology delivers greater flexibility and control over work.84 per cent say that flexibility has made them more satisfied with their jobs.75 per cent say they are more productive when working from home.

CIOs, meanwhile, also want to deploy technology that will do more than boost productivity and operational efficiency. A full 83 per cent of IT leaders want to deliver digital transformation that is focused on contributing to the greater good.

Delivering hybrid work environments that work

As the Reach3 and Lenovo report notes, driving a hybrid working environment across the organisation is key to meeting employee expectations around flexibility and work/life balance. Employees want to access the office one time per week, and for CIOs, the challenge then is to continue to find ways to enhance the remote working experience so that it can continue to deliver seamless and stress-free working conditions.

Currently, while most organisations allow some form of hybrid work, 29 per cent of employees say that difficulty reaching co-workers is more of a work-from-home issue. Meanwhile, only 47 per cent of IT leaders say that collaboration tools have improved overall productivity and efficiency.

There is a gap between the expectation and experience with hybrid work that technology can address.

As cited in a report on CIO from earlier this year, this means that CIOs need to proactively invest in transformative technologies:

“In its Future of Work predictions for 2023, IDC called hybrid work “a mainstay for our global future work landscape,” adding that “hybrid work will drive new technology solutions across functions and industries alike.”

Technologies cited by IDC include intelligent space and capacity planning tools, which the firm predicts 55 per cent of global enterprises will use to reinvent office locations by 2024. IDC also predicts 65 per cent of G2000 companies will consider online presence to be at parity to real life across their engaged workforce by 2025, with 30 per cent of those same organisations adopting immersive metaverse conferencing tech by 2027.”

With IT budgets being increased by around 50 per cent across the board towards these transformative goals, CIOs have some runway to make these investments. Some of the areas that they should be looking at include:

5G. As 5G rolls out to more locations across Australia, it will become a more viable tool for working. With speeds that are greater than what the typical home Internet connection can provide, as well as better latency and mobility, 5G is set to underpin a new wave of changing work styles and remote capabilities.Secure solutions. The kind of BYOD that tends to come with remote working environments does present security implications, and while VPNs and zero-trust security solutions can help, many organisations need to go further than that. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) such as the Lenovo VDI Hosted Desktop seeks to address this challenge by maintaining secure control over corporate data while still allowing employees to access it remotely as they need to.Peripherals and accessories that promote wellness. CIOs will also find benefits in providing employees with headsets that have AI-powered noise cancelling features, as well as standing desks and computers that feature eye care modes. Additionally, webcam privacy shutters are essential – people want to be able to use their webcams for meetings, but also to guarantee their privacy outside of work hours, given that the technology is in their homes.

A good example of technology built to capitalise on these trends is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, powered by Intel vPro, An Intel Evo Design. With leading connectivity, security and built-in capabilities, it has been built for what IT needs and users want.

There are benefits to partnering with an end-to-end supplier for remote work

One of the challenges that many CIOs face is that in the initial rush to enable remote work, a few years ago, many organisations adopted technology piecemeal. This has consequently resulted in a large portfolio of vendors to manage. This creates inefficiencies and can frustrate employees when connections don’t work, and technology incompatibilities hinder what they need to do.

Consolidating the number of vendors down to a single end-to-end provider, and delivering technology that has been designed to be seamlessly interoperable is going to significantly enhance the remote working experience for employees, while freeing the IT team up to shift focus from support to further transformation and innovation.

For more information on Lenovo’s end-to-end solutions and the benefits that delivers to hybrid work environments and employee satisfaction, click here.


When Greg Greenlee joined the IT industry in 2008, the lack of representation of Black IT professionals among attendees and speakers at tech conferences and events was readily apparent.

“It wasn’t a thing where I was made to feel out of place or that I did not belong,” Greenlee says, but it did make him wonder why Black technologists were few and far between in these spaces. He came to two conclusions: Black professionals attending these events noticed the lack of representation, discouraging them from returning, and there was a general lack of awareness among Black IT pros about the conferences and events available to them.

Greenlee believed that bringing Black technologists together and raising their awareness about conferences and events would help develop a sense of community and elevate career prospects for Black IT pros. So, he launched a blog to connect with and create a community for Black technologists. That blog quickly grew into Blacks in Technology (BIT) Foundation, a global organization working to “stomp the divide” in the tech industry.

Greg Greenlee, founder, Blacks in Technology Foundation

Greenlee / Blacks in Technology Foundation

“At the time, I thought if we got about 300 to 500 people [in the] community, then that would be successful to me. Obviously, I wasn’t dreaming that it would go up into this international organization. I just wanted a platform where we could come up with a safe space for us to talk about different issues. Whether it’s workplace issues, social justice issues, or talking about engineering, and help each other along with our careers,” says Greenlee.

Today BIT includes a for-profit and a nonprofit side, each of which seeks to break down barriers, create opportunity, and diversify the tech talent pipeline. The multifaceted organization offers support, mentorship, training, upskilling, professional development, networking, conferences, events, and more to Black technologists around the world.

Growing the BIT community

From the outset, Greenlee shared BIT with anyone he met who felt “discouraged about the state of the tech industry.” He reached out to a range of people in the Black IT community, from entry-level professionals to those in the C-suite, spotlighting their work in profile articles and featuring them on his podcast. By boosting representation and creating a space for Black IT professionals to share their stories and experiences, BIT caught on, growing fast by word of mouth and cross-promotion with other DEI-focused blogs.

To further build on his mission, Greenlee partnered with organizations to obtain conference tickets for BIT community members and built relationships with businesses local to each charter BIT launched. By 2018, the foundation started hosting its own conference, BITCON, with corporate sponsors such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. BITCON 2023 will take place in Nashville in September, and the foundation now boasts 70 chapters across more than 20 countries, with 25,000 members, offering direct scholarships and grants as well as programs for career development, resume writing, mentorship, and executive leadership training.

Dennis Schultz, executive director of BIT, says that at its core BIT offers Black technologists an “external support system,” and an external employee resource group (ERG). This is especially important for members working at smaller companies that may not have the same resources and staff size to accommodate wide-scale ERGs and DEI initiatives. For Black tech workers who feel isolated in their companies or their careers, BIT offers a vital community of people who share that unique experience.

Breaking down stereotypes in hiring

One major BIT initiative involves working with companies to help them identify how to restructure traditional recruitment and hiring strategies that often create barriers for candidates from underrepresented groups. As part of this initiative, BIT helps organizations identify where to find qualified candidates, how to create pathways for underrepresented employees, and how to make the necessary changes to their processes to create a more diverse workforce.

Dennis Schultz, executive director, Blacks in Technology Foundation

Schultz / Blacks in Technology Foundation

“Sometimes the perception is that, if you hire diverse candidates, then it’s an affirmative action hire or you’re doing it because you’re trying to increase the diversity numbers, but not necessarily because this person is qualified for the role,” says Schultz. To combat this stereotype, BIT helps organizations understand that by changing their company culture to attract more diverse candidates, they’re “actually going to increase revenue and profitability,” he says.

Changing the demographics of the IT industry also requires challenging stereotypes long before candidates enter the workforce. Greenlee gives the example of a woman who told him that the coding curriculum she took in college “wasn’t ‘Black people friendly,’” meaning she was made to feel uncomfortable anytime she asked a question or attended a CS course, finding it difficult to learn or receive any real guidance in the courses, he says.

In another example, Greenlee’s family member attended a programming course in high school but was immediately discouraged after being made to feel uncomfortable in an all-white classroom. “He instantly felt like he didn’t belong, and he walked right out, so that type of dynamic happens early, and it permeates throughout the pipeline,” he says.

Schultz had a similar experience himself after transferring high schools. He signed up for a physics course, a credit he needed to get into Virginia Tech University. But after enrolling in the course, the teacher told him he wasn’t “Virginia Tech material.” Although Schultz says it is “daunting” to be “confronted with somebody directly, who is hostile to your being or wanting to belong,” he didn’t let that deter him. Today he keeps his Virginia Tech degree mounted on his wall as a reminder that he was Virginia Tech material after all.

With experiences like these being commonplace, it’s little wonder why young Black students often feel discouraged from considering a career in IT. That’s why BIT is passionate not just about helping IT pros who are already in the industry, but also about breaking down degree barriers to help pave the way for qualified individuals to create a career in tech through training, development, and upskilling programs without investing in a costly four-year degree.

Programs offered through BIT

BIT understands there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for Black technologists to establish themselves in the IT industry, offering a range of programs aimed at helping everyone find the right path to the career they want. 

BIT and OneTen, a network for Black talent and employers, partnered with Udacity to offer a scholarship program for business analytics, digital marketing, and front-end web development. Students learn at their own pace and can complete a nanodegree program tailored to help land a high-paying career in tech. BIT members can also learn a range of IT skills, from entry-level to advanced, through programs adjusted to suit their needs and experience. BIT also offers certification courses, including several Google certs, that are covered by full scholarships. Through programs such as these, members gain the skills to land a job or advance their careers.

BIT has also continued its focus on fostering pathways to tech at a young age, including a unique gaming platform called Metarena designed to educate kids about tech career opportunities. They’ve also sponsored the production of the TV series Newark, which focuses on the experiences of black tech founders in northern New Jersey. The concept trailer introduces a cast of characters launching a startup outside of Silicon Valley, in a predominantly white industry. Unique initiatives such as these, in addition to BIT’s more traditional high school and elementary education programs, demonstrate BIT’s dedication to empowering Black youth to embrace tech careers.

BIT also hosts a startup pre-accelerator program in partnership with the Kukua Institute. The program helps startup founders gain the necessary training to create scalable business models, gain mentorship, and connect with other founders and funding opportunities. BIT also enables corporate sponsors opportunities to connect with Black tech talent, identify new talent pipelines, and host career fairs to interact with talent directly.

Mentorship as a cornerstone to success

For Black IT pros, finding mentorship or sponsorship opportunities in the workplace can be challenging. In navigating non-diverse workplaces, underrepresented workers often feel reluctant to ask certain questions or unable to bring their authentic selves to work. Through BIT, Black tech workers can find mentorship opportunities with other people who have had similar experiences, and who understand the nuances to being a Black professional in IT.

Dr. Gregory Thomas, PMP and executive chairman, Roostech

Thomas / Roostech

Dr. Gregory Thomas, PMP and executive chairman of Roostech, joined BIT late last year. He began his IT career in the late 90s, and when he first started applying to IT jobs at Fortune 100 companies, he “kept being told, ‘You’re overqualified,’ or ‘You’d be bored,’” he says, sometimes not even receiving a reply after an interview.

“Only years later would articles and studies be published confirming that what I and many others had experienced was the racist wall that keeps many Blacks out of IT roles in high-profile companies,” says Thomas.

Now he is part of BIT to help “pay it forward,” by helping and mentoring others to find their dream job in the tech industry and to make connections to help serve them in their careers.

“It is important to me at this stage in my career that I focus my attention on helping as many Blacks succeed in IT as possible, both at home and abroad. With BIT, for the first time in my career, I am meeting qualified Blacks at all levels of IT, and I want to help as many of them as possible since mentors were few and far in between when I began my career nearly 30 years ago,” says Thomas.

BIT’s Converged mentorship program matches up career professionals in six-month cohorts to learn from professionals higher up on the corporate ladder. For example, a junior engineer might be paired with a senior engineer. The goal is for mentors and mentees to build a long-term relationship, but participants also have the option to switch up partnerships if they don’t feel it will work out long term.

BIT’s Global Mentorship Initiative pairs college students with early career professionals who can helps students learn how to get into the tech industry. For Black college students looking to enter IT, having mentorship through BIT can break down barriers. Through these relationships, students are paired with someone they can relate to, enabling them to have candid conversations about what it’s really like to work in the industry, what to expect, and how to navigate everything from typical to potentially difficult situations in a corporate environment.

Odie Martez Gray, president, Diversity Cyber Council

Gray / Diversity Cyber Council

BIT member Odie Martez Gray found the organization while searching for communities that promote career equity to people of color and women in the tech industry. BIT has provided Gray, who is president of Diversity Cyber Council, with a sense of community, and he has received mentorship, career advocacy, and strategic partnerships for his business to grow long-term viability.

“Lack of representation and advocacy for the Black community in tech has led to limited hiring and promotion opportunities despite being objectively qualified,” Gray says. “Additionally, Black professionals continue to withhold experiences of discrimination, bias, and a toxic work environment in order to sustain their careers. We sacrifice so much for the comfort of others that rarely make concessions for our presence let alone identity, it is more than welcome to have an organization like BIT take the helm in providing proper support to those that need it the most.”

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