Quest Technology Management

Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Are You Ready for Your Own Bleeding Edge?

Manufacturers love buzz words. And, it’s true, most of us are susceptible to catchy phrases.

One that’s caught my attention is ‘bleeding edge’ — used to describe the very, very latest technology product or service. It’s a heady feeling, being at the forefront of technology, and the urge to acquire the newest and best can be downright irresistible, as evidenced by sales of the iPhone 6.

Yet there are times when you should resist. Being on the bleeding edge can be fun and impressively rewarding. But rushing headlong into something your organization is not prepared for can hurt.

So even though this issue of our newsletter highlights achievements in keeping pace with the near-constant change in technology offerings and capabilities, we urge caution.

Before you allocate budget to ‘leading or bleeding edge’ products or services, be sure you’ve answered these three questions:

  • Is our infrastructure ready?
  • Do we have the necessary skillset?
  • Does it provide the capabilities we need?

If you’re unsure about the answers to any of these questions, get help from a trusted technology advisor before making a commitment that will bleed more than just your budget.

Giving Thanks During the Season of Patching

Abstract concept of patching

As the nights grow longer and colder, giving thanks for all that’s warm and light-filled makes wonderful sense. We are, in effect, expressing appreciation for feeling secure and safe.

In fact, this is a time of year when it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to security — especially data security. With the season of holiday gift-buying underway, opportunities for data thieves, hackers, and malware abound.

This isn’t only a concern for retailers and credit card firms. We’re all vulnerable and we all have to continually tend to the security of our businesses.  Continue reading

Planning for 4 Key 2015 Technology Challenges

Colleagues making a plan

Four technologies will very likely impact your business in 2015 — whether or not you explicitly consider them in your planning. Which is to say, ignore them at your peril:  Continue reading

3 Steps to Closing the BYOD Gap

Policies tab on a folder

In my last post, I discussed the gap between business units that enthusiastically embrace BYOD and IT departments, where BYOD is regarded with more hesitation.

Yet it’s clear: BYOD is not only here to stay, it is quickly becoming a dominant force that IT departments must deal with. And in most circumstances “just say no” isn’t an option; BYOD offers employees too many rich opportunities to boost productivity, innovation, and collaboration.

So what’s an IT department — your IT department — to do? Continue reading

The BYOD Gap

Navigation concept

What’s the state of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in your organization?

When I ask this of our customers I get replies aligning with industry research and other anecdotal evidence pointing to what I call the BYOD gap.

Business units are adopting BYOD – along with mobile apps and consumer-grade cloud services – pretty much as fast as they can, but too often such adoption is unsanctioned by their IT departments; there is no BYOD policy.

In the shadows

It’s a sizable gap, too: by some reports, almost 90% of employees use their own devices at work – but only about 40% of enterprises have committed to implementing BYOD policies, procedures, and infrastructure.

This is classic Shadow IT, and it’s on a scale unlike anything since the 1980s when corporate business units defied their IT departments to acquire PCs. It took mainframe-obsessed IT staff a good long time to grasp that forbidding PCs was a supreme waste of time, because whenever business unit managers find tools enabling them to boost productivity and achieve better results, they are enthusiastically embraced whether IT likes it or not.  Continue reading

The Recovery Gap – Part 2: A Short List of 5 Best Recovery Practices

360-degree arrow concept

In my last post, I shared some sobering numbers from a recent study by the DRP Council on how well  and not well  organizations recover from disruptions. Many of the problems revealed in the study can, I believe, be attributed to four causes:

  • Inadequate recovery plans that don’t anticipate the types of events that actually occur
  • Insufficient plan documentation and lack of compliance reporting
  • Not nearly enough recovery plan testing
  • Failing the recovery tests that do occur

All of this is eminently understandable  it’s hard to focus budget and time on what we prefer to regard as unlikely possibilities.

So here’s my first recovery best practice: think of your recovery plan as the best way to keep those possibilities unlikely, because when they do happen, they cost plenty. Continue reading

The Recovery Gap – Part 1: Online Presence and Prudent Preparation

Bridging the gap concept

Online presence has never been more important to your business  but behind it lurks immense technical complexity. The sort of complexity that produces things like software, network and power failures, and human error.

So, of course, it’s prudent to prepare ways to recover from such failures, mistakes and vagaries of nature, which is why so many organizations  a majority, according to a recent study by the DRP Council  deploy some sort of secondary recovery site. Though, less than 10% use cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Continue reading

5 Capabilities That Your Wireless Network Needs Now

Network concept with chrome balls as network nodes

We can’t afford to ignore the myriad of mobile devices and apps currently saturating our attention and wireless connections.

In my last post, I laid out some of the industry’s eye-popping numbers. This time, I’m offering up just one graphic (from Cisco’s recent Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update) showing why you must upgrade your network infrastructure. Pronto. Continue reading

Building Better Wireless By Mapping Your Goals

Compass "direction" concept

Wireless chatter really is everywhere: I recently saw an ad from a major pain relief company touting the benefits of its latest product, a “wireless” pain patch

But wireless implementations can be plenty painful, and there’s no magic patch to ease the strain.

When clients ask us the best way to ensure that a wireless service performs as desired, we advise them to begin by asking — in non-technical terms — what they’re trying to accomplish. Continue reading

Your Wireless Network: Signs That the Tail has Begun to Wag the Dog

A red "help" button on the keyboard

In many companies, the wireless capability added on to their enterprise network a few years ago has become some employees’ primary network.

It’s a development that signals just how quickly mobile devices are proliferating the workplace. The so-called “consumerization of business” changes the way we work — and our data networks have to keep up.

This transformation has been in the works for a while. In 2011, market analyst firm Gartner predicted 80% of corporate wireless network technologies would be obsolete by 2015. Gartner may well be right, given the findings of more recent research. Continue reading