CTO vs CIO – What is the Difference?

CTO vs CIO – What is the Difference?

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What’s the Difference: CTO vs CIO

Whether you are new to the technology world, interested in pursuing a career in technology, or curious as to how you can merge your management experience with your knowledge of technology, you might need to know the differences between a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and a Chief Information Officer (CIO).

The difference between the two can be tough to decipher, as “information” and “technology” usually go hand-in-hand. A simple characteristic and way to tell the two apart is that the CIO typically works on aiming to improve processes within the company, and the CTO uses technology to improve or innovate products for the company. Let’s dive deeper and look at the differences between CIO and CTO roles and what makes them so unique.

What is a CIO and what do they do?

By definition, a CIO is short for the executive title of Chief Information Officer.  The general role of the CIO is making sure business procedures run accordingly, with the purpose of supporting the productivity of employees and individual business units as a whole. The CIO has the responsibility of managing current operations, mission critical systems, and total security. 

The CIO can be regarded as the key leader of all in-house technology and digital processes. IT departments usually have minimal interactions with other business units, so it is the job of the CIO to develop the reputation of IT within the company.

However, the CIO of a company isn’t only focused on tech. A good CIO integrates the IT department with other business units, so knowledge of the company and its best practices is important. If a company is looking to digitize, improve, or automate its current processes, the CIO is responsible for managing the project as whole, even if a specific IT team executes implementation.

Some key responsibilities of a CIO include:

  • Managing all technology infrastructure
  • Directing IT operations and departments
  • Supporting and implementing technology to simplify business processes
  • Improving the company’s bottom line
  • Collaborating with ISPs and vendors to drive productivity

Management and communication skills are also important, as a CIO can oversee dozens of IT employees and IT teams. The CIO must also be able to convey needs and strategies with other company executives and department managers.

What is a CTO and what do they do?

The role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) aims to create ways to use technology in order to help the business itself grow. These usually are ways that improve services or products that customers purchase with the support of new technologies.

A main difference from the CIO, is that the CTO focuses on external customers, or those who are buying products. The products could be digital or technology-based too. As customers become smarter and more aware of the products they purchase, the CTO must stay up to date on the cutting edge of technology. This ensures the company stays ahead of its competition and offers the best products. The CTO is responsible for the engineer and developer teams who focus on research and development to improve and innovate the company’s products and services.

Some key responsibilities of a CTO include:

  • Maintaining the company’s tech offerings and products
  • Using and evaluating technology to improve the company’s products
  • Overseeing the engineering and developer teams
  • Know and use all technologies the company adopts
  • Improving the company’s bottom line
  • Working with vendors on supply solutions

Even though a CTO’s role is tech-focused, they must stay up with the latest advancements in technology and have a background in computing or software engineering. A CTO must also incorporate right-brain skills like creativity, innovation, and collaboration to be successful.

CIO vs CTO: Which is right for you?

CIOs and CTOs may be mixed up by people outside of the tech industry, however both roles are essential to a company’s success. As executive level positions, one is generally not more senior or junior than the other. In fact, successful companies are often celebrated by strong presence from both the CIO and the CTO working in unison. 

From the individual’s viewpoint, both of these roles are seen as separate career paths. One does not train to be a CIO and switch to a CTO position as they desire. A CIO comes more from the IT operations side of the business, where CTOs come from more of the software engineering side of the business.

Cloud Computing is Out of This World: Microsoft and SpaceX Launch Azure Space

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Microsoft has teamed up with Elon Musk’s Space X in taking the next giant leap for mankind. This time it’s in cloud computing, in space. The tech giant is collaborating with Space X to launch Azure Space. The cloud computing platform Azure intends to offer mobile cloud computing data centers that can deploy anywhere around the world. 

 

In order to make this endeavor a success, Microsoft called upon SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites and extended its agreement with satellite company SES for Azure Space. Microsoft put together a team of respected space industry veterans to work in conjunction with their own product engineers to build cloud capabilities that meet the basic demands of space. By partnering with leaders in the space community, Microsoft seeks to expand the utility of our Azure capabilities with worldwide satellite connectivity, release cloud computing in more settings, and ultimately enable their customers to achieve more.

 

Learn more about the Secrets of Radiation Hardened IT Equipment in Space by reading our blog post. 

Satellite networking available anywhere, anytime

With the rapid increase in data, the importance of dependable ways to connect has also grown. That being said, Microsoft boasts a global network of over 160,000 miles of subsea, terrestrial, and metro optical fiber, helping billions of people connect all around the world.  However, many users also work in remote, rugged environments, finding it nearly impossible to keep up with the need for access to data at fast speeds. This is what the Azure Space ecosystem will provide. 

Microsoft’s plan with Azure Space to bring comprehensive satellite connectivity solutions to meet the needs of our customers by providing a multi-orbit, multi-band, multi-vendor, cloud-enabled capability. Robust satellite communications, combined with Azure’s delivery of high-powered computing, machine learning, and data analytics creates massive amounts of growth for organizations. Microsoft’s partnership with satellite communication experts allows them to bring these resources to customers faster.

Self-contained datacenters are the future of infrastructures 

 

Many businesses are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, with products like Azure Stack. In fact, Microsoft has already made huge strides in navigating their datacenters in extreme environments. For example, their Project Natick underwater datacenter that sat at the bottom of the ocean and proved to be extremely successful in lowering energy usage. By developing insights and gathering feedback from their users with the harshest requirements, the Microsoft Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) is able to take computing to the next level.

To learn more about Project Natick underwater datacenter, check out our blog post: The Underwater Data Center of the Future

Microsoft created Azure Space to support fast and secure cloud computing available in any environment. Customers will have the luxury of having Azure Space on their terms wherever they need it, in a self-contained unit – in space. The satellite data center gives organizations the ability to access a complete datacenter in remote locations, or to enhance existing infrastructure with a transportable solution. No natural disaster on Earth can harm your data center when its floating hundreds of miles above the ground level at all times.

Primed for space with the power of Azure

 

With the modern rocketry advancements of Space X, human missions and satellite launches have become more frequent. The accessibility and capabilities of these progressions are allowing tech companies like Microsoft develop more reliable, repeatable digital technologies to help the space community launch faster and with more confidence in the success of their missions. 

 

Of these recent innovations between tech and space, Azure Orbital Emulator is at the top. Both commercial and government funded space exploration groups are building thousands of interlocked satellites which require detailed design and AI-driven procedures, to guarantee prime networking connectivity and coverage while in orbit.

 

Azure Orbital Emulator is an imitation environment that directs massive satellite simulations with software and hardware. This allows developers to evaluate and train complex AI algorithms and the satellite networking system before ever launching any satellites into orbit. Azure can mimic a complete satellite network including intricate, real-time scene generation. Azure Orbital Emulator is now being used by customers in Microsoft’s Azure Government environment.

The future of space and tech together

 

The partnership between space and tech helps tackle the some of the toughest technology challenges faced in the cosmos. Users currently struggle with the massive amount of data produced from satellites, bringing cloud services and bandwidth to remote locations, and designing multifaceted space systems. The network of partners brings this data to ground faster, making connections that weren’t possible before. The future of space and tech working together is exciting; using the power of cloud and space technology to help businesses re-imagine solutions to some of the most stimulating problems.

Top 5 Reasons to Sell Used IT Equipment

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Has your company tasked you with the responsibility of figuring out what to do with a surplus of used IT assets? Or maybe you’re on the fence about upgrading your infrastructure and not sure where to start. Well then, this article is written specifically for you. As if you need any other reason rather than making money by selling your used IT equipment, we’ve got it! In fact, we have five reasons why you should sell your used IT equipment.

Improve Performance

A key reason most companies have for wanting to sell or recycle old IT assets is because the current equipment is outdated. By upgrading old equipment to newer equipment, they’re also improving the performance of their machines.

By selling used equipment, a business is given an opportunity to reinvest the profits back into new IT equipment or other equipment that may be lacking.

Selling used assets creates an opportunity for purchase upgraded models, translating into faster speeds, increased storage capacity, improved security features, and all-around better performance. Most organizations these days use technology in order to gain an upper leg on the competition. Using the most up-to-date equipment can help you stay ahead. 

Looking to upgrade your system? We can help.

Free Up Valuable Real Estate

One of the most frustrating issues facing companies both large and small is having your used IT equipment taking up valuable real estate, collecting dust, and taking up other precious resources. 

Selling or recycling the used assets will put money on the balance sheet, and free up space for something more useful. In some cases, a surplus of retired IT equipment is held in a storage unit, which also costs money to rent out. By relieving the overhead costs associated with the used equipment, you can really come out ahead.

Need help moving the old equipment? We do that too!

Tax Write-Off

Instead of selling your old IT equipment you can chose to donate it. In most cases, the write-off you receive on your taxes may actually be more valuable than the return you receive by selling the equipment.  

By donating your old assets, you also lessen depreciation on your assets, allowing you to take a tax write-off at a higher value than the asset would’ve sold for. 

Donating your used equipment can be done directly through an ITAD vendor. Just let them know the charity you would like to donate the proceeds to, and they handle the rest. With a large number of schools practicing remote learning due to the pandemic, there are actually many that are accepting donations of old PCs and laptops for students to use from home. Either way, your used equipment can go to a greater cause.

Before choosing donate, you will want to consult with your financial department and tax professional to see if this is the best option for you.

Interested in donating? Let us give you a hand.

Minimize Depreciation

The depreciation of an asset is essentially a decrease in its value and an excellent reason to sell used equipment. Selling your used IT equipment earlier will produce higher market values than waiting until its obsolete. 

It’s a no brainer. the longer your equipment is in service, the less value it retains. 

Let’s get you the most money possible for your old equipment!

Updated Security Measures

As with any type of aging technology, older IT equipment becomes more vulnerable to security risks if they’re not updated to the most current software.

Older, more mature equipment can be more defenseless to viruses and malware, because they’re not outfitted with the necessary security measures designed to protect against newer forms of attacks. 

IT assets that are obsolete and on the verge of retirement also have a higher risk of failing completely, resulting in disrupted operations and potential loss of data. 

Concerned about data security? Don’t be.

It’s Easier Than You Think

If we were going to add a sixth reason to the list of why you should consider selling used IT equipment, it’d be because it’s too simple not to. For those that are new to the idea of decommissioning IT equipment, it may seem like a daunting task. The truth is, it can be. No sugar coating here. Depending on the amount of equipment you are looking to sell, it can be quite the undertaking to do it alone. Partnering with an IT Asset Disposition vendor like We Buy Used IT Equipment will take all of the worry and stress off your plate. Simply send us a list of the equipment you’re interested in selling (you can do that here), and our friendly team of equipment experts will get back to you with a free, no obligation quote. Once the offer is agreed upon, we take care of the rest including: logistics and shipping costs from start to finish, data destruction if required, and even a certificate of completion once the job is done. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and collect your money. If it sounds too good to be true, give us an opportunity to show you why we’ve been an industry leader since 1965. We let our reputation speak for itself. 

Ready to start selling? Let’s start here.

Donating Used IT Equipment to Charity

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An organizations surplus used or retired IT assets may no longer appear to hold any monetary value, but you’d be surprised.  Besides, most of this equipment is just taking up valuable space in your data center, storeroom, or warehouse. Come April 15, if your organization is looking for a tax break, donating your equipment to a charity might be a great option to explore.

At We Buy Used IT Equipment, we can safely and securely recycle your old equipment and make large monetary donations to the non-profit or charity of your choice.  We can ensure you that the data on all devices will be securely erased and destroyed so you don’t have to worry about it falling into the wrong hands.

Click here to download the flowchart of our charitable donation process.

What type of equipment can be donated?

Everything. It’s that simple. All of the same items that we purchase, can also be donated.  Even if there is no cash value when looking to sell your retired assets, you may still be able to donate them for a tax write off. Every organization is encouraged to consult their tax preparation professional or accountant when choosing this option to determine the maximum amount of their tax deduction.

Here a short list of the equipment you can donate:

Storage Systems

Tape Media

Tape Libraries

Tape Drives

Switch

Routers

Disk Arrays

Blade Servers

Memory

Telecom

Phone Systems

External Hard Drives

Servers

Networking

VoIP

Internal Hard Drives

What do I have to do differently to donate IT equipment instead of selling it?

If you choose to donate your retired IT assets rather than sell them, you don’t need to do anything different. Just send us a list of the items you want to donate with a brief description of each item. Including things like the products numbers, quantity, condition, and even pictures can help in giving you a more accurate valuation. We will take care of the rest including all logistics and data destruction if required. 

You can send us your list of equipment to donate here.

Why should you consider donating your used IT equipment?

75% of the fossil fuels and energy used by a computer are actually consumed during manufacturing. Extending the computer’s usable life through reuse results in higher return on its initial environmental cost.

There are many people that do not have readily available access to technology. Dumping a computer into a landfill is a missed opportunity to provide technology individuals that are less fortunate.

Even if a piece of equipment has reached is end of life, it can still be recycled. Recycling IT equipment ensures that valuable raw materials are recovered and that any waste is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Learn more about e-waste recycling here.

Tips for donating your used IT equipment

1. Verify Your Used Equipment Still Has Use

With the average lifespan of a computer around seven to ten years, if your computers are less than seven years, chances are they can still be of good use to someone else. Prolonging the computer’s lifespan through reuse provides the highest environmental benefit of all electronics disposal alternatives.

2. Consider Donating Newer Equipment to an ITAD Service Provider

It may be tempting to donate used IT equipment to your favorite local school or charity, but most have specific technology needs. Partnering with an ITAD provider like We Buy Used IT Equipment may be a better option for refurbishing older equipment. We can ensure that equipment works well, runs legal software copies, and any e-waste is disposed of properly. When the refurbishment process is completed, the equipment can then be passed on to those who need it.

What is ITAD? Find out here.

3. Include Any Original Software, Documentation, and Accessories

If possible, include any accessories that go with the computers such as keyboards, the mouse, printers, modems, packaged software, or any other accessories that were used with the equipment. Organizations will be more likely to accept the donated items if these items are included. Also, keeping the Certificate of Authenticity sticker (usually on the computer) undamaged is the most important thing to remember. This sticker will allow an ITAD provider to inexpensively relicense and reload operating systems and software on the donated equipment.

4. Make Sure to Use Disk-Cleaning Software if Self-Cleaning Drives

A good way to protect against any unwanted access of personal information is to use a disk-cleaning software that destroys all data on the machine’s hard drive. However, some hackers can still get through these “erased” drives and find files that may have been missed by the software. The best option is to contact your ITAD partner and have them properly eradicate the data for you. In most cases, they can provide you with a Certificate of Data Destruction upon completion.

Learn more about different types of data destruction we provide.

5. Keep a List of What You Donated for Your Records

Whenever donating goods to a charity, it is smart to keep a list of the items donated and the value of those items so you can deduct them come tax time. Most ITAD partners can provide a tax receipt upon request if donating your equipment. Business donors can deduct the undepreciated value of equipment, and individuals can deduct the current market value of a computer. Your ITAD partner should be able to help you determine the fair market value of a computer. However, for more in depth information on tax laws related to donating IT equipment, consult your local tax professional.

Data Backup and Archived Data? What’s the Difference…

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What’s the difference between a data backup and archived data?

For those new to the data hoarding world, they may not see a clear distinction between the different data storage methods currently used. The two main methods of storing data are data backup and data archive. Actually, there’s a huge difference between the both of them as well. 

For those that are oblivious of the difference between the two, they may potentially be wasting costly office space and money. Not to mention putting their data at risk. 

What is a data backup?

Data backup is defined as a copy of the initial data that is used to replace the original in the event it is lost, stolen, or destroyed. Many users may view data backup as a safety net among other things. 

A great example of data backup technology is disk storage and LTO technology. Both forms of data storage are used as backup platforms to store a previous copy of a dataset that can replace unusable or unavailable originals.

Is LTO technology right for your long-term data storage strategy?

What is archived data?

Archived data differs consists of a collection of chronological data that is seldomly retrieved. However, a data archive usually contains important data that is intended to be kept long-term for various reasons including reference and analytical applications. Archived data can also be used to free up primary disk storage space from data that is no longer actively used but must be retained.

An organization’s data backup is a copy of the original data, while its data archive is the original that was removed from its original location and stored at another site for long-term custody.

There have been a number of instances where organizations try to design their backup software to satisfy both backup and archive roles. The downside to this approach is that it can be very time consuming trying to locate a single file needed for long-term archiving from an entire backup server.

Keeping a complete backup job is not a very cost-effective way to use data storage, as backups only copy the data, leaving the original file in its place. Realistically, it wouldn’t free up any space at all.

The act of backing up data is just another way of making a copy of your already existing data, essentially using up more storage space. When the original data is moved to the data archive, storage space is increased; allowing data management to become much more efficient. 

A key difference maker between data archiving software and data backup software is the labeling and search capabilities of an accessible archive. Metadata related to archived objects is stored in a database and can be searched based on user-supplied criteria.

Enhancing both data backups and archived data with LTO technology

 

Backups and archives stored on LTO tape provide the industry’s most cost-effective, high-performance and high capacity data storage. Information stored on tape is largely offline, adding a layer of protection against ransomware and cyber-attacks. This layer of protection is known as an “airgap”. By utilizing an airgap in a data storage strategy, tapes can easily copied and used for offsite storage, providing a supplementary layer of protection against unforeseen disasters and cyber-attacks. 

Learn more about airgap here.

Additional benefits of using LTO tape for archiving data are:

  • Archives on LTO tape can be stored for up to 30 years or more.
  • LTO tape supports Linear Tape File System (LTFS) for native, fast access.
  • Encryption and WORM support are provided with LTO technology, increasing an already high-secure storage solution.