Welcome to the spring edition of X-OLOGY Magazine. In keeping with this season of change, we’ve decided to take a fresh approach to information technology, an important topic we’ve covered extensively in the past. This time, we’re looking at the next step in IT as it becomes an intricate part of everything around us — people, animals, buildings, automobiles, machines and more — all driven by electronics, software and sensors. It’s known as the Internet of Things and it’s changing our world in remarkable ways.

Google the IoT and you’ll find varying definitions, but most focus on the definitiion writer Julie Baumkel includes in her feature article on page 28: “The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.”

In our Focus on Tech feature, we asked several industry leaders to weigh in on the Internet of Things and what it all means for business and education.

Our People Profile features Jim VanderMey, CIO of Open Systems Technologies, a Grand Rapids, MI-based IT company. VanderMey brings a non-traditional background to his role with OST — one that blends pastoral studies with technology. He says both have served him well in various work and consulting roles for insurance companies, healthcare organizations and manufacturers.

On the IT topic, our Business Profile highlights Detroit IT, an information technology service, consulting and cloud solutions firm. Detroit IT is a blend of two companies — Core3 Solutions and Enlighten Technologies — whose owners realized they could make a bigger impact by merging IT resources.  

Also making an impact is Oakland Community College’s almost-too-good-to-be-true Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) Program. Initiated by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the MAT2 program offers selected students free schooling, paid apprenticeships and guaranteed jobs upon graduation. Not surprisingly, says program manager Janene Erne, most parents want to know how to sign their kid up.   
And speaking of kids, if you’re planning a Michigan road trip this spring or summer, be sure to check out our Lifestyle article highlighting sweet spots along the way. Writer Susan Pollack says they’re sure to ease the road-trip backseat boredom. And you’ll have only one reason to threaten to stop the car: to help yourself to a sweet treat.


Jane Racey Gleeson