Free Guide: How to Build a Mobile Device Use Policy

Managing the risks of a mobile security tsunami – why a personal mobile device acceptable use policy for your organization matters.

Personal smartphones, laptops, tablets, e-readers, netbooks, gaming devices – it’s a whole new mobile wild west out there. At first, organizations and their IT teams, understandably fearful of the risks to the integrity of private information and business data, were resistant to giving employees’ personal devices access to the organization’s business network. But increasingly, they’re having a change of heart.

Why? For starters, with employees logging on to answer emails, review contracts and marketing materials or simply catching up on a mountain of work anytime of day or night, offering them the freedom to use the same devices at work, on the road and at home means increased accessibility and productivity with a device each of those employees is already familiar with.

Equally important, mobile device management has improved by leaps and bounds to the point where now a single interface can be used to manage devices whether they’re on a BlackBerry platform, Apple iOS or Google Android. That’s gone a long way to mitigating resistance from IT departments fearful of security tsunamis.

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Reading the radar: As we get back to business, where’s IT taking us?

We’ve learned a lot in the last 18 months. As cautious optimism surrounds economic recovery, what has changed in how organizations are harnessing technology? We assembled a group of Softchoice’s top technology thought leaders and asked them all one question:

“What’s on your radar as organizations get back to business?”

“In the storage arena it’s still all about efficiencies. Even as we pull out of the recession, storage requirements continue to grow between 20% and 50% annually, while head count stays static. The focus is on de-duplication, thin provisioning and archiving to reduce physical footprint and storage technologies that integrate management and provisioning features to help reduce the management burden.”
– Keith Baskin, Enterprise Storage Architect

“Now more than ever, to achieve competitive advantage you must understand your business and your customers. Technology gives companies an opportunity to know what’s going on in their business at all times in every aspect. It also allows you to plan and model future outcomes before you decide on them, resulting in better decisions and increased profitability. Business Intelligence and performance management software provides these abilities. Diving deep into your business makes you a more competitive organization as we get back to growth.”
– Jody Girard, Enterprise Software Architect

“It looks as though businesses are now taking the IT consolidation strategy into other areas of their IT infrastructure rather than just on the servers. So, IT groups are now being asked to take all of the multiple solutions they have for managing their environments and come up with more consolidated management platforms. Microsoft has really provided their customers with a strong play in this effort with renewed investments under the System Center umbrella. Businesses are able to take advantage of this single pane of glass to deploy, monitor, patch/update, backup/recover, and provide service/ incident management with the System Center suite.”
– Mark Wall, Enterprise Architect-Microsoft Solutions

“Now is one of the best times to get your IT house in order. Many of our customers are pondering the financial advantages of cloud computing while balancing that against the challenges it creates, namely security. Internal Cloud has to provide for ubiquitous access to a multitude of devices which are probably not inside the corporate cloud. Hybrid and public clouds carry the same challenges but “data in motion” and “data ownership” must be top of mind when working with third parties. Bottom line: the Cloud can make a lot of sense. It frees up capital from IT budgets to help with a customer’s core business, but if done wrong it could cost more than it is worth.”
– Frank Ball, Director – Communications Infrastructure Technologies

Using Technology To Stay Ahead In Tough Times

Softchoice’s CIO Kevin Wright talks about using technology to stay ahead in tough times.

Q: From a cost-management perspective, how has the recession changed the way you do things as an IT organization?

A: With every crisis there’s an opportunity to innovate and be more efficient. And that’s how we approached it. We made it a priority to address the things we could control directly by focusing on three key areas: rent and power, travel and IT infrastructure.

And, as a solutions company, we really wanted to leverage the technology we sell to our customers to accomplish these goals.

Q: What specific technologies have helped with rent and power costs? [Read more…]