Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

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

What Secure, Enterprise-Grade File Sharing/Syncing Looks Like

Small glimpse of Secure VPN diagram

As I detailed in my last post, file sharing/syncing is quickly transforming how, where and when we work by making our apps and data available and usable on any Internet-connected device. Even if your organization doesn’t have an enterprise-grade file sharing/syncing capability in place, odds are your employees have attempted to make their lives easier by implementing their own consumer-grade alternatives. Continue reading

How Big is The BYOD File-Sharing Target on Your Corporate Back?

Colored files with arrows to and from the Cloud.

If yours is like most businesses these days, many of your employees use their own smartphones, tablets and/or laptops to do their jobs — and the numbers are climbing fast as more people go mobile. Pew Research Center reports that as of May 2013, 56% of American adults have a smartphone and as of September 2013, 35% own a tablet.

Continue reading

Essentials to business disaster preparedness — #4: Pinpoint the most cost-effective disruption recovery solutions

Cost Effective Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Solutions

Okay, so your data is properly backed up, you’re monitoring its use, you’re developing a plan to protect your business and recover as quickly as possible from events beyond your control.

Now, in conjunction with your planning efforts, you need to pinpoint and then implement the most cost-effective disruption recovery solutions necessary to sustain business-critical operations when your systems and networks are down and/or when your office is unusable. This entails a three-step process that requires business continuity/disaster recovery expertise:

Continue reading

What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 2, on better security and compliance

How Cloud Computing Delivers Improved Security and Compliance

The centralization of apps, data, and management that’s an essential part of well-conceived and well-managed Cloud environments also helps make them more secure. Why? Because security policy is easier to enforce, threats to apps and data are easier to detect and address.

Since Cloud data and apps are centralized in a data center, it’s actually easier (as compared to traditional siloed IT infrastructures) to establish effective security policy, monitor compliance, and intervene quickly and often preventatively when there are issues

Continue reading

What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 1

graph on an iPad

In the right Cloud environment, IT performance goes up while IT costs go down.

Here’s how IT performance goes up:

  1. Applications are hosted on centralized virtual servers in a data center, so …
    • Each department or end-user no longer needs their own copy of the app,
    • There’s just one version of the app, designed to be sufficiently flexible and customizable so all can use it on a variety of devices, and
    • Services are easily scalable, more secure, and more reliable.
  2. Applications can be quickly and automatically provided on demand wherever they’re needed, so …
    • IT resources are optimized,
    • The entire IT environment is more responsive and flexible without adding work or cost, and
    • Access to resources improves without new implementation/deployment risks.
  3. And end-users and their departments — as well as trusted partners — can be networked far more cost-effectively, regardless of location, via a standardized platform that enables integration and process automation between internal departments and partners.

Continue reading

Essential SLA Elements #3 and #4: Monitoring, enforcement, and change mechanisms

A good service-level agreement looks simple — but that’s because it’s been conscientiously negotiated to meet the buyer’s needs. Of the five essential SLA elements that every managed and cloud services customer should focus on, I’ve described two — specifying service functionality and describing the infrastructure and standards to be maintained by the provider.

Essential SLA Elements #3 concerns SLA changes. Your SLA should include a mechanism by which you can regularly tune it in response to changing business conditions or new technologies. You’ll benefit from building in a formal review of your SLA (at least annually) in order to use experience and new information to revise it.

Continue reading

Essential SLA Element #2: The devil’s in the details

I’ve already blogged about the importance of negotiating a service-level agreement that specifies the functionality of the managed and cloud services you engage.

Now I’m going to focus on Essential SLA Element #2: Including details about the system, network, and security infrastructure and standards to be maintained for your services by the provider.

Continue reading