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IT Technology

Sorry, IT: These 5 Technologies Belong To Users 348

Posted by Soulskill
from the rayguns-not-on-the-list dept.
GMGruman writes "The BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon hasn't been easy on IT, which has seen its control slip. But for these five technologies — mobile devices, cloud computing services, social technology, exploratory analytics, and specialty apps — it has already slipped, and Forrester and others argue IT needs to let go of them. That also means not investing time and money in all the management apps that vendors are happy to sell to IT shops afraid of BYOD — as this post shows, many just won't deliver what IT hopes."
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Sorry, IT: These 5 Technologies Belong To Users

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  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24, 2011 @01:59PM (#38483650)

    Typical user conceit "This is MY dingly dangly, it lights up and makes my balls feel warm! Oh SHIT, I BROKE the DINGLY! IT FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT."

    Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

    • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dwillden (521345) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:10PM (#38483732) Homepage
      Better than, I'm supposed to use this dingly dangly to do work, but the tools I'm allowed to use don't quite do what I need. If I could just use this app I could increase productivity, but IT has the system so locked down that to even think about using a different app is grounds for termination.

      Face it, IT's job is to facilitate the rest of the company's performance of the real purposes of the company. IT doesn't make money for the company it enables the money making areas to make the money. A wise IT dept allows users to add additional tools, but with the caveat that the only fix available is a system wipe and restore to original configuration. The Users are responsible for keeping their data backed up.

      As to the Gadget aspect, if the company didn't buy it, the company isn't responsible to fix it. If the company did, the company should have an extra stockpile, and any broken gadget is simply replaced with a baseline new one, again leaving it up to the employee to restore the apps and data they want. And it's the employee's job if their failure to maintain a backup causes critical data to be lost.

      Okay, everybody tell me how wrong I am.
      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Cheerio Boy (82178) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:18PM (#38483788) Homepage Journal

        Better than, I'm supposed to use this dingly dangly to do work, but the tools I'm allowed to use don't quite do what I need. If I could just use this app I could increase productivity, but IT has the system so locked down that to even think about using a different app is grounds for termination. Face it, IT's job is to facilitate the rest of the company's performance of the real purposes of the company. IT doesn't make money for the company it enables the money making areas to make the money. A wise IT dept allows users to add additional tools, but with the caveat that the only fix available is a system wipe and restore to original configuration. The Users are responsible for keeping their data backed up. As to the Gadget aspect, if the company didn't buy it, the company isn't responsible to fix it. If the company did, the company should have an extra stockpile, and any broken gadget is simply replaced with a baseline new one, again leaving it up to the employee to restore the apps and data they want. And it's the employee's job if their failure to maintain a backup causes critical data to be lost. Okay, everybody tell me how wrong I am.

        You're not wrong. But neither is the parent. And this is all known by anyone that's been in the I/T field for any serious length of time. It's all a balancing act. And since you have to balance security with efficiency your friend through all the pitfalls (besides common sense) is documentation. Make the end user sign a piece of paper saying the device is his and will only be supported for X purpose and only to Y point.

        When the user breaks something you told them is unsupported past a certain point that documentation will help point the user in the right direction and keep both yourself and the company safe from rampant I broke my $device while doing company work on it! Fix it or get me a new one!

        • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

          by isopropanol (1936936) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:35PM (#38483918) Journal

          One company I've worked with does it this way:

          Want to use our device? Good, here it is all set up. You can use it to access internal resources.

          Want to use your own? the pptp server is blah, and the exchange server is blah. Have fun, remember to lock your device, and no, we won't tell you how to set it up. You can't get anything confidential unless it's emailed. Emailing anything confidential is grounds for disceplinary action. When you lose your device, call 1-800-xxx-xxxx ASAP.

          • nice in theory (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:46PM (#38484390)

            I don't know how many times I have heard: "We know it is not our policy to make you support/fix this. However, your boss is requiring you to make an exception this time, since we have some important time-sensitive thing going on."

            Mutually-agreed-upon responsibility limits don't work when upper management lacks the discipline to keep up their end of the agreement.

            • by Geminii (954348)

              Mutually-agreed-upon responsibility limits don't work when upper management lacks the discipline to keep up their end of the agreement.

              This applies to everything, though.

          • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

            by icebike (68054) * on Saturday December 24, 2011 @04:01PM (#38484494)

            One company I've worked with does it this way:

            Want to use our device? Good, here it is all set up.

            That works as long as everybody with a legitimate need can get a device (paid for by the company). In fact, I much prefer it this way, as I can simply leave that device turned off when not required to be on-duty. I don't have to hand out my personal phone number for company business.
            I don't have to compromise MY device by letting some pimply faced kid from IT get his mitts on it.

            Down side: If the company gives you a phone they expect you to answer it 24/7.

            The problem comes in with small companies who simply don't have it in their budget to get a phone or a tablet for each user, yet insist that those users monitor company mail and answer business calls. That pretty much forces the user to surrender their own device to company policy. With 47 applicants standing in line down in HR to fill your job, it gets hard so say NO.

          • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

            by jon3k (691256) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:01PM (#38486228)
            The problem with this theory is when users start to rely on unsupported devices to perform critical business processes. eg - "Sorry we didn't get that RFP sent off to the potential client because my $DEVICE is broken, IT wouldn't help me and I don't know how to fix it."
      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:21PM (#38483810) Homepage

        Face it, IT's job is to facilitate the rest of the company's performance of the real purposes of the company. IT doesn't make money for the company it enables the money making areas to make the money.

        That's only half the job. The other half is protecting the company from nasty lawsuits by ensuring license adherence, data security, compliance with various tech-related laws, and proper access control.

        Deploying servers and workstations is only week 1. Weeks 2 to 52 are all about keeping the boat afloat.

        • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:12PM (#38484182)

          User perspective - does this thingie work for me?

          IT perspective - does this thingie work for 1,000 users?
          Does this thingie have a license we can support?
          Does this thingie fit our security model?
          Does this thingie fit our backup/retention model?
          Does this thingie cause any problems with the other systems?
          Does this thingie have a road map for the next 3-5 years?

          Almost any user can handle a single workstation. Maybe even two workstations.

          It requires a different perspective when you move to 1,000 workstations for 1,000 users running 250 different apps in 10 different segments across 3 continents and 5 languages.

          The niche that the company is operating in might not be the same niche that the user sees himself in. Just as there are markets for mass produced goods/services, so is there a market for customized/personalized items.

          I think Gruman is advocating the customized/personalized market niche (everyone at the company uses whatever they want to use / how they want to use it / where they want to use it / etc) when the experience of most of the Slashdot readers is the opposite (thousands of workstations and users with hundreds of apps and downtime that is measured in millions of dollars).

          Car analogy - your motorcycle might have better acceleration, higher top speed and be more maneuverable than the 18-wheeler but they aren't serving the same market. Nor does the motorcycle scale to the 18-wheeler level at anything near the same price point.

      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xugumad (39311) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:32PM (#38483892)

        > Okay, everybody tell me how wrong I am.

        I will say, users are terrible for taking responsibility for their own mistakes. So we either are the bad guys for not allowing shiny untested tech, or for not fixing problems users bring upon themselves with the shiny tech.

        The effect of risks in aggregate are also very opaque; you may never see problems with random untested approaches or poorly considered actions, but IT deal with this routinely. What do you want us to say when we're told too much time is spent on support queries already?

      • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by isorox (205688) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:35PM (#38483916) Homepage Journal

        Better than, I'm supposed to use this dingly dangly to do work, but the tools I'm allowed to use don't quite do what I need. If I could just use this app I could increase productivity, but IT has the system so locked down that to even think about using a different app is grounds for termination.

        Fortunately my management structure realises IT is there for people that use a selection of a few specific applications, and those of us with "unusual" requirements are better opting out.

        A wise IT dept allows users to add additional tools, but with the caveat that the only fix available is a system wipe and restore to original configuration. The Users are responsible for keeping their data backed up.

        Official IT policy at my company is to use leased laptops (at $3k a pop), which run a complex stack of software that reduces the machine to a painfully slow mess.

        When it breaks you have to take it back to the office. In the UK, then wait for a couple of weeks while some idiot prods it, before wiping it and handing it back (without fixing the original problem)

        Management in one area have now rolled out 300 mac laptops for one their department, 13, 15 or 17". If it breaks, you boot from a small usb drive and restore from scratch. If the machine dies, you take it to an apple store. If it's stolen, you buy a new one.

      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xeno man (1614779) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:51PM (#38484040)

        Face it, IT's job is to facilitate the rest of the company's performance of the real purposes of the company. IT doesn't make money for the company it enables the money making areas to make the money. Okay, everybody tell me how wrong I am.

        Gladly. It's not IT's job to facilitate and serve the rest of the company. IT doesn't bring in the money but IT manages the expenses that allow the company to make money. Why does everyone forget that it cost money to make money? A contractor needs to buy a hammer to do his job so he buys a hammer. He needs it to do his job. What he doesn't do is buy a hammer every week or every time a new type of hammer is released. Otherwise he would be buying more hammers than making money.
        Lets also say this contractor is so big and busy he hires a hammer department to handle buying and distribution of hammers. Now workers look at the hammer department and an expense and bitch when they don't get a new hammer when ever they demand one, even though the hammer department will free up more time for the workers to make more money and keep expenses down by not facilitating every whim of the workers.

        You're all part of the same team, you all need to work together to get what you need, not just what you want.

        • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Funny)

          by flappinbooger (574405) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:06PM (#38484142) Homepage
          I like your hammer analogy and would like to subscribe to your newsletter
        • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Informative)

          by Sprouticus (1503545) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @04:08PM (#38484532)

          And when the lawyers come to your dept because of a lawsuit, who will get in trouble for all the missing data? And when someone breaks into your network because of a lost Mac with password to your VPN stored on the primary partition, who will have to clean up the security mess? And when a virus hits those machines (yes, it will happen, even to Mac's) and spreads to the rest of your network, who will get in trouble. When someone loses a super critical file that will cost the company tens of thousands of dollars, who will take th heat?

          BYOD has some advantages, especially if you use a client side hypervisor and keep a 2nd image on the machine which is the'personal' image. Have a pristine virtual machine for work and non pristine for play. Create an isolated guest wireless network for personal devices. I have no problem with these types of models.

          But the cowboy model of IT management will never be smart. is just not ever going to be smart.

      • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:38PM (#38484342) Homepage


        IT doesn't make money for the company it enables the money making areas to make the money.

        I wasn't aware there was a difference between "making money" and "enabling to make money". Do the digits on a watch tell me the time, but the electronics merely enable the digits... or does the watch tell me what time it is? Do the digits even exist without the electronics?

        It's always curious to me when people divide up wholes that depend on parts, but then expect the parts to operate independently of the whole.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Better than, I'm supposed to use this dingly dangly to do work, but the tools I'm allowed to use don't quite do what I need. If I could just use this app I could increase productivity, but IT has the system so locked down that to even think about using a different app is grounds for termination.

        I'm sorry, but I really don't see the problem here. If the tools that your employer don't allow you to do your job, then complain to your boss. If that doesn't resolve things, then you just don't do your job, and

    • Fucking GMGruman (Score:5, Informative)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:40PM (#38483976) Journal

      This article is written by the same braindead PHB who wrote the "high priests of IT" article. He's trolling Slashdot for cash (page hits). I say the editors should be at least considering blacklisting his submissions at this point. He's one of the biggest submission trolls on Slashdot right now, and the only one doing it for money.

    • Exactly.

      We suffer with this every day and I'm not even IN that kind of support area any more.

      User starts using personal device.
      User develops key business practice on device.
      User leaves.
      Now it's MY problem to support the practice. (in my case it's a handheld inventory system- which doesn't work with windows 7, doesn't work on new hand held devices)

      You should not develop ANYTHING you will use for more than 12 months on a device. Any permanent processes should be written in cobol or java.

      Everything else chang

      • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hazem (472289) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:27PM (#38484272) Journal

        User starts using personal device.
        User develops key business practice on device.
        User leaves.
        Now it's MY problem to support the practice. (in my case it's a handheld inventory system- which doesn't work with windows 7, doesn't work on new hand held devices)

        How many times did the user ask for a solution from IT, and when he did, did he get a ridiculous quote that it will take years and cost millions?

        That's been my personal experience - that even the simplest request comes back with such ludicrous numbers that I have no choice but to "roll my own" solution. It shouldn't take a year and $300k to come up with a way to import a set of identical excel sheets with a few thousand rows in them into a database table. Yet that was the quoted solution. So I made my own using VBA and a SQL server in about a week. Also, this is for a "temporary solution" that IT says they'll replace in a year anyway. On top of that, we're only getting "serviced" because we're a high profile group in the company. Most other people are told to buzz off - so they too roll their own.

        Like most of us, your guy had a job to accomplish - he needed a handheld inventory system. Did he ask for help? And if he did, was he told "no", or given an absurd, budget-busting quote for what it would take to implement? If so, he did what he had to. If he didn't, is there already a culture of "don't bother asking, because we won't help"?

        I've been on both sides of the fence. But I can say it's far more frustrating as a business user to be thwarted at every turn by IT than it is to be an IT person trying to support business users. With the right attitude and solid but flexible practices, an IT dept can reliably support what the users need and even leave most of them pretty happy. But with an IT dept that's mired in bureaucracy and really doesn't care what happens, a business user is really left no choice but to go it on their own - which ultimately leaves a mess for IT to figure out in the end. In either role, I prefer being a part of the solution.

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:46PM (#38484000)

      He's going on about the same bullshit. But he doesn't interview anyone in IT at any company that is actually IMPLEMENTING his claims.

      I'd argue that Salesforce.com was the first big consumerization push into business, as the SaaS provider actively targeted business users and avoided IT in trying to get its technology adopted.

      This guy cannot even tell the difference between a "device" that is "owned" by an employee of Company X and a service provided to Company X by Company Y.

      Regardless of which innovation was the first to empower individual users technologically, it's clear that consumerization of IT is about user-driven technology of all sorts.

      No. There's a HUGE difference between using a outside company to provide a service and allowing people to bring their own laptops into the company to connect to the company's private data.

      BYOD has the distinction of being so visible and inexorable that it finally forced the consumerization trend into the open, with CIOs and IT publicly confronting an issue that many had been dealing with quietly for a while: Some technologies are truly user-centric and should be left as such.

      And you STILL don't see the difference.

      Why is /. linking to his articles?

      There are five: mobile devices, cloud computing services, social technology, exploratory analytics, and specialty apps (that is, apps for the user's specific job, from presentation software to engineering calculators).

      mobile devices
      cloud computing services
      social technology
      exploratory analytics
      specialty apps

      And STILL not a single interview with an IT VP from any health care company allowing user-owned devices to connect to private data.

      Why is /. still linking to his articles?

    • by gmuslera (3436) *
      Think in terms of food, not of devices. Sometimes you eat food made by others, sometimes you could choose to try to do it yourself.

      So whats wrong with not doing our own food? With the current legal/patent/IP system, we are all forced to eat in McDonalds, because it sued everyone that tried to do any kind food with meat and made everyone think that we should only eat meat made by them.
    • by syousef (465911)

      Typical user conceit "This is MY dingly dangly, it lights up and makes my balls feel warm! Oh SHIT, I BROKE the DINGLY! IT FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT."

      Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

      If you insist on loading your craptard software on my dingly dangly and instead of warming my balls it burns them (locks me out of my own shit), too fucking right mate! Fix it or I'll have you fixed!

      Sincerely,

      A user who's also a tech head.

  • Security (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:00PM (#38483654)

    Ok...I didn't read the article. But the problem with mobile devices, cloud services, etc, isn't IT's lack of control. It's not the stability of the network. It's the security of the data itself. It's a little tricky to safeguard your patent research documents if they're sitting in your iPhone email. Even more difficult if they are up in Dropbox, unencrypted, where "mistakes happen" and other people can gain access to your account by an oops by the service provider or a sharing oops by yourself.

    Believe me, I'd really rather not be responsible for managing data access. No matter how dumb people are, it's IT that gets blamed for lack of security.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      Yeah, I'm expecting a new round of those "UK census office employee accidentally leaves a CD with 100,000 personal details on a subway train" only now it'll involve people leaving their smartphones somewhere. "DuPont trade secret leak traced to iPhone left in a McDonald's".

      • It's obvious what the problem is—not enough is being done to promote employee awareness of their responsibility to help protect their own work and that of their colleagues. To that end, I propose setting up a site where IT people can download informative posters and pamphlets to fight back in the war not against personal freedom but against data integrity. Here is one example of a precedent [flickr.com].
        • to fight back in the war not against personal freedom but against data integrity.

          You oppose data integrity?

          • Absolutely. Can't stand the stuff. It's all "no more than one biological mother" this and "no posthumous questionnaire data" that. It would be so much easier if sometimes people just accepted that production databases occasionally contain test tubes of purified DNA with the ID number "gregs sample" and that the laboratory freezer apparently contains a dead cat, but noooooo, I have to write validation suites all day to fix number padding errors created during data entry. Well, the joke's on you! Say hello to
      • You know, I have, on occasion, considered a career in industrial espionage, during the darker moments of my life. I think it's the allure of a shorter workweek, potentially have a gun (so I don't have to think before I act, or work out at the gym -> LEOs know what I am talking about), relatively high pay, and some excitement. Oh, and self-employment -> I'm my own boss.

        Yet somehow, I always thought it would be more challenging than waiting for some clueless user to plug an unsecured device into the cor

    • Re:Security (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:13PM (#38483748)

      The biggest security threat from a BYOD . . . is the user. Many have been nurtured with an attitude of, "Hey, it's great! I can share with everybody! The more I share, the better!"

      This unfortunately leads to stuff like open calender entries of confidential meetings, etc. And don't even mention them being lost, stolen, left in bars.

      My work SchtinkPad is so locked down, and monitored by our IT folks, that if I lose it, no one short of the NSA is going to get anything out of it, without a court order.

      IT folks just can't know if their employees are security aware.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Security is a whole lot easier if the users are competent at it. And if they're not competent, why are they entrusted with secure information?

      The problems with IT seem to derive from the same attitude that causes most corporate jobs to suck - treating the employee as some kind of mindless drone who needs to be babysat. Demand professionalism and competence from employees, treat them that way in return and everyone is happier and things work better.

      "These are secure documents, I shouldn't put them on Dropb

      • Now maybe if work where to end when it's time to go home maybe then there will be less need to have the secure documents out of the office.

      • by anonymov (1768712)

        > "These are secure documents, I shouldn't put them on Dropbox" isn't any harder than "these are secure documents, I shouldn't put them in my briefcase and take them home" was twenty years ago.

        Not really. Anyone can tell documents were stolen from briefcase by such telltale signs like broken locks or MY FUCKING GOD THE BRIEFCASE'S GONE, and anyone can tell electronic documents were stolen from his/her PC by such telltale signs as... hmm... eh... documents popping up on piratebay a month later?

        Concepts of

    • "But the problem with mobile devices, cloud services, etc, isn't IT's lack of control. It's not the stability of the network. It's the security of the data itself."

      Exactly. These days, if I were IT mgr. and I found an employee using "cloud services" that were not pre-approved, I would revoke their access to the network. Not to hurt their productivity, but to save everybody else's.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      You realize that the security of the data itself directly correlates to whether in-house IT has control and the 'stability' of the network, right?

      You can't access your Cloudy data if the network is down or unable to handle Cloud type loads.

      You can't secure your data if you have no access to the actual data infrastructure, enabling a complete in-house account of everything.

      You can't secure your data (or even access it) if your devices are "on the fritz".

      All these things rely upon in-house IT controlling thin

    • Re:Security (Score:5, Funny)

      by MadFarmAnimalz (460972) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:52PM (#38484436) Homepage

      Ok...I didn't read the article. But

      Around here, that's good for +5 insightful. Modded accordingly.

  • Then let them have the security and stability while you're at it.
  • by mjwalshe (1680392) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:04PM (#38483696)
    This is the 3rd post from info world about BYOD in the last few days can we give it a rest.
    • by Spad (470073)

      This. Seriously. Either stop posting this spam or let us ignore submitters.

      I don't give a flying fuck about infoworld at the best of times, but from now on I will be actively recommending that people avoid them and ignore anything they have to say.

      I don't know who's paying them to write this nonsense (or who at Infoworld has shares in Apple) but it's gone way beyond the usual level of shoddy journalism that I've come to expect from a lot of /. articles.

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:05PM (#38483700) Homepage

    Speaking as a customer of BigCorp X, where there's a battle between the big, bad meanies of IT and the hip, 20-somethings with their fashionable iWhatever du jour which they can't live without, and the 30, 40, and 50-somethings who are trying to mimic them:

    I'd rather your corp have a locked-down corporate environment in which data security is respected and my credit card and other personal information (including purchase history) is safe. Or, as a vendor/partner, the confidential information I had shared with you.

    I'll take the risk that some hipster isn't going to come up with an earth-shattering revelation about which color of gradient fill should be used on the company website because he was shackled to his desk instead of breathing free as a bird sprawled out on the office roof with his iPad.

    Most breakins occur through the weakest link in security, which is exactly what uncontrolled used of these gadgets represent.

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:17PM (#38483770) Homepage

      Awhile back, one of my clients (whom I provide outsourced IT support too) employed a few interns. One of them starting pushing for the job is internal IT as a secondary role of his while also wanting to get rid of their SBS server and go pure MS Office 365. I'm not opposed to any of this in principle so long as the owners of the company fully understand what they would be getting themselves into. But they don't. And that's the problem. Pushy interns trying to make a name for themselves all while unnecessary costs, disruptions, and possibly damage in the process. These 20 somethings know jobs are hard to get, and are fighting tooth and nail to shine off any and everyone that stands in their way.

      I guess it's sort of like seagull management. They fly in, crap all over the place, and you're left to clean up the mess. In these cases, it's best to give them enough rope to hang themselves before things get too much worse later on.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        The sad thing is, the idiots pushing these "turnkey solutions" look like experts to the eyes of users once things are underway. "You got this working in X period of time? You must be an IT rockstar". Meanwihle, it's about as complicated as setting up a blog, and doing it once is as difficult as doing it 100 times. When things go south, however, the blame can be placed on the "cloud service", and the resident expert IT rockstar gets away with it scotch free.

        I agree, it's a good idea to let them hang themselv

    • by jsrogers (2518196) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:34PM (#38483908)

      We actually had an incident during the fall but it was not a 20-something hipsters. A few of our mobile users left their work laptops in a company vehicle in a bag in plain sight on the back seat. The bags are purchased by the individuals or their departments and they purchased very obvious computer bags. The car was stolen in a sketchy part of town along with all three bags. It turns out one of them left a car key inside their coat pocket inside the car.. Fortunately for us, all the laptops fully encrypted AES256 with preboot authentication. The laptops were later recovered from the suspect's home along with the vehicle. One of the laptops did log about a dozen unsuccessful log in attempts but nothing further than that.

      Our organization does allow remote access from personally owned computers, but only through Citrix to minimize data loss because nothing is stored locally and all the computing takes place at the Citrix farm in a controlled environment. I think the last I heard, there is Citrix applications available for Apple Ipad.

    • I'd rather your corp have a locked-down corporate environment in which data security is respected and my credit card and other personal information (including purchase history) is safe. Or, as a vendor/partner, the confidential information I had shared with you.

      I'll take the risk that some hipster isn't going to come up with an earth-shattering revelation about which color of gradient fill should be used on the company website because he was shackled to his desk instead of breathing free as a bird sprawled

  • by west (39918) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:07PM (#38483722)

    Is to allow users the flexibility to maximize their productivity in ways that they understand...

    and to get fired for negligence when those users, who could not be expected to understand the ramifications of all their actions, cause major damage to the corporation.

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:34PM (#38484312)

      The purpose of corporate IT is to ...
      allow company approved people to
      access company data
      using company approved apps
      on company approved hardware
      at company approved locations
      with company mandated security methods
      on the company approved IT budget and staffing level
      to keep the company in business and out of court.

      If you want different apps - build a business case for them.
      If you want different hardware - build a business case for it.
      If you want different access - build a business case for it.
      If you want different X - build a business case for X.

  • Again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:09PM (#38483728)

    We just beat this guy up a few days ago and maybe he should have to do a year long stint as a sysadmin for a large corporation full of people taking his current point of view before writing again, or maybe he is being controversial on purpose to drive readership.

    That said, he does have some merit in the idea of using your own apps for presentations and such with no requirement on the back end, in this one narrow area I support his thinking as (IMO) it leads away from the standard Microsoft model of Windows + Office and that's a good thing, get weened off the M$ teet.

    An example of this was a project I was given at a local college to replace slide projectors with a photo archive + scanning, My solution was a Linux based platform running Gallery 2 photo software, the opposing solution was a $40k Windows package and that was without the support included.
    So my solution = hardware cost with no licensing charges or other soft cost and a tidy support package that was affordable, the solution that won was of course the $40k package.

    The reasoning? The dean of IT felt that we were teaching people real world skills and that meant using Windows, IT's complaint was "We don't know Linux".

    • by Improv (2467)

      The articles are probably written by some angry, semi-clued user who was fired for doing something stupid that made life harder for some sysadmins. Presumably someone thought he'd make a good tech writer.

  • Infoworld is flogging this relentlessly, but I'm not seeing it at my company and friends are not seeing it at their companies. Anecdotal, I know.
    • by ausoleil (322752)

      Infoworld is flogging this relentlessly, but I'm not seeing it at my company and friends are not seeing it at their companies. Anecdotal, I know.

      Actually, we talked about it in our annual talking head and powerpoint festival from the CIO. Then again, we're a Gartner-is-the-Bible company, so you can bet it wasn't originally his idea.

      And I've used my own iPhone for work for three years unreimbursed, mainly because I only want one device to carry 24x7.

  • They should be prepared to have their device remote-wiped. Or at least the work partition on the device.

    And some devices do have negative impact on the network. See previous issues with Apple like:
    http://www.macrumors.com/2010/04/17/princeton-university-details-ipad-wireless-networking-issues/ [macrumors.com]

    • by Improv (2467)

      Or some old versions of Samba, which defaulted to be more primary than existing infrastructure . User just meant to share a folder and suddenly all the office systems can't authenticate. Oops.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      It's not just iPad that has wireless issues. It's all Apple wireless devices, from what I've seen. They've got poor connectivity due to the software stack, largely. They poison the spectrum with noise and prevent everyone from getting online. You need a much higher ratio of APs to devices with Apple products than with anything else. Even cheap phones do better.

  • If you let them. If it does not make business sense to allow 'ownership' like this in your environment, then just set policy and be done with it. There is no magic here.

  • What's this, the third "article" from Gruman in the last week or two? WTF Slashdot. Seriously.

    • Yeah, Gruman writes an article for Infoworld lashing out at IT, then submits it to Slashdot in order to rile up the IT folks who read here. Like some sort of troll, or just hoping to get more page views for his article. I suppose we will be seeing more of these next week with his supposed "insight". Though I hope people don't bother to read the article, it's what he wants and they are probably gonna be disappointed.

  • Keep your devices off it and you can do what ever you want with them. Just dont come to me when they break.
  • Where do I pay money to stop this Infoworld astroturfing?

  • Best idea yet! Blackberry's on the right track, keep the work tools at work and locked down, just like...tools! Buy yourself an 'internet appliance' of your choice to play with on your own time. Keep in mind, when Verizon or nApple encourage a new purchase when they cannot(sic) fix your toy, please do NOT call me. Sme goes for when your ID is stolen or your Fecebook account is hijacked.

    I cannot fix blind consumption with no consideration of consequence. Have your cake and eat it, too.

  • by weave (48069) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:40PM (#38483972) Journal
    1) Everyone has iPhones and iPads
    2) They want to print - they demand to print
    3) Find some AirPrint windows driver some guy wrote in his garage and load unknown code into your Windows server
    4) Works well until iOS 5 comes out
    5) Users update to iOS 5 on their own and they can't print and scream at IT.

    That's just one scenario....

    1) User gets great idea of hooking up an Apple TV to a presentation display so they can send their iPAD crap output to it
    2) Scream bloody murder when someone "unauthorized" sends their screen to the display instead.

    Or.....
    1) Buy a bunch of iPADs, spend about 15 minutes unboxing them and turning them on.
    2) Quickly realize what a hassle it is to manually install apps and settings on all of them and they have better things to do
    3) Run to IT to install all the apps instead.

    Or....

    1) Buy a bunch of iPads for a classroom, set up an Apple ID, associate a credit card with it, buy needed apps for it, save password because it's a hassle to keep re-entering it
    2) Scream bloody murder when one of the students decides to go to the app store and buy a few games to play using the instructor's account during class instead of doing classwork.

    The way it should have worked was...

    1) Identify a need (want tablets in a classroom setting that can do x,y,z)
    2) Ask IT to identify a product that meets those needs securely and effectively
    3) Wait for IT to figure out how to manage and deploy said devices (and if that takes too long, work with our management to identify appropriate priorities for us -- i.e., what doesn't get done in meantime

    Bottom line, I understand IT is a service organization ... but I also understand we are overhead to the bottom line and understandably management wants to minimize the expense spent on IT as well as expect us to keep data secure. So we have to do horrible corporate things like try to control costs, and justify expenses towards the goal of improving productivity. I love my iPad. I think it's cool. But it's a personal, entertainment device. Repurposing it for business or educational use takes effort and time to figure out.

    • In your last examples, YOU are the one doing it wrong, not the users. You need to be using Profile Manager (OS X Server) and/or iPhone/iPad Configuration Utility.

      Of course, that would require IT to buy, install, and administer these simple tools and we all know that is asking too much.

  • The problem with BYOD/DIY IT is multi-fold, and it's strongly related to users being unwilling (and unable) to take responsibility for their own decisions.

    * With a myriad of Cloud services, everyone using something different. Massive datasets of information end up in a disparate group of services, suitable for only one person's use. It makes the employee irreplaceable until the data is migrated to something else that others are able to access.
    * Security. I really shouldn't have to expound on this, on Slashd

  • by TaliesinWI (454205) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:04PM (#38484130) Journal

    This is like the fifth article this year talking about how users bringing their own devices into a corporate network are inevitable, yadda yadda, and here are some flashy new programs and services to keep it all under control that we happen to have developed and want to sell to you!

    Well you know what wins, pundits? PCI and/or HIPPA.

    We're PCI compliant at my job, and we're damn sure going to stay that way. That means that yes, you can bring in your iWhatever, and oh look, an open guest wireless network! But you know where that guest network goes? The internet. That's it. You can check your corporate E-mail through the public web interface if you'd like. Don't ask us to help you connect it to the corporate network, because we're going to tell you to go pound sand. And you know what? We're perfectly OK with you being pissed off at us because _you're not the one who's ass is in a sling if credit card information leaks out._ We provide you with all the tools you need to get your job done. You get a nice shiny corporate laptop that you can take anywhere with you (because it will help you VPN in and run your virtual desktop back at the office) and you get a rather impressive smartphone so your E-mail and contacts are never out of reach. You can't sit here and tell me you need MORE than that to do your job effectively.

  • The biggest problem is that users have no clue what they are bringing in. In my environment, we have to worry about HIPAA, PCI and SOX. Guess what happens when you bring in a mobile device and want to attach it to our network?

    I need to worry about:
    1) minimum security standards (passwords, encryption, etc)
    2) patches
    3) etc.

    With iOS, I can mandate a minimum password standard, with encryption as well as patch levels. So all is good. But still have to have a MDM agent.
    WIth Android, unless you are on a Nex

    • by breser (16790)
      Galaxy Nexus has full device encryption now since it's been added to ICS. Unless telcos or OEMs remove it should be available in future ICS phones.
  • by bytesex (112972) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:11PM (#38484172) Homepage

    It's a fluff piece about something the author overheard and assumed was trendy, but there is a real problem with BYOD (only then in the inverted sense of the article): people don't mind to be separated from their workstations when they leave work, and they willingly let them be administrated by someone else. But they will scream bloody murder when they are separated from their smartphones or pads, and they will certainly not allow anyone else to administer them.

    Which has led to, for example, soldiers bringing their iPhones on missions, and running where-are-your-buddies software on them, and using that instead of their own blue-force-tracking systems. Obviously, armies are none too content with this, and try to forbid this (won't work), propose alternatives (badly supported/supportable - Apple, Google and Samsung just aren't very big on allowing you try pry into their systems and implement crypto on them, and they bring out new versions every half year), or they just bury their heads in the sand (which is what really happens).

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @03:22PM (#38484244)

    My problem with cloud services is that the departments that use them don't want to manage them and don't even know what "manage" means.

    When Accounting buys a cloud based purchasing system, they didn't ask for IT input because they couldn't wait for IT to fit it into our schedule (which is pretty much determined by our budget). So now they implement a cloud based company wide purchasing system that everyone is required to use.

    They, however, forgot that someone needs to handle password resets. They don't want to give the Helpdesk administrative access because there's no way in the to let them reset passwords without also letting them alter approval levels and see all purchase orders. So every request for a password reset goes to an accounting clerk... who is always too busy to handle them.

    People complain that they have to remember a separate password for the system - Accounting didn't even take into account our request to use a system that can federate with our AD servers to let everyone use their AD password to sign on.

    HR asks IT why ex-employee XXX still has access to the system after leaving the company - we say "Accounting automatically gets CC'ed on termination notices, they apparently aren't acting on them".

    The CFO asks us how we can feed purchasing data into the BI system, we tell them "Who knows, we've asked for a data API 6 months ago and are still waiting for the beta release"

    The purchasing system goes down for unscheduled maintenance during an financial audit, Finance asks us why we don't have a back up of the purchase data so we can run reports. What, they ask, would happen if that company went out of business!? We say "Hey, you sit across from Accounting, they chose the system and ignored our request to have data extracts stored here"

    The CFO says "Hey, this system isn't quite working out - we want to move the data to a new service. Figure it out".

    So while departments *want* cloud hosted solutions, they really don't want to manage them - they want something that just "works", but they don't often have a clear idea of "works" means. There's a reason why IT does a requirements analysis, RFP, and vendor evaluation before making a purchase instead of buying a system just because "When I worked at Company XYZ, we used this product and it worked pretty well".

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @04:04PM (#38484512)

    As a wise man once said, with great power comes great responsibility.

    If we want the power to say "No" to users who are doing unsecure things, we have the corresponding responsibility to provide an easy-to-use substitute in a reasonable time frame.

    Once everyone else starts seeing IT as "the department of no," or as unapproachable "high priests" (as a previous article said), the clock is ticking. Other employees now perceive IT as the enemy and will try to work around us by whatever means they can. And if these enemies include upper management, the outsourcing of the IT department won't be far behind.

    I work as a Database/Web Administrator in a small (6-person) IT department in a public library system. Until about 6 months ago, I was doing general IT support, and still do from time to time; we're not hung up on formal job descriptions too much with a department this small. Do we sometimes advise people not to do things for security reasons? Yes. We've had to prohibit a handful of specific bad practices (generic logins) because of PCI compliance. But this is not the primary focus of our work. The primary focus of our work is helping other people to do their work more effectively. And this means providing solutions, not withholding them. It means if someone wants to do something insecure, we try to find out WHY they want to do it, and come up with a way to make things as convenient for them as possible. I have personally written multiple scripts to make peoples' jobs easier. (Example: on one occasion, I noticed that staff were manually running circulation totals from self-check units each morning. So I offered to automate this process, which saves them 5-10 minutes a day.) Because everyone knows us, and knows we will do what we can to help them, we have the credibility to draw the line where it matters. Many IT departments have forfeited this credibility, or never had it in the first place. IT should be an important part of the business, a strategic partner with a voice at the table - not a bunch of antisocial BOFHs in the back room.

  • IT as ISP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @04:42PM (#38484736)
    I have worked for, or consulted for, many tech companies. The best had IT departments that saw themselves as ISPs. They made the assumption that the individuals were going to bring in viruses, dud devices, etc and built their network much like the cable company built theirs bulletproof. Connections to internal services were made in the same way as over the Internet secure as possible. Most workers were handed a workstation assembled by IT and it just worked. But if people had special needs or devices either they obtained their own bits or got help from IT obtaining special bits. At the time things like Macs didn't get much support as the IT would claim that they knew little about them. It worked well. Interestingly enough the head of IT usually had some bastard collection of old bits as his personal machine.

    The worst had a convoluted proxy system, a wonky DMZ setup, Novell shared drives that nobody used, and the oddest selection of software that was mandatory on all machines; machines that they picked largely for their compatibility to Novell. Needless to say the head of this IT department had the best damn desktop machine in the company. Plus the best laptop that money could buy. Where programmers had trouble getting machines that could barely run the software they were building let alone a modern IDE.

    The best company didn't trust their employees at all and designed their system around this. The worst company pretended that they could design a system where they could pretend to trust their employees.

    The layers of stupid in the bad company were many. One good example was the dedicated email machine had a raid with a few terabytes of space. Yet in a 100 person company employees were limited to 3meg attachments (two floppies) and 10meg email account total. Plus many attachment extensions were banned such as .zip files.

    I am willing to bet that the bad IT company cost 3 or more times as much to run.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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