Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Are you lingering too long in your IT legacy?

Technology Ecosystem by Quest

For a long time, the most effective way for an organization to benefit from the power of IT required committing to a single vendor’s technology ecosystem.

You bought or leased the designated hardware on which you ran the designated software and, perhaps, a compatible service or two. But when you inevitably bumped into the limits of your chosen technology ecosystem, you faced a stark choice:

Either give up on that capability you were hoping to implement in the manner that would serve your business best — or alter the way your business operated in order to “sort of” get at least some of what you needed from the technology ecosystem in which you’d already invested plenty.

Typically, technology customization stayed out of reach and businesses were cornered into the second option, forced to adapt to the technology tools available rather than the other way around. Certainly, the ecosystem vendors didn’t mind, as customer lock-in proved extremely profitable.
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Planning a digital strategy for a volatile future

Digital Strategy for a Volatile Future by Quest

As I noted in my last post, new information technologies are likely to impact your business sooner than you’d like, so remaining reactive and focused on only the short-term has never been more dangerous.

You need to generate a forward-looking digital strategy to keep your enterprise competitive. If you find this easier said than done, you’re not alone — only about a quarter of businesses have a coherent digital strategy.

Yet without the IT planning that produces an effective digital strategy, you face a real possibility of surprise technological disruption in your industry and to your enterprise.
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3 Steps to Closing the BYOD Gap

BYOD Policy – BYOD Gap

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

5 Capabilities That Your Wireless Network Needs Now

wireless network management

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

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

network management - wireless networks have become the primary network

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

IT Security in 2014: How You Can Protect Your Business

Virtual locks representing security

Most security experts — including ours at Quest — will tell you that it’s no longer a question of if attempts to compromise your data, apps, and/or technology infrastructure will happen, it’s now only a question of when.

So what can you do to protect your business in this age when it’s so tough to distinguish between trusted and threatening network traffic, when there’s no longer such a thing as a secure perimeter around your data, when the “attack surface” has never been greater? Continue reading

IT Security in 2014: Challenges and More Challenges

Glass chess pieces

Information technology has become a business essential. We’ve reached the point where our ability to thrive and succeed depends on key software apps and the technology (wherever it may be) that runs them, our access-from-anywhere to the Internet, and our ability to gather and analyze troves of digitized data.

The easiest targets
So important are these capabilities that we often put them into use before we’ve figured out the myriad of ways they’re vulnerable to those with malicious intent. And while smaller enterprises used to be able to escape the worst of these vulnerabilities simply by slipping beneath cybercriminals’ radar, those days are gone.  Continue reading

When It Comes to Security, Know Thyself

Data Security & Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

“If you don’t understand the risks, you don’t understand the costs,” security guru Bruce Schneier advised during a TED talk.

He was discussing security in the abstract — but it got me thinking about IT security in particular and the difficulty many executives face trying to determine if their organizations are safe from cyberattack.

The problem is that these conversations nearly always turn technical. Soon, a flurry of technology acronyms — confounding but apparently reassuring — begin flying around the room.

And, reports Schneier, it works. People, he says, will “respond to the feeling of security and not the reality.”

So what can a CEO do to understand the reality of security risk and grasp what the actual cost of security failure might do to the organization?  Continue reading

98% of Apps are Insecure — Here’s How You Can Protect Yours

Mobile phone with password on screen to illustrate mobile security services

Sadly, one can make the argument that if software vendors did a better job of integrating security testing throughout the development lifecycle, our current struggles with application security might be less challenging.

In fact, however, software vendors are late to the party. Their security testing tends to be tacked on to the end of development lifecycles as an afterthought, which may account for one recent study’s startling conclusions that:

  • 98% of applications carry at least one application security risk (and each risk may signal the presence of multiple vulnerabilities)
  • 80% of applications showed more than five risks
  • The average application registered 22.4 risks

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