IT Operations

Red Sox IT solutions range from team-building to third-party assistance

Development, help from veteran leaders—well put-together IT teams are able to manage challenges.
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Winning a championship takes a winning team—and so does taking care of company IT. Aptly surnamed Boston Red Sox CTO Brian Shield said as much in a recent interview with CIO.com, emphasizing the importance of assembling the right talent in order to spark innovation.

“Effective CIOs are always scouting out new talent—or should be,” Shield told CIO.com’s Dan Roberts. “They have a plan to develop young talent by recruiting capable interns and early-career resources. They have a pipeline into colleges and universities, like baseball scouting organizations.”

Team development. To Shield, veteran leaders and skilled employees eager to advance in their careers are key to helping well-put-together IT teams manage challenges. But, he added, all too often companies don’t invest in talent retention and training—a necessary step for positive growth.

“If development’s done right, you’ll have a high-performing team of diverse, complementary talent that can grow, evolve, and mature to allow the team to win well into the future,” Shield told the outlet.

Still, there are constraints. In April, IT Brew talked with Red Sox VP of technology operations and information security Randy George about how he manages threats to the team. George explained that the scope of the IT team’s security work is frequently overwhelming.

“Identity management, for a business this size, consumes a ton of cycles,” George told IT Brew. “Training employees, looking for threats, fixing security-related platform problems—that’s probably 50% to 75% of the day; we don’t have the time to be constantly threat hunting.”

Free agents. That’s where third party vendors like Centripetal or HYCU—which the Red Sox rely on for threat detection and cloud data protection, respectively—come in. Shield told CIO.com that he prefers to think of them as colleagues.

“I think too often vendors might see themselves as providing a service only,” Shield said. “We very much look for a strategic partner, and by that, I mean someone who’s not just selling a service or a product, but someone who’s thinking about our long-term requirements.”

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.