Bring Your Own Device investigate

BYOD will push up IT costs, say tech chiefs

Staff expect to use their own gadgets at work but this could be a major headache - and cost - for the organisation.

While staff seem determined to use their own computing devices in the workplace – the practice known as bring your own device (BYOD) – IT directors are fearful it will increase the cost and complexity of corporate IT.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of the 100 IT directors surveyed for research by IT services provider Damovo UK worry that BYOD will cause IT costs to “spiral out of control”.

IT managers fear costs will balloon as workers purchase their own mobile devices, call and data plans - with little to no centralised control or discounts - and then charge them back to the business.

The majority (69 per cent) are sceptical that the shift to BYOD will reduce support costs, believing that employees will ask IT to resolve issues with devices and services, rather than assuming more personal responsibility for fixing problems.

Managers anticipate that supporting BYOD will impose new costs on the IT department, at least in the short term, with the biggest financial burden created by new security measures, supporting additional devices and improving network coverage.

Beyond the additional costs, the vast majority of directors (82 per cent) say the complexity of configuring access privileges for the plethora of devices under BYOD will place additional burden on the IT department.

Damovo UK suggests some of the difficulties anticipated about BYOD could be addressed by putting in place a mobile device management process to establish centralised access privileges and setting up corporate stores of centrally sanctioned apps.

While the majority of organisations have BYOD usage guidelines in place the research found that more than one third of organisations (39 per cent) have not implemented such guidelines.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

79 comments
opcom
opcom

from among a list of devices approved by Corporate/IT/Telcom. Then, you have Coprporate smartphones and corporate 'cellphones' (if there is such a thing as a simple phone any more). We do this. It is easy to manage beacuse the devices have no connectivity to the corporate network except one model which uses pushmail only. If they want more than a "free smartphone with internet access and webmail/pushmail" then they can pay for their own but the number will not be put on their business card. By the same token the smartphone can access the whole internet, but whatever abominations the client happens to find out there can't get to the corporate network except by USB or similar means. It is astounding to me that an employee would refuse to use a freely provided device which they have a choice of 30 different types! WTHeck do they expect?? We'd never allow non-company owned/controlled devices to attach to the network except for the webmail, and then the device or home PC has to be able to run the "cisco desktop" so that when the session is over all is forgotten, nothing saved. (I hope -but I don't operate it). As far as data walking with separated personnel, no one can prevent it unless they take away all the laptops and glue all the USB ports shut and all cables into their sockets. As far as security, if you can't trust your employees, you're doomed to a lower productivity level. That is to say, hiring the right sort of employees, those than have an appropriate background and a little honor or self respect in the first place is more important than figuring out ways to prevent/detect/trap/clean up after a bad egg later. 10x the work for IT when HR should have made a better hire.

markpenny
markpenny

Picture the scenario: The user has their own laptop as they must have the latest in style, portability etc. That device then has a hardware failure. Who is now responsible for ensuring that user can continue to work. In a coporate environemnt the device will be swapped out quickly. Fo the home user it has to be packaged up & sent backup for repair, assuming that it is in warranty. This is suddnly an IT issue again as the user is unable to work for an unknown lenght of time. Similar issues are evident in the software. The device is suddenly unusable because new home software is installed that is stopped something else working. What now, once again the user cannot work but it is IT's problem to sort it out. There is now a home laptop with a 1TB drive filled with personal material. Options are limited unless full backups are taken or a disclaimer is signed by the user that all data may be lost. Depending on the setup this also may have coporate data scattered over it. The final point, device needs replacing & the user now decides that because they use it for work, the company should contribute to the cost. More admin and increased costs. BYOD is invariably driven by managers who have to have the latest toy and bypass everythign to get it. It is not a buiness need but status. Yes Citrix & other VDI type of solutions can help however to secure the environment but in many ways they have to be mandatory. Any other solution that relies on local installation of software is a security & compliance disaster. Who are the winners from this? Short term is the company balance sheet as workstations do not have to be replaced Resellers and the likes of VMware and Citrix in licensing Short term feel-good factor for the users. And the losers? The users themselves once they understand the implications of using thier own hardware. The users when they now discover that they are never out of work. It is bad enough with mobile email out of hours or worse on holiday but add to that full office functionality and the pressure will be there to always do that bit more. In the UK statistics already show that UK works put in more unpaid time than elsewhere. IT Departments supporting the resulting mess of hardware Compliance & governance teams trying to keep track of the data & inventory of where stuff is.;

slobodan.hajdin
slobodan.hajdin

I don't know, but what OurITLady wrote strikes most of the problems I have with BYOD idea. Additionally, there is support for PCs and laptops. And there we would have additional nightmare of keeping devices current with our company needs. That includes software and security which we do require for everyday work. And then there are restrictions we're enforcing in current system - websites forbidden, IMs restricted or forbidden, using of certain e-mail client... should I continue? How to enforce that on BYOD?

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

The IT Department sets the standard of what the employees can purchase on their own to support their own job: That way, having a mandate, not only saves cost but also insures that all devices are compatible and supportable by IT. Think of it as Health Care.

Xenos55298
Xenos55298

I work for a company that was a blackberry only shop until about two years ago. We now have over 5,000 iPhone and iPads. You have to "lay down the law" from the get go and then actually stick to it. For example we put a team of folks together from IT, Purchasing and Information Security. We layed out exactly what devices besides BBs we support and don't support. We also mandated that if they are to use their own device, the Company takes over the voice/data/txt plan. This way we know we are getting the best negotiated rate with the carriers. We also stated up front that IT is soley responsible for the delivery of email to the device. Period. End of story. My company even has some home grown Apps. IT does not support those. Those are supported by the division who created them. Don't get me wrong, i don;t work in utopia. Every day some group or division challenges IT and I can see the cracks in the BYOD wall. However, you need to build that wall first before they can break it!

wendygoerl
wendygoerl

One of the arguments Nick makes is that BYOD will cause to "costs will balloon as workers purchase their own mobile devices, call and data plans - with little to no centralised control or discounts - and then charge them back to the business." This is so easily averted I don't see why it's even mentioned as a problem. Pick out a few devices that meet most people's needs, get a group discount if you can, offer to pick up the tab/give an employee discount, and say "if you don't want it, then BuyYOD." If they want a specific device badly enough, they will. I bet most won't care enough to go off the list, though.

cmpdr6
cmpdr6

I definitely have to disagree with this idea. I actually work for a company that develops an application for the BYOD concept. The nice part about this application is the control IT would have on the business side of the device, including managing data use while on duty. This application separates personal data use with business data use so that companies would not have to pay for someone who decided that they thought they could charge the company with all their data. Compared to the cost of a company providing a data phone to someone so they can work remotely, to just the cost of an application using an employee's own device, there is a huge difference.

Satnam Bains
Satnam Bains

Bring your own "Approved" Device .... critical to have a MDM solution in place to apply usage policies and End User contractual accountability and liability.

renetrevino
renetrevino

I guess If you adopt BYOD, you can choose let to the users to use your IT infrastructure as a cyber cafe or build new corporate rules and deploy new IT's solutions to use BYOD, with this last option you will find savings.

martythesandler
martythesandler

The trick to BYOD is a four-step preliminary. Step 1: Make it clear to your management that their choice is to support you or lose you. Yes, put your job on the line without being confrontational. Step 2: Identify what you want to accomplish and what combination of good devices and intelligent staff can accomplish it. Step 3: Find out which devices are favored by your staff and why they favor their pet gadget. In the interest of transparency, I favor Apple devices because they work. Step 4: Figure out how to give everyone, or almost everybody, what they want without costing a bundle, taking a year and a week to implement, or skimping on documentation. Show how it all interacts so your successor can fix bugs and adjust for changing circumstances. Yes, it can be done. I've managed several projects in this way. The critical things are: 1. Work to the interests of your staff - not just to your own interests. 2. Listen to the interests of your top management but regard their input as suggestions, not mandates. 3. Incorporate the ideas of your security and finance departments as though you intended that in the first place; never acknowledge their source. 4. Design for change. No product plan ever survives its first brush with real life.

doug
doug

Does Google Apps care that I'm running SuSE? No, so why does your in-house software care? Ajax has been around for awhile, you know. Have a legacy system written in Cobol? Well, I will make a bet right here that even Cobol has webservices nowadays. We're not talking about rewriting code, only putting a front end on it.

phutchison
phutchison

I am not a big fan of the BYOD movement. I have several users that have tried to push though using their own "devices" but when given the usage policy they complain and state "It's my device I'll use it however I want" at this point the conversation is over and they are politely told no and if they have an issue with it I will gladly sit down with them and their manager and they can explain to them why they will not agree to the policy. That said, we do allow some BYOD devices with restrictions. Currently we do not allow any personal "PCs" in the office or on the network. This is for security as well as productivity as we found users wasting time on their personal devices that we could not control, and on occasion malware, viruses & illegal software (pirated). For phones and tablets, we do allow them in and on the network with restrictions. Users not issued a company phone: They can connect to email and a special wireless connection that is not routed anywhere near our company LAN. But they must accept the security stipulations that the company puts in place. Lock codes, remote wipe, etc. Users who are given a company phone: If they do not want to use what phones are provided by the company, we will allow them to purchase the phone they prefer and the company pays the monthly bill. Same stipulations as above, with the notice that their "company" phone can and will be wiped remotely without notice under certain conditions. Also if they leave the company (voluntary or involuntary) they are required to take "ownership" of their account as the company will not be able to "reissue the hardware" to a new person. Tablets: We currently do not have any work resources that users can use with a tablet other than email. All users but a few are issued laptops. The same rules apply to the tablets as to users who do not get a company phone. And with the phones and tablets if we find them doing things that are otherwise against the Acceptable Use Policy, the mac address of that device is blocked and not allowed on the network period. datobin1 has a good point and I also am looking to see how the Surface RT and Surface Pro work in a business environment. IF these can be controlled well via GPO without having to use 3rd party management tools for the device I am all for it.

6stringmus1c
6stringmus1c

I have read some of the comments, data will always leave your business. If someone wants your data they can print it, copy it, email it etc. BYOD is about policy you state what you want to happen and enforce it. IT departments have got to look at technology as an enabler, say 'no' to your business too often and they will find their own answers to their IT needs. Look to what you can deliver rather than being seen as a roadblock..

TheLip95032
TheLip95032

BYOD is happening as more and more people get tablets, smart phones and other light weight devices. You can ignore it but you are going to have people walking in the door every day with smart devices and it is better to have them going through your network rather than around it. I can connect my laptop to a hotspot that is my phone and send receive all I want. The IT directors described in the article are old school and should be replaced, there is a new work force with a completely different way of looking at work. If you want to attract the best and the brightest you need to be in the modern world. They will want to be able to conduct work even when they are not physically inside a particular building. The old borg mentality of "clock in at the front door and your are contained until you clock out" is dead, any director still pushing this should be replaced. The world is mobile and getting more so every day, get over it.

j2will
j2will

The thing that seems to be missing in the articles that I have read about BYOD evolve around the costs associated with training IT staff on each type of user device that they want incorporated into the enterprise. This would be a major element since companies are always upgrading their products and introducing new ones. Take into account the number of times many users change devices or crash their existing devices . . . there would be no end to the number of people needing IT to fix their devices. In addition, IT would have to invent protocols and procedures to make the devices compatible with corporate policies. Then IT would have to monitor and enforce these measures for each device. Add in the risks associated with possible data leaks from lost or stolen devices and the projected costs could skyrocket at the current rate 0f $204 per compromised record (Ponemon, 2009). One user could totally ruin a company with a single incident. The very reason that users want BYOD is for their personal convenience. The very steps that IT would have to take to meet governmental regulations and comply with company policies would cancel those conveniences. Users< I have found, can be quite innovative when it comes to getting around protocols and procedures which would increase the problems and risks associated with BYOD.

jkylehoward
jkylehoward

I totally disagree with the assumption. Any naysayer to a technology without fully vetting it should find a new line of work. We are IT, we should be creative in solving issues and get out of the way of productivity. I've implemented BYOD. We are saving on the cost of support of the devices and users by implementing an MDM solution along with VDI. The balance sheet will show an initial uptake but the ROI will return a significant savings to us. The most important step is in determining what processes, procudures, and efficiencies to put in place that will support your shop and give the business some flexibility. We can leverage BYOD into our DR/BC plans, provide anywhere, anytime, always on secure access to data. As a service provider, shouldn't we look for better ways to do that and remain relevant?

frankopolis
frankopolis

Although I left the corporate IT department years ago, I have since been running my own IT business for small business clients. In this environment almost everyone brings their own laptop or smartphone/iPad. I am obliged to support them. As others have already stated here and the author suggested, costs on the admin side will certainly rise as the IT staff need to field calls. Unless IT can exercise a lot of control startintg with specifying OS to a Group Policy type of control, their nightmares will only just be beginning...

cybershooters
cybershooters

Not easy to do, at one point on one network I support we only allowed Windows Mobile 6.x devices, then Microsoft screwed it all up with the lousy WP7 and all of its OTA requirements. Android is a mess because it is so fragmented and Blackberry are also a monster PITA because each service provider has their own Blackberry server so you have to know how to access it to set everything up. The only device currently that (a) works; (b) doesn't absolutely require lots of OTA; and (c) works well with standard stuff like Exchange and POP3 is the iPhone, and that is why everyone is using the things. You probably have to install iTunes on the user's PC to allow for local sync but you can block access to things like the Apple Store using a web filter. Also there are various lock down programs on the market for it. So now the policy is, what we give you or iPhone, and that is all.

slickrc
slickrc

Anyone who thinks the new generation will not want this has their head in the sand! Same old story IT must do more with less. BYOD provides a great way to cut cost not increase. One example that I heard was a lawyer using an IPAD with a softphone, it is all they need and they can work/communicate anywhere. How much time and money does IT spend on lap tops?? Not to mention cell phones. If you read about the great companies they are transparent...no fifedoms and secret domains. It seems that if certain information is that important it can be protected via access or not allowed to be downloaded. Proprietary is out software is in, that will free up loads of IT dollars. So quit circling the wagon and see your end users as customers instead of another headache.

Lost_in_NY
Lost_in_NY

We have BYOD with some limitations - We supply Good Mobile Messaging for Apple and Android-based personal mobile devices if users just want email and we also make Citrix available on iPads as well as to personal Windows or Mac laptops/desktops - we publish pretty much all apps to Citrix so we can maintain security and the users can have their own devices if they wish. Yes, there are some support issues, particularly after they upgrade their devices, but since we already had Citrix in place and users who prefer bring their own Apple or Android mobile devices give up the BlackBerry my company provides them, it's pretty much a wash cost-wise and the users are definitely happier.

rsperrazza
rsperrazza

If there are specific policies in place to put responsibility on the end user to take care of their own device then IT should not be worried about being expected to support any personal device. I know writing policies and procedures is a pain but they become valuable when inplemented correctly. Also, there are applications out there that provide a means for any device to connect to the network. We are currently leaning toward implementing Stoneware webNetwork. Utilizing a web front end to provide a dashboard and an application server inside the network, we will be able to provide connectivity to any device and deliver applications such as MS Office through Terminal Services. Is there a cost associated with this? Absolutely. Servers and licenses to provide these resources is costly up front. But we anticipate that the intitial cost will be recovered over the next 3 years without the purchase of new end user devices and also IT resource costs to prep and deliver those devices.

foringmar
foringmar

Here in Finland, where I live and work, we have a law that states that it's up to the employer to ensure that the employee is capable of doing his or her work in changing circumstances. Like every other law it's not always obeyed. I do a great deal of my work on line. Different internet places with different technology. In some cases I cannot do whats required of me using my employers net connection. The firewall prohibits doing certain things that none the less are required. To get the job done I have to use my own net connection, bypassing th employers networks firewall. Needless to say I try to be very careful about security.

datobin1
datobin1

You can try to build a wall but sometimes the forces behind it will be too great and you need to think about what if.... I can tell you right now that both Ios and Android device have issues and will require about 10 times the support hours of a corporate issued device. May sound high but these new devices don't have good support tools for corporate management and even if they did users would not want corporate control there device. The good new is on the horizon, Windows 8. While we may all be concerned about Metro changes just think how easy you can setup a windows 8 tablet to be used in your corporate environment. All virus, management, vpn, remote tools that are available to windows will be available to windows tablets and Image management and deployment can be handled by Windows Deployment Services.. If your not already using it you should take a look at it. So if you don't have plans for Windows 8 now would be a good time to start evaluating it to off-set the flood of these BYOD devices. I think once people have a Windows 8 tablet the other devices will not be so important to them.

doug
doug

Not a good idea. With the cloud coming, IT departments better make very sure they're not seen as barriers to using new technology, but rather as enablers. It's not a good idea to tell the executive staff you're too busy to hook the ipads they've all adopted to the corporate network.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I'd just like to point out that no company sets out to employ poor hires and that, even in a secure network where all the internal staff are trustworthy, social engineering, trojans and various types of blended threat can still work against you. An all trustworthy staff base will not bring you a stable platform for BYOD on it's own. In addition, in regulated environments you still need to be able to audit to prove there were no 'bad eggs' regardless of how trusted your people are. Fact of life, some people are bad and that does make all our lives more difficult. I wish we could be idealists and simply say 'hell with it. All our staff are trustworthy so lets spend less time on internal controls and monitoring and do some really cool functional stuff instead' I can't see it happening (yet) though.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Does that apply if you're provided with appropriate equipment but still choose to buy your own?

doug
doug

I imagined a middle-aged IT director carefully explaining to a 30 something up and coming MBA exec how his IT staff and himself would have to have specialized training in order to handle a device that the daughter of the young exec takes to grade school.

mongocrush
mongocrush

When your business execs tell you what to do, you make sure and do it. Good Job. Now my IT department has a seat at the big business table and we make sure that our solutions fit what the business needs. You have trolled a lot of comments here screaming about "The Cloud", Google Apps, and how your daughter can do our job better than an IT Professional can. And, from all of that I'm thinking that you aren't much of an IT Department Manager and I feel sorry for any IT professionals that have to work for you.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I get what you're trying to say but people should beware of putting the blinkers on and assuming that it arrogance or laziness is the problem here - security matters, integration is not always straight-forward and, believe it or not, IT departments typically DO CARE about their userbase. The last time I heard from a director that IT were just too arrogant to believe we could use his iPad on our corporate network he quickly discovered how right we were - after wasting many IT hours and a minor amount of cash on wireless kit. iPads are nice but when connecting to an almost all WinTel architecture on legacy programs? Not so. I think the key here is always that it can be done with the correct tech and the right investment in time and skills but not everyone is in a place to immediately do this sort of thing as users start buying their fancy new gear..

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I wouldn't work for an IT department that left my accounts active ten seconds after I left or retired, and I expect to have them suspended the night before if I am to be told I'm being laid off or fired. I'm not going to take hostile actions, but any IT management that doesn't anticipate the potential threat clearly doesn't take security even half seriously.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

doesn't have to make her computer interact with anything other than the school's wide open network, maybe. She doesn't lose any profits when the next kid over copies her term paper. She isn't legally liable when the kid on the other side copies her address book. She only has to know how to use one system, not all the systems of her thirty-odd other classmates. She doesn't want to access a variety of apps developed for older platforms, apps that still work 'good enough' so no one will approve the budget to upgrade them for the web or a variety of screen sizes, or for the infrastructure to make them available to mobile devices. She isn't going to expect me to fix it or supply a substitute when it breaks. Now, Mr. Upancoming, what was your point?

doug
doug

You want to sit at the big business table. You want CEOs and Directors obeying your commands and restrictions. They know this, of course. They're actually pretty good at figuring this stuff out. Have you ever thought they're not very happy about this?

doug
doug

I've always had a home network, complete with mail server. Recently one of my servers went down, so I decided to try Google Apps. It took me about an hour to recreate my home network, complete with secure logins, email domain, and all the basic apps like word processing and spreadsheet. What's more, it required no great technical skill, no more than most small business owners would have. Granted, Google Apps at this time is not sophisticated enough for any but the smallest businesses. But this is the cloud . And the cloud doesn't need all that Windows architecture. It doesn't need dns servers, email servers, file servers. You're protecting a dying technology. Now, corporate execs are fanatical about their ipads. They consider it essential to their career success. Now you proved to this director that the corporate network can not support a device he considers essential to his success. So, how do you think he will vote when a vendor comes in and offers to replace the corporate network with the cloud?

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

.... the threats behind a user controlled device that IT may not be able to fully monitor or control means the situation needs careful thought before users bring gear in. As I said - bad eggs exist so everyone needs to be (as you put it) aware of the potential threats and treat them seriously. :)

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I'm sorry to say that the more of your comments I read, the less I'm inclined to listen to you, which is a shame as you obviously have some things to say. You have a good point here - tech solutions can be easier than some IT departments might believe them to be but yet again you're straying dangerously to the side of accusing IT departments of being willfully incompetent, too slow, behind the curve or seeking control (We need lots of training or you can't have your shiny new iPads, Directors) and you are jumping directly to conclusions that don't necessarily follow (You don't survive if you say no, if grade schoolers don't understand facebook they attract Paedophiles and so on). As such, you could be losing your audience to the more intelligent and thought-provoking stuff you're writing about. I'm with Charlie on this - I think you need to spend a while in the real world of IT. You seem quite polarised and almost radical in opinion, and have the air of someone who is trying hard to be a driving force for IT improvement in their organisation without many years of experience within it. I admire that passion in your writing but not the opinions you seem to hold. Of course, I could have you horribly wrong as this is just text on a webpage and if so I apoligise profusely in advance. I'll take task this time with the idea that IT have to be 'Yes men'. Not the case. That approach leads to patchy IT solutions really quickly unless it's tempered with a healthy dose of forethought. IT should be about solutions. If our business needs something and we can provide it at an acceptable level of cost and effort then absolutely, we should say yes - as long as it doesn't damage the business in some way (security, reputation, incompatibility with other process or solution etc.). However, IT staff should be confident enough to say NO when presented with ill thought our, damaging, unworkable or just plain bad solutions when they're asked for. Saying yes all the time leads to increased workloads, unmanageable and less integrated solutions and a very short-term, compartmentalised view of a company's IT solutions and architecture. Damaging all around. Of course, this works both ways. IT teams do indeed have to remain objective and openminded and be ready to say 'yes' to anything that will be of benefit. We need to explore new ways of doing things and, yes, even 'stay ahead of the curve' as much as possible to drive things on and not become an anchor to old tech. Don't get me wrong here - you've got things to say and I don't need to agree with all of it to see your point. I guess I'm saying dial back on the radical opinions lest some of us start to ignore your well-made and well-intentioned points. IT staff are not slow-moving control freaks. We use tech out of hours too and the vast majority of us want to see new solutions in our businesses. I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm singling you out (I don't intend to) - I just want to discuss some of your more interesting points without the negative connotations.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm coming to this from a Level 2 / 3 tech slot. Someone with managerial / CxO aspirations can fight those battles; I'll be happy to implement the decision. I'd like to thank the US taxpayers for funding my managerial training and experience via the Army; and for allowing me to learn that, while I can do a fair to middling job of it, i really, really don't like it. So far I've successfully avoided advancement to a position where budgets and reviews are a bigger part of my day than testing and deploying. It may not be the big bucks, but the job satisfaction is still pretty high for me.

doug
doug

I've been thru this stuff a few times. You don't survive long if you're the IT guy who says no, whether you're saying no to bringing IBM PCs into the enterprise, bringing Windows 3.1 in, or now ipads and other tablets. You have to be the yes guy. Oh, yes, ipads are really cool. Yes, I would love to hook that to the corporate network. In fact, all the new software I've recommended are web based so we can do that. You have to be ahead of the curve. IT people fall behind, or, at least appear to be falling behind, don't last long.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Get out on the floor and into the cubicles, sir. See what people are using to enter the data and details you see summarized everyday. I'd love to replace those antiqued apps. Here's the estimate to rewrite them that I've presented to three of your predecessors. Here's the estimate to put in the infrastructure to support web-based apps and virtual desktops. I've prioritized them, but obviously you're free to sort them in any order you think is important. Your buddy Frank can't do it for less; that's his quote I just handed you. That's where the hang-up is in most cases. The upper echelons say they want mobility and device independence, right up until it's time to approve funding for the necessary upgrades.

doug
doug

My daughter would be failed if someone copied her term paper. Her "addressbook" is on facebook, and if she didn't understand facebook security old perverted men would be stalking her. She carries an ipad, uses an android phone, and the school requires her to be proficient in Windows and MS Office. I'm not sure she's ever ran across an application that needed fixed screen sizes. I had no idea the company had such old outdated applications. Maybe I should talk to Frank, a friend from college. He runs an outsourcing IT company who specializes in modernizing companies running outdated IT systems like ours.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

Perhaps I was reading into the commentary too deeply. Maybe the pills aren't working O_o Either way, no apology necessary - probably my fault (sorry!). I see your point a little better now. While I agree with your general direction I would caution that front-ending will only solve some of the integration issues. It's a great step to make to de-couple your services from particular architectures though and has all sorts of benefits.

doug
doug

I apologize if I gave the impression I was accusing IT departments of being control freaks. Maybe I should try to be a bit clearer. Here's the thing. There is no reason nowadays to worry about what kind of devices the employees are using to access the corporate software. This is a problem that has been solved. Google Apps doesn't care what device I'm running the browser on. The issue, then, is not how to control the support costs from BYOD, the issue is why are there these type of support costs at all. The technology exists now to put a web front end even on legacy COBOL systems. That's all I was trying to say. If you're having problems hooking ipads to your corporate email system, the problem to address is not how to control the hardware, but rather how to setup the email system so the device used is not a problem.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I'm sorry, Doug, but your reasoning doesn't seem sound. IT is not the big evil, trying to control all and grasping to prevent any move that limits their hold on things, you know. Sure, I've met IT chaps like that over the years but I've met far more non-IT managers that grasp for, and hold on to, control of things unnecessarily far more often. Where's your speech against them? This isn't the first time you've expressed this opinion and while I'm happy for you to express that opinion honestly (as no doubt your experience must vary from my own) I absolutely cannot agree with the sentiment that IT just want to retain control of everything and sit at 'the big boy's table'. We aren't going around with placards saying 'Death to User administered services' 'Cloud reduces control' or even 'Managers are dumb, keep them under IT's thumb' Before you jump to any more 'IT are control-freak' style answers, just have a good think about why IT staff would go to all the effort of trying to retain every shred of control given their ever-dwindling resources and why on earth we'd want to play internal office politics with the 'big boys' that invariably pay our wages. IT is about SOLUTIONS, not control.

mongocrush
mongocrush

And I'm not sure why you???re not in favor of that. This way IT can be proactive helping the business be more efficient. And, yes this helps IT so that we aren't blindsided by a project, and have to spend double the cost to help finish this project at the last minute. I'm not sure where you work, but our business execs push to have us at the big business table. Most likely because we actually help the business.

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I have indeed. I see great potential in distributed storage and applications and it's services like Google Docs that are waking people up to the possibilities. Services like this do make small IT departments almost redundant in some sectors, particularly when the need for complex technology solutions is lacking. Got a few users, a server or two and basic software needs? Why employ an IT bod or two when you can buy support contracts for gear and use services like this, right? Only, it isn't that simple yet and the ownership, security and responsibility bugs aren't ironed out. It'll be a while before these questions are fully resolved and it will take a high profile failure, an argument about fair use or a security breach before people start really talking seriously about this sort of thing. So, dying technology? Not yet. You make it sound like IT chaps like me are deliberately holding stuff like this back when more often than not we're all for it, but just being cautious about jumping all-in until all aspects of the 'solution' are proved (just like we do day-to-day on pretty much all tech projects and implemented solutions) This isn't a direct repose to a point you make but I have to say: Corporate managers get fanatical about their iPads and their Blackberrys and such in two stages in my experience and the first stage has nothing at all to do with needed functionality or features that would improve the business they work for. In this day and age if having an iPad is essential to your career success, you're doing it wrong. Look at the problem you face, assess the solutions and choose the one that fits you best. There is no problem in IT that has only one fit.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You could say the same about the admin password on an internal system. Just because the box is on this side of the firewall doesn't automatically mean multiple people have the p/w. Just because it's outsourced doesn't mean only one person has it. (Actually, two people should always have it, in case one is unavailable, terminated, etc.)

doug
doug

What struck me about Google Apps was that there was no reason for anyone but the boss to have the admin password. It's really a major security breach when anyone but the top corporate execs have complete access to all the information on a network.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but I'm not in the Legal department. I suspect it wouldn't make any difference if someone was suing the company. If you left your own servers insecure, you're negligent. If Google left theirs insecure, you didn't do due diligence before you hired them.

doug
doug

What's more secure, an in-house network where everyone in the IT department has the root or administrator password, or Google Apps, where only a corporate director has access to the admin section? I also wonder what would be the better legal position to be in. Our company was hacked because we had weak security on our in-house network. Or, our company was hacked in that world famous incident where Google, with one of the largest and best IT security staffs in the world, was hacked.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Google Apps is a good solution for some. However, there are security concerns and legal issues regarding the storage of some data on a third-party service, particularly in the medical profession.