Established in 2003, CDW Canada is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education, and healthcare, combining local knowledge with true expertise in international logistics to deliver consistent, service-driven solutions.
Head of Solutions Development and Cybersecurity Theo van Wyk leads the technology strategists and solutions development R&D teams that oversee the technical go-to-market strategy and solution alignment between security, cloud, and hybrid IT domains. With more than 20 years of experience in the cybersecurity sector, he is an expert in working with customers to address their IT security and risk challenges. Starting with data risk in mind, he advises and strategically guides customers to develop a balanced security approach, ensuring the recommended security solutions enable their governance, risk, and compliance program while supporting the needs of IT operations. Mr. van Wyk spoke with us recently about the value of engaging a one-stop shop for IT needs, the common challenges faced by small and large organizations, and the importance of helping small businesses prepare, defend, and respond to security threats.
“CDW Canada is a national IT solutions provider,” Mr. van Wyk explains. “We were established in 2003, so we have been around in the industry for quite some time and have observed how consumer needs have shifted.”
The company offers an end-to-end solution to address the IT needs for the three key areas of any business – users that are being enabled, a company’s data center, and full security concerns around the whole business.
“There is strength in our ability to provide products across a number of these IT sectors, including cybersecurity services, IT infrastructure, modern data centers and workspaces, and connectivity. That then further spans from a technology perspective into a services perspective.”
In addition to supplying the hardware that organizations need in the current market, CDW also offers services, from data and assessment services to equipment set up.
“CDW has a long pedigree of working with small businesses and makes it easy by operating as their one-stop shop for IT needs. This can include everything from monitors to printers and to servers, hardware and wireless connectivity.”
No two businesses are alike and CDW Canada is committed to getting to know the ins and outs of each business they work with. By building trusted relationships with customers and ensuring open communication, CDW Canada can determine what’s right for your business.
“We see more and more that what customers want is not just a product anymore – you need a solution. You’re solving a business challenge or a change in your organization, and we’re really geared to be able to have that conversation and address it for you end-to-end.”
In the last 2-3 years there has been a significant shift in the relative needs of larger and smaller businesses and the needs of smaller businesses are growing.
“Just because you’re a small business, doesn’t mean you have smaller problems. You’re dealing with the same challenges as everyone else. Our small- and mid-market customers have come really far in maturing their security programs, and that is really encouraging to us.”
There are still some fundamental differences, however, as small businesses tend to have less people working in IT security. This means they have to find ways to stretch their resources and overall become more streamlined.
“There are some plusses too,” Mr. van Wyk says. “One of the big things is that you can be more nimble, typically. So, we see a lot of smaller organizations can pivot quickly and really adopt solutions and different strategies much faster than a larger organization that has to deal with complex change management.”
For businesses of all sizes, it is always important to remember the three stages of IT security: prepare, defend, and respond. This involves understanding the data environment, determining how to deploy technology to protect the environment, and enabling it effectively so it’s doing what the organization needs it to do.
Having a third-party provider is part of a sustainable, long-term IT plan. When it comes to cybersecurity for example, the threats aren’t going away, and so part of the value for customers is being able to offload this work and responsibility to a managed IT provider like CDW.
“For many businesses, they reach a tipping point where solving new or more complex business challenges or outcomes requires additional resourcing. Having a third-party provider is ultimately about enabling you to do what you do best. We take care of IT, so you don’t have to.”
For small businesses considering this kind of help, a visit to CDW’s website will be the quickest route to finding out exactly which services are offered and how they could benefit your business.
“IT can be intimidating, so the value of engaging a new provider is their ability to make IT less daunting and more coherent and accessible. If you’re feeling out any new provider, I always recommend talking to the people you’ll be working with. There are a number of ways to get in touch with us, whether that’s by phone, email, or the links on our website. Don’t hesitate to reach out and have a conversation. We love talking to customers about security, so come have that conversation with us.”
All of the issues CDW works around ultimately come down to a focus on ‘Digital Citizenship’, where the benefits of training yourself and your users to understand day-to-day digital issues are paramount.
“Your everyday security for the digital realm can easily translate back to the organization,” Mr. van Wyk concludes. “Think of yourselves as ‘Digital Citizens’. Foster that community, build and work together – your organization will be stronger and safer for it.”
By helping small businesses prepare, defend, and respond to security threats, CDW Canada hopes to foster the next generation of ‘Digital Citizens’. Find out more about CDW Canada by visiting www.cdw.ca/smallbusiness.