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What 'Consumerization of IT' Really Means For IT

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the proliferation-of-supportable-things dept.

Handhelds 214

snydeq writes "Nathan Clevenger examines the impact that the 'consumerization' of information technology will have on IT organizations, a trend fueled in large part by employee interest in the latest mobile devices, notably the iPhone and iPad. The growing practice of introducing new technologies into consumer markets before industrial markets stands to cause a sea change in the IT/user relationship, Clevenger writes, adding that this will likely involve 'painful changes in the status quo of corporate IT,' including the need to 'shed our arrogance' to give the underlying technology a chance to succeed. 'Although the debate around the impact of consumerization will no doubt continue for some time, the adoption of mobile technologies and enterprise applications is moving forward, whether or not IT departments are on board,' Clevenger writes, in large part because the trend provides companies with a strong opportunity to improve efficiency, productivity, and profit."

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Sarbanes-Oxley (2)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966334)

'Nuff Said.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966384)

You can add GLBA and HIPPA for a bigger punch if you're in financial or medical.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966506)

What the "Consumerization of IT" means to us really:

- thousands of morons with newly bought insecure devices grab them from the shelves and expect to plug them in behind the firewall at corporations or businesses where trade secrets, GLBA, HIPPA, FERPA, and other privacy or security regulations exist.

- thousands of morons are trying right now to install Dropbox, or some other crappy "sharing" software, on their work computer - in the process giving yet another way behind the firewall. Then they're putting sensitive company documents "on the cloud" to "share" them with co-workers. Their Dropbox (or other service) password is usually no more complex than 12345, the sort of password a fucking idiot would have on his luggage [youtube.com] .

- IT gets to have phone calls from these morons at all hours from people traveling or just at home, about how their "iPad stopped working." It will turn out in 99% of these cases that the culprit is either their 3G/4G cell provider, or their home wireless internet, being down. No joke, I had to troubleshoot one of these morons about a year ago: it turned out that her AT&T DSL service was down and had been for close to a month, but she wouldn't admit the possibility or even call AT&T until we made her try it when she was visiting her brother in another state and her laptop worked fine in his house (with his open wireless connection). Instead, we were treated to 3 weeks of "why can't you fucking people make my laptop work at home" from her.

- "I don't see why I should have to change my password on my phone when I change my password on my computer in order to get my email on my phone." *HEAD. DESK. HEAD. DESK. REPEAT.*

- THIS. RIGHT FUCKING HERE, THIS. [infoworld.com]

Shall I go on?

What's wrong with IT? (1, Insightful)

DeathSquid (937219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967058)

The parent post demonstrates many of the problems with modern IT departments.

Firstly, note the unnecessary and repetitive use of derogatory terms for customers and general profanity. Hardly professional.

Second, complaints that the users are undermining IT perfect systems by buying devices or installing software. Basic economics tells us that users are investing money and time in these thing because they deliver value. Value that It is not delivering to a demand from their user base.

Thirdly, complaints about having to troubleshoot problems. Isn't that what the business pays you for? In the case of a downed DSL service, a competent network engineer could diagnose that in minutes. I'm sorry it took you three weeks, but transferring your aggression to others is not productive.

Fourthly, assuming that when users ask for something new that they must be dumb. Why should my phone and PC use the same email password? Basic key separation suggests distinct keys are superior. Note also, that a phone is not a PC. It may be difficult or impossible to respond to a mandated password change from a phone using systems that assume a PC interface, so usability is served by having different mechanisms and perhaps different password change policies. Now, I understand that the software you are currently using may not be sophisticated enough to meet evolving user demands. But that is not a user issue.

Fifth, the wireless access point anecdote highlights appalling sysadmin practices. One point of access into the network and the bad guy was able to destroy critical infrastructure. Way to put all your eggs in one basket. The sysadmin of that network was incompetent, negligent, or both. Yes, the user did something stupid. But the real fool was the the person who did not design for defense in depth.

It seems that many IT departments see themselves as a law unto themselves, dictating to users what they can and can't do. We've seen this cycle before. It was last at its peak during the mainframe/mini era, and those IT cathedrals were obsoleted by the PC. My advice? Pay attention to your customers and give them what they want. That way, you'll always have great job prospects.

Re:What's wrong with IT? (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967150)

Sixth you're never going to get invited to "those" sorts of partys... But since you clearly know everything, I trust that you're not exaxtly checking the mail for invites more than once per, predictably long, day.

Re:What's wrong with IT? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967694)

Firstly, note the unnecessary and repetitive use of derogatory terms for customers and general profanity. Hardly professional.

Name a profession where "customers" hold a dual position of know-nothing and know-it-all, and you'll name a profession where the true masters have derisive stories to tell behind "customers'" backs.

BTW, your use of "customers" where "coworkers" actually applies speaks volumes about where you come from. IT isn't some tack-on part of the company like it was when personal computers were new. It's integral to the way every company is run. Without computers/networks/Internet a company is non-competitive. The only ones who can make do without make niche products or have unique locations which make competition unlikely. IT isn't some store where you buy your cyber-goods, it's a group of coworkers who you should involve in the planning of any major company undertaking. From the start.

Second, complaints that the users are undermining IT perfect systems by buying devices or installing software. Basic economics tells us that users are investing money and time in these thing because they deliver value.

In a perfect world. In the real world, basic human nature tells us that users attempt to install trojan codecs to watch the monkey throw its poop at a squirrel, or BlackjackDeal5.0 or myriad other things that have no value for the business. Same thing with devices. Sometimes they're restricted for very good reasons that lusers like you can't begin to comprehend with your tiny little penises.

Re:What's wrong with IT? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967768)

Second, complaints that the users are undermining IT perfect systems by buying devices or installing software. Basic economics tells us that users are investing money and time in these thing because they deliver value. Value that It is not delivering to a demand from their user base.

Value to whom? Value to the user doesn't imply value to the company. It can very well mean negative value to the company, when the user is unable to run software or access server functions that the company requires, the user needs support for a device that IT has no idea how to support, or the company loses data because the device isn't backed up, or when HR is unable to figure out just who downloaded child porn during work hours, only that it wasn't on company equipment.

Or, and this is a real example from a former job, due to badly configured home routers having obnoxiously long lease times combined with devices that don't renew when waking from sleep, you get IP address conflicts and prevent others from doing their job.

This is the value you talk about?

Ah obviously your not an admin (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967916)

If you dont know that users are incredibly stupid you should hand in your geek card and leave Slashdot.

If IT is responsible for security so they have every right to be a law unto themselves, as THEY will be held responsible for the secutiry braeches that follow.

I am guessing you wanted to do something stupid and are pissed because IT told you to F off.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967160)

I work in IT and you don't speak for me. We work for the users, not the other way around. It's our job to provide them with the best tools for the job, not the tools that are the easiest for us to manage. With an attitude like that we'll never shake the old mentality people have of their IT departments.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967480)

That's not 'HIPPA', it's 'HIPAA', as in Health Information Protability and Accountability Act.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966526)

Or just throw out the blanket FISMA

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966570)

Neither of these four laws preclude the use of consumer devices by end users in a corporate environment.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966572)

or none of these...

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966658)

when the vast majority of consumer devices have minimal security measures and no capability of encryption, they certainly are precluded.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967208)

Stupid web enabled devices!!! If you are involved in IT and your users aren't familiar with VPN and https, it is your fault for failing to provide competent support.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967316)

iOS has 256bit AES encryption

...yep (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966636)

Next thing you know, IT departments are going to have to get rid of their IBM 360 mainframes and DEC PDP-11s, and start supporting those new-fangled "personal computers."

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966668)

If the device cannot be properly secured so as to ensure the requirements of these laws are met, then, yes, these laws very much preclude the use of the device.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966722)

This soundss exactly like the reaction of an 80s MIS shop to personal computers. At first they were banned, then they supported by the finance guys (Visicalc, Lotus 1-2-3) who brought in contractors (that was me) to get the tech support not available from the mainframe guys. Now look, we can't function without Outlook and Google, and the PC IT folks are gearing up to ban the next generation.

Consider this: Information is something you cannot control, any more than you can control people.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

wwbbs (60205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967014)

Computers are tools. The best tools for the job should always be used. If some one can prove the risk:reward ratio is in my favour I'm going to gamble on the quick and dirty solution as well. People do this all the time, people risk their lives to save both time and money. It occurs in every industry; it's called cutting corners. I know of many government agency's in Canada that use Skype, Hotmail, Google Email etc for both business and personal transactions. Little do this people understand is that have the time that information is either routed through or stored in the USA where they should not expect any level of privacy. It's unfortunate but it is often the person in power who lack the basic understanding to make sure things are done properly it's really not there fault, and consider many of them are ultimately earning more financially for being the decision maker they really don't want to share too much if it diminishes either their perceived or true value. That said I have worked with a few great teams that had leaders that knew best to delegate the decisions to the experts they hired.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966670)

In addition to the regs, I'm just curious as to how the consumer is going to run out and buy things with product names like "Clariion", "Catalyst 6509", "F5 big-ip", "vSphere", "Oracle RAC", "Xeon", and the like. Hell, you'd have a very rough time finding desktops/laptops with SAS drives, dedicated RAID cards, or anything near to using fiber. I also serio

Sure, some things and components can be consumerized, but I'm just not seeing this 'consumerization of IT' being as all-pervasive as TFA implies that it is.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966678)

heh - forget the "I also serio" part... stupid half-completed thoughts... :)

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966738)

Sure, some things and components can be consumerized, but I'm just not seeing this 'consumerization of IT' being as all-pervasive as TFA implies that it is.

I had one user tell me that we *have* to support AirPrint so users can print from their iPads. He said that as soon as we do that, IT will save a bundle since people will start abandoning desktops and laptops and move solely to the iPad since printing is the last thing keeping them on traditional computers.

So I pulled out the last 10 purchase requisitions for computers and pointed out that all of them included dual monitors (even for laptops), and wondered why if people are so willing to work on a 10" iPad screen, they need two 24" monitors to work on a traditional desktop. Is IOS really that much more efficient than Win7 for screen real estate?

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967186)

Users like fads?

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967230)

Those dual screens are stacked vertically, right? Since that's the only way to make modern monitors useful.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966848)

Why would anybody care about this stuff, everything will be "In the Cloud"...

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967270)

Until it rains......

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966856)

because users will go out and buy services, not servers, which may or may not have robust technology behind them.

Re:Sarbanes-Oxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966808)

'Nuff Said.

as a geek that had to implement SOX at my old job, AGREED!

This article was written by Upper Management (5, Insightful)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966368)

Know how I know that? It's four pages long, yet doesn't say anything.

"As perceptive CIOs seek to transform their rigid, legacy ridden infrastructures into agile, efficient, service-driven delivery mechanisms, they must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risks of consumer IT while embracing the benefits.

I stopped reading right there.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966412)

Written by Upper Management, for Upper Management, who will then use their special Upper Management powers to make this the norm in their businesses, including probably yours.

If I were you, I'd keep reading so that I'd make sure to stay one step ahead of my Upper Management, and keep my job.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (2)

said213 (72685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967250)

Almost staggeringly not brilliant!

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966434)

Know how I know that? It's four pages long, yet doesn't say anything.

"As perceptive CIOs seek to transform their rigid, legacy ridden infrastructures into agile, efficient, service-driven delivery mechanisms, they must adopt a pragmatic approach to managing the risks of consumer IT while embracing the benefits.

I stopped reading right there.

Upper management? Nope. Some lucky consultant got a high paying gig that probably only cost him a decent meal for a buddy.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966436)

I lose interest in anything when the first 2 to 3 lines start off with gobbledygook.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966652)

'How the iPad' was when I lost hope

This article was written by InfoWorld (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966564)

I stopped reading when I saw snydeq's name in the byline. He's their corporate communications shill who handles most of the pay-for-press astro-turfing InfoWorld does on slashdot.

The funny part is that InfoWorld is paying for what has been sold as Upper IT Management eyeballs and credibility within the slashdot audience, but the days when slashdot reached that crowd are long gone. These days slashdot readers are predominantly the young gadgeteers, hobbyists, and geek wannabes who most likely don't have any idea why an iPad or iPhone would be a threat to their IT Department. Most probably didn't even know their high school HAD an IT Department...

Re:This article was written by InfoWorld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966630)

I am in IT Management (not upper yet, but soon... soon...) where should i point my IT Middle Management Eyeballs at so that this astroturfing is appropriate.

Re:This article was written by InfoWorld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966748)

I stopped reading when I saw snydeq's name in the byline. He's their corporate communications shill who handles most of the pay-for-press astro-turfing InfoWorld does on slashdot.

The funny part is that InfoWorld is paying for what has been sold as Upper IT Management eyeballs and credibility within the slashdot audience, but the days when slashdot reached that crowd are long gone. These days slashdot readers are predominantly the young gadgeteers, hobbyists, and geek wannabes who most likely don't have any idea why an iPad or iPhone would be a threat to their Business. Most probably didn't even know their high school HAD an IT Department...

FTFY

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966610)

nah, I think they used [dack.com] a combination [outofservice.com] of to [elfqrin.com] write [supanet.com] that.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

LostAlaska (760330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966756)

Synergy!

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966782)

That actually means something. Translated into plain English: the iPad and ts cousins are here. If you don't want to become an obsolete CIO deal with it.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966828)

Well aren't you smart then. Fucking moron. While you're getting on your high horse and sneering to no-one in particular, the guy in the next cubicle is reading this so he can talk intelligently with upper management and provide solutions to their business needs. If you can't address a business need, then you really are a useless waste of oxygen and total overhead.

Fucking dickweed. Have fun on the dole queue when your supercilious attitude means sweet F.A. if you can't actually understand why management doesn't give a flying rats ass about your clever technical solution which totally fails to do anything useful.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967542)

Wow, someone's a little protective of their synergetic paradigm-shifting buzzwords. What's the matter, don't have any technical knowledge to contribute toward actually getting stuff done? It's okay, there's always business school!

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967016)

I thought, "Gee, if all corporations start allowing all devices on their networks, there will be a sudden shift BACKWARDS in time."

Why? The obvious result from the networks leaking out all their private data...which will return to you can only use the devices we give you.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (3, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967202)

Well, nice way to judge based on a Gartner quote. It's a shame you stopped reading right there - the very next paragraph shows why this is important.

In 2005, the idea promoted by Gartner that consumerization would be the most important trend of the next decade might have been controversial. But traction from the iPhone, which went from 0 percent adoption to 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies between June 2008 and June 2010, undeniably demonstrates the powerful impact of this trend.

Management and business leaders have their own technical language, funnily enough. Just as technologists have developed a specialized terminology to efficiently and unambiguously communicate their thoughts, other niches also have ways of saying things which might appear cumbersome or unwieldy (or downright impenetrable) to outsiders but which have a crisp meaning to the users.

That paragraph has a fair few buzz words, admittedly, but it's pretty clear what it actually says. Innovation is happening at the consumer device level, and CIOs can look to that arena and figure out a strategy to get the best technology into their environment, or they can let their networks stagnate. Seriously, how hard is that to parse out?

If you'd gone on further, you'd have seen a fantastic exceprt at the bottom of page two about an IT department for Hyatt Hotels taking the iPad and proving how it could really help the organization. And it's even relatively business buzz word free, for your convenience.

Ironically, just a wee bit further on is this snippet:

IT groups have to "shed our arrogance" to give the underlying technology a chance to succeed.

Next time, get over yourself and read the damn article. You might learn something. Or, there again, with your attitude, you might not.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

suricatta (617778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967546)

I understand what you're saying, but I can relate to the parent's cynicism. I've been involved in many i-device rollouts to upper management at various companies.

Most of the time it's pretty darn obvious that the upper managers just want the latest toys to show off to their upper manager friends so they can compare their iPenis sizes. Another reason is because CIOs don't like it when their kids have better technology then they do. So they tell IT to take this technology, implement it now and we can figure out how to integrate it with our actual IT systems later on.

Guess what? Most of the time these technologies are not enterprise-ready enough to actually fit in corporate environments. Things like security and integration with existing systems aren't considered prior to the rollout. I cannot take an iPad or iPhone, plug it into an MS or Linux based ldap network, and expect it to work as a client. All that time spent building and maintaining user policies is thrown out the window. Hacks and security holes are created just to make things work.

And what if the IT department pushes back? Well they're getting in the way of progress. Never mind that IT are responsible for keeping the IT infrastructure up and running. And hey if putting this crap in breaks things, then IT is bl00dy useless! How hard can it be?

The correct approach for any rollout is to identify the requirements before choosing the technology. But this rarely happens because if the requirements can be delivered without compromising the infrastructure, and the solution doesn't involve the guys at the top getting new gadgets, then it's the wrong solution.

The same thing happened when Blackberry was the new must-have executive toy.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967704)

I can't disagree with you. In fact, the article even supports this by talking openly about the security issues.

Believe me, I have clients who just don't understand why they can't go to dell.com and order a server and have us plug it into out network. I well remember many years ago when someone circumvented IT and specced out a server on IBM's web site and talked procurement into buying it. They saw big, honking fast, expensive, had to be amazing, right? Problem was the server they ordered was ideal for a specific purpose and completely useless for their purpose. (I forget the details; something like what the client wanted was a database server and they got something that only had three disk slots.) It had to be sent back at great expense and then we had to order the right hardware.

Anyway, I digress. You make an excellent point about identifying requirements before choosing technology, but there also has to be room for the "let's play" bit. But management has to be able to accept that sometimes a solution is looking for a problem that doesn't exist and that's still a success (you identified, you tested, you determined lack of fit).

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (2)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967784)

I imagine you're a very un-fun person to associate with at parties. Why? Because you have a personal vendetta to correct everybody who tells any sort of joke or exercises any brand of humor.

It's the internet. Get off your high horse.

Re:This article was written by Upper Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967410)

I didn't bother to RTFA at all.

If it didn't start out by talking about security, (technical, personal, and legal) than it's way off the mark.

"arrogance"? (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966396)

Clevenger writes, adding that this will likely involve 'painful changes in the status quo of corporate IT,' including the need to 'shed our arrogance' to give the underlying technology a chance to succeed.

I don't think you understand what "underlying technology" means.

This isn't about the wireless standards that the phones adhere too.
Or any of the other REAL technologies.

This is about security and accountability.
Who is responsible for the data on your iPad when it is stolen?
What is the process AFTER it is stolen?

Re:"arrogance"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966432)

cry like a little girl when your corporate secrets are leaked by Anonymous or Wikileaks.

Re:"arrogance"? (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966558)

Watch all the companies run for the hills the first time Anonymous or Wikileaks gets a ton of data some fool stored on an insecure, wide-open "Cloud Service" like Dropbox...

Re:"arrogance"? (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966766)

The company for which I work is developing their plan for allowing people to use employee owned tablets and smart phones. Some of the requirements are that the device be kept locked and that they grant the company the ability to remote wipe it. I don't have any problem wth this requirement because I would want the device wiped anyway. There are other security related requirements, but that is just the cost of being able to use your phone/tablet.

Re:"arrogance"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966874)

that is the more feasible way this can and prob will happen.

device encryption is a MUST if BYO does come to pass as tons are guessing. i work in upper realms of IT (application deployment, computer image maker/maintainer, uber geek of the firm) and see this already starting to happen.

however security is still the biggest thing holding back the BYO era from taking its first real step. oh yea, and the fact that most users don't want to have a password. really?? a 4 digit pin is too much to atleast semi protect your personal life, ie mobile phone.

IE6 for iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966400)

Get that, and your boss will be rolling out Ipads company wide. VNC programs don't count of course.

About time. we are talking about this (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966448)

MIDS are going to march into corporate I.T. like a storm. A huge sea change in the way we develop and deploy solutions is coming. We are seeing the beginning of the end of MS as the corporate go-to solution, at least their current offerings. Sure people will still use MS infrastructure crap for decades, but the desktop as we know it is going to die. Your computer is going to be a MID that docks when you get to your desk and then syncs to the cloud storage (intra/inter-net). When it docks up it will be much like a traditional desktop you see now.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966486)

Your computer is going to be a MID that docks when you get to your desk and then syncs to the cloud storage (intra/inter-net). When it docks up it will be much like a traditional desktop you see now.

Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966578)

Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

If it's actually protected by a password, and the documents are encrypted, no problem.

If not, it sounds like IT forgot to remind people of how to secure data, and instead were relying on people not copying things from their unsecured network.

I'll field this one. (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966646)

If not, it sounds like IT forgot to remind people of how to secure data, and instead were relying on people not copying things from their unsecured network.

Didn't you get the memo? IT is "legacy" now. It's all about empowering the end-users to develop their end-user creativity without the restrictions of the IT way.

If keeping un-encrypted documents on an un-managed device without a password helps that end-user be more "productive" then who are YOU to say no?

IT didn't forget to remind anyone. This is about taking IT out of the loop. Because IT is holding back the end-users and their iPads.

Re:I'll field this one. (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967108)

Yes, IT is holding back the end-users and their iPads.

It's always the end-user's responsibility to safeguard data, whether it's on their iPhone or printed out in their briefcase.

IT, by trying to be in control of everything, insists on disempowering users by refusing to allow them to use any such devices.

It's false security. It costs more than the problem you're trying to prevent. Give the user an encrypted container and show them how to use it and tell them that's where all business data goes.

Enterprise Software is no longer a productivity driver, and bloated IT departments are wasted bureaucracy.

Re:I'll field this one. (1)

said213 (72685) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967378)

You have never been a "fired" IT worker before, have you? We are expected to know more about this than the end user... That includes adequately informing them. Sometimes it also involves refusing to support or accept utilization of devices which cannot be directly supported.

Have you ever worked with end-users? (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967860)

Yes, IT is holding back the end-users and their iPads.

... and ...

It's always the end-user's responsibility to safeguard data, whether it's on their iPhone or printed out in their briefcase.

No. There is a HUGE difference between physical documents and electronic files. The end-user cannot be relied upon to know how to make sure all the copies of a document are deleted from their toy-of-the-month. Nor can they be relied upon to perform the necessary actions even if they did know.

IT, by trying to be in control of everything, insists on disempowering users by refusing to allow them to use any such devices.

You have not yet demonstrated that the end-users know how to use such devices within the security standards of their employer.

It's false security. It costs more than the problem you're trying to prevent. Give the user an encrypted container and show them how to use it and tell them that's where all business data goes.

How does it cost more?
Without some means of verification, you will be relying upon the users' knowledge. I think it has already been established that the end-users do not have the same level of knowledge as the IT department does.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

Troke (1612099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966794)

IT also forgot to tell them not to set their password as password, 1234, or their birthdate.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967880)

If not, it sounds like IT forgot to remind people of how to secure data

I remind them *how* all the time. That doesn't mean they understand me, or that if they do understand me, that they are willing to actually do it.

Mod parent up. (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966592)

From TFA:

According to Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad and CTO at electronics retailer Best Buy, the iPad is ... it. You can customize and order a pizza from Papa John's right from your iPhone. IT no longer has the unique set of knowledge about what is possible. The user now knows what they want, and they can and will demand it from IT."

There is a HUGE difference between ordering a pizza and keeping confidential documents on your iPhone.

The best part is that the Best Buy CTO cannot identify his own advances. He has to reference a PIZZA VENDOR.

And that is a WEBSITE. What does that have to do with an iPhone? You could do the same thing with a desktop or a laptop.

Re:Mod parent up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967510)

And that is a WEBSITE. What does that have to do with an iPhone? You could do the same thing with a desktop or a laptop.

Or actually, you know, make a fucking phone call from that there iPhone.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966614)

No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

Yo, pops, I hear they have this newfangled invention that people are starting to use; it's called a laptop. I'm sure it will never catch on but if you can tear yourself away from your punched cards for a moment, maybe you should look into it.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967220)

And we've never heard of laptops being lost and compromising vast amounts of corporate data. Let's let even the lowliest of n00bs have everything on their phone!

Re:About time. we are talking about this (2)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966632)

Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

Are they hiring? That would free up a good 15GB of code checkouts from my laptop and there'd be no chance of getting work done on the plane trip to the next on-site meeting.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967100)

In my view, it's not about removing data. That will happen. It's about ensuring that the data is appropriately secured with robust tools.

Presumably, you use full-disk encryption (if not, you're an idiot).

The iPad can't do that.

Do you have a VPN to securely access your environment?

The iPad can't do that.

Your IT department pushes security hardening templates to your machine through GPO in a Windows environment (or they should be).

The iPad can't do that.

Your company is (should) be requiring two-factor authentication for many data transactions. Again, they may be lazy, or behind the curve on this, but in my view it's a bit insane not to.

The iPad can sometimes do this in a half assed way....

Your laptop probably had detailed logging of system events and can relay this to a central server for aggregation and analysis via inexpensive tools (see lazy, cheap, stupid above).

The iPad can't do this either.

Best practice dictates enforcing strong security for internal-wireless, such as machine certs backing EAP authentication with verification of the upstream cert on the device.

The iPad can't do any of those 3 things.

To avoid the challenges of wireless, a wire is recommended, but very secure organizations are going to use a NAC solution that prevents connection of unauthorized endpoints to the wire.

The iPad can't do this.

Keep in mind that Windows can do 100% of these. Mac and Linux can do about 80%, so far.

Perhaps in organizations that play the "oh well security is nice but...." game (like Sony, and so many others), the iPad is fine because it represents status quo. Remote wipe sounds shiny! But it's not security.

But in an organization that takes security seriously, or is required to take security seriously, its unquestionably immature technology. Grossly immature.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967048)

Right. So you're going to take your corporate desktop home with you in your pocket, and when you accidentally leave it on a train...

No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

Why do you assume that there needs to be any corporate data on the device at all?

Re:About time. we are talking about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967170)

The military will be big on this. I can see it now, iPhone sockets in tanks.

Once they remember to tell everyone to protect their little devices, so that a private can't leak much of their secret data to the world.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967470)

No corporation in their right mind wants people walking out the door with documents and software that they don't have to take out of the building with them.

Must be nice living in Bizarro World. Here in the real world, pretty much every corporation would absolutely love to be able to have their employees take all their work home with them. About the only people complaining are the whiny IT departments.

As for leaving data on the train - nobody outside the non-important 'small' corporate world cares. Who's going to do anything about it? The government? Oh no, here come the 'fines'. Hahaha. Fines of less than the paper the C-level bonus paperwork is printed on.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966820)

MIDS are going to march into corporate I.T. like a storm. A huge sea change in the way we develop and deploy solutions is coming. We are seeing the beginning of the end of MS as the corporate go-to solution, at least their current offerings. Sure people will still use MS infrastructure crap for decades, but the desktop as we know it is going to die. Your computer is going to be a MID that docks when you get to your desk and then syncs to the cloud storage (intra/inter-net). When it docks up it will be much like a traditional desktop you see now.

I really don't understand the whole MIDS thing -- why would I want a device in my pocket powerful enough to run my financial forecasting spreadsheets and display them across 3 monitors? Seems much better to have a central repository for my data (i.e. my office network) and VPN in to access it remotely. Or at the very least, carrying a 32GB MicroSD card around with all of my data seems much more portable and easier than carrying some powerful MIDS. I can keep that MicroSD card in my phone so I can look at a spreadsheet on the train.

In reality, my company uses a remote desktop server - I disconnect my session when I pack up for home, and reconnect again at the office and pick up where I left off. Works well. I can connect with my Android, but the small screen makes it pretty worthless for real work.

Interestingly, in the past 2 weeks I've had 3 people turn in their iPhone or Android phone asking for a Blackberry because:

1. Battery life is much better
2. Email integration is much better

I can't imagine that a quad core MIDS that is powerful enough to run my office applications is going to be any easier on batteries than my Android device that needs charging every 18 hours (assuming light use).

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967282)

I don't understand this. Cant it do both? Can't it be both a cloud end point for some types of data and a data processor for others? Laptops suck. Plain and simple. They are 30 years of design kludge. I would rath focus on making useful tablets and software to bridge the gaps then continue to push the current desktop/laptop paradigm. I would rather we design tablets with great peripheral integration, and the ability to become desktop/laptop with accessories.

Re:About time. we are talking about this (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967642)

I don't understand this. Cant it do both? Can't it be both a cloud end point for some types of data and a data processor for others?

Yes. And unicorns will fly out of its butt while doing so.

I would rather we design tablets with great peripheral integration, and the ability to become desktop/laptop with accessories.

But you just said that laptops suck. Now you're trying to build a kludgy pseudo-laptop out of a tablet with a ton of accessories, which will cost twice as much as a more capable laptop.

lock down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966488)

I miss lock down - we were much more efficient - oh well thank goodness we can always outsource to asia when we need actual work done

Management material! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966586)

in large part because the trend provides companies with a strong opportunity to improve efficiency, productivity, and profit.

That's the most management-speak heavy way of saying, "we can make the poor fuckers work EVERY MINUTE of the day" I've ever seen! Somebody call the Bobs! ;)

already in progress. iPads are the new laptops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966602)

The company I work for has been working on integration plans for iPads and iPhones for some time and we are currently engaged in a phased rollout. These are now the devices that employees are comfortable with and prefer using, and are ever more displacing the laptop as the portable devices of choice. This creates significant challenges for IT in security and other areas, but it is necessary that these issues are solved. A change in computing is happening under our noses, with the move to tablet computing and mobile devices like the iPhone.

Of course a few stodgy sorts are bemoaning it, but I've been around a while and I remember the same kinds of people bemoaning the transition from 68K based Suns to x86-based PCs. It's exactly the same mentality now that doesn't like to see things change. But, things WILL change. You can accept it or not, but wishing it away will not change the reality.

iPads are the new laptops.

Re:already in progress. iPads are the new laptops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966680)

Name one good CAD system or production-level ERP system that'll run on an iPad.

Re:already in progress. iPads are the new laptops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967292)

I'm sitting here on my 68K workstation... name one good CAD system that runs on a consumer PC? There aren't any!

Of course, that didn't stop the march of progress, did it?

The reality is that all three of you using CAD systems do not comprise a big enough market to matter in any significant way. The world will move on to iPads, and eventually niche applications will migrate there as well, just as happened with x86 PCs back in the day.

Re:already in progress. iPads are the new laptops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966760)

noooooooooooo!!!!!

Re:already in progress. iPads are the new laptops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966786)

I don't disagree with anything you say.

However, as an Information Security professional my frustration is that security controls, large-scale management, and enterprise-level features are a complete afterthought in modern mobile devices, if even a consideration at all. The same could be said of the Windows world "back in the day." The problem is that with the advent of mobile devices in the workplace and the enterprise, we're now going back to the "back in the day" time period. There was no standing on the shoulders of giants with regard to security in mobile devices. There was no learning from our past mistakes. We're repeating history, just with smaller, shinier, more user-friendly devices. We've gone backwards. This is not a Good Thing (TM), especially with the perceived increase in security breaches due to Anon, Lulz, and Cracker Group X of the the future. (I say "perceived" because IMHO, we haven't yet had a major spike in breaches, just better press coverage, but I digress...)

I do think that a number of folk in the IT crowd are decrying mobile computing just because it's new and, "like OMG, I'm gonna hafta learn somethin' new!" But there are valid security concerns with the current mobile device landscape. I have no doubt that the device manufacturers and vendors will eventually start paying attention again to security, but it'll take a lot of needless blood spilled to get there.

And that's my frustration. History. Learn it. Or be doomed to repeat it.

Re:already in progress. iPads are the new laptops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966864)

All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.

-BSG

No different than what the drug companies did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966688)

Look, after years of going around schlepping their drugs to doctors, the pharm companies realized that they were going about it all wrong. Instead, they took their message to the masses, and let self-diagnosing consumers tell the doctors what they wanted.

Now, IT providers are doing the same thing, and if IT service companies (which is all any IT department really is) want to keep their piece of the pie they'll do like the doctors did and get on board.

'shed our arrogance' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36966716)

Speak for yourself Mr. Nathan Clevenger.

why people should read history. (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966764)

Most of our problems, such as the current debt debate over something that has happened many times before, is because some people, especially those that can't read or think they are gods. Things always change. The powerful aristocracy always falls. The proletariat always finds a way to gain additional power. Of course most of the proletariat don't read history, so are fooled by the naysayers that prognosticate the fall of civilization is the rich and powerful are in any way inconvinenced, so we get lame articles like this.

In this case there was a time when programmers had to smart. Super smart. They programed bare metal, which was inefficient for may purposes, so as computer became more powerful, more abstract languages were created, APIs were developed, and not almost anyone can program. Did businesses die because we had more programmers. No, in fact they prospered as software costs fell.

There was a time when if you wanted something done on the computer you had to go and beg the administrator to so do. Later on you had a terminal so you could complete simple tasks, but to do anything real you still had to beg. Then we started getting Apple and Compaq computer in corporate. OMFG, the user has the ability to do work without the approval of god. The world is going to end. Of course it didn't, and of course the control freaks standardized on MS/Intel machines because otherwise someone might acutally be allowed to get real work done and really innovate, but the overal point remains valid. Firms prospered. At least those that found the right balance between control and innovation.

Mainframes and low level programming still have a place, but the GPC is a stand alone machine coded predominately through APIs, with very little else. Firms that are going to remain profitable without huge subsidies are going to have to leverage the current tech into their overall strategy, and minimize the power of those that are afraid of losing their cushy jobs due to change. That is what change is, and where savings come from. Firing people that were needed under the old tech. It is heartless, but reality. We can't keep an aristocracy just for the sake of nostalgia.

Consumer devices are not ready for enterprise... (1)

Alyred (667815) | more than 3 years ago | (#36966862)

Consumer devices lack a lot of the safety features that are required in most corporate environments. For instance, the iDevices world make it difficult to make sure that the user locks their machines, and since they won't want to have to enter passwords/etc to get to their mail or important documents, it leaves the door wide open to anyone who swipes the device to retrieve the data. All because the user was too lazy to set a lock password.

One of our employees rushed us to finish the configuration of a brand-new iPad for them to take on a trip... and promptly left it in the seat pocket of the plane. Didn't have ownership of it for more than 6 hours.

It's gotten better recently with iDevices, and Blackberry has always been a bit better, but we're getting tickets such as "My manager just got a brand new droid and wants it hooked up to the mail system." They're not understanding the steps that are put in place to protect them, seeing them only as inconveniences. They'll disable them if they can half the time. We deal with a lot of confidential information and it's difficult from a security standpoint to let them out into the wild.

InfoWorld (1)

Plombo (1914028) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967026)

Why do the Slashdot editors keep posting InfoWorld links? The submitter's name is even linked to the InfoWorld homepage, so they're just giving free traffic away to the site.

easy: your mom should grok it (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967088)

a while back I was working sales in a dev shop. My mantra was: our apps should be so easy to use that your mom should be able to use them. Not you, not me, not your GF... your mom. And I'm not talking about that ubercool geeky mom, I'm talking about the one who gets lost because an icon moved 2 inches to the left...

I regularly got shot down for dumbing things down too much... I still sure I was right, though.

Re:easy: your mom should grok it (1)

LostAlaska (760330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967182)

I'm sorry, and I don't mean to be a jerk, but sometimes I can't help it.. I had a programming instructor in college that used to _constantly_ say.... "If you only design your programs for the lowest common denominator (user) you end up with mediocrity."

Re:easy: your mom should grok it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967608)

See here's the problem, these apps are NO DIFFERENT than any other machine or device that your job requires you to be able to use. You either learn how to use the tools that you need to use to do your job, or you get fired. No one freaks the hell out and is paralyzed when a switch or button is moved on a new model of power tool, why do we need to treat computer applications like black magic?

this is the curious case of Nathan Clevenger (2)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967126)

who has accidentally occupied a desk at the offices of Infoworld for some time now. It all started 2 years ago when Nathan was formally accepted to 'synergy leverage monthly,' a publication of no real relevance to anyone but managers who have reached a point in management where they no longer speak in real sentences. That isnt to say the sentences are poorly structured or in an indeterminate language, its just to conclude rightly that these sentences are devoid of any logical meaning.

  Anyhow, Nathans expertise (synergistic strategization of pinged leverage potentials and service driven design paradigms in the web 2.0 echelon of modern business dynamics) while perfectly natural in the publication of SL monthly, serves poorly for infoworld. Infoworld staffers understand this, and try to cope with Nathan as best they can through the common medium of corporate lunch at the local diner or the occasional holiday party. Their hope is that at some point, SL monthly may realize, although highly unlikely, they are in fact missing a staff member during the morning hyper-power-concept core lunch strategy event and begin combing the halls before or after this tumultuous event for Nathan.

Anyone remember what the "P" in PC means? (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967364)

From my 1970's/1980's perspective, everything started at as consumer technology. The "P" in "PC" stands for "personal computer" -- the PC was IBM's entry into the market to compete against the home computers of the Atari 800, Apple ][, and Commodore 64. To this day, I have this stereotype stuck in my head, and when I think my hotel reservations, bank account info, brokerage account, etc. are probably being handled by Windows or Linux servers I can't help but think, "I can't believe they're storing all this information on just home computers." -- even though I know they have redundant power supplies, redundant storage, clustered servers, replicated data, and probably fallback servers in geographically distant locations.

I guess the big exception came shortly after the PC: the LAN. Novell was not a consumer product nor did it have a direct consumer predecessor. But even there, if you take just a slightly broader view, personal computers had file sharing and e-mail before Novell existed -- just that it was in the form of BBS's. Consumers at the time didn't care about sharing within their home because they had only one computer and even if a friend brought over a second one, there was sneakernet for files and the human voice instead of e-mail.

Now someone slightly older than me may very well take the attitude that in the mainframe & minicomputer world everything started out commercial. And evidently the case is similar for the younger generation. But from my perspective, everything's a home computer.

Burned at the Stake (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967376)

In a dictatorial regime heretics are burned.

In a company with a top down command structure those that violate policy without regard will be fired. That's not saying that new technology will be stifled, but to say that the policy will change to accommodate the new technology. The old gaurd will take up positions within the new regime as fast as you can sneeze. Already iphones and ipads in my organization are being hamstrung by old security wonks that were vocal against anything but blackberries. Now they propose completely managed Ipads and Iphones and they very well may get it.

Between a rock and a hard place. (2)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967506)

This puts IT departments into a difficult and often untenable position. On the one hand, their users are clamoring for the latest gadgets to be integrated into the company's business tech. On the other hand, new devices may represent major security holes, or best practices for their use and integration may not yet be established.

If some new device results in a system crash or a security breach, it'll be the IT people whose jobs are on the line, not the user who insisted on using the new device.

Just read the author bio (1)

MattyMatt (57008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967624)

"Nathan Clevenger is the author of "iPad in the Enterprise: Developing and Deploying Business Applications" (Wiley Publishing, 2011) and has been developing mobile software for more than 12 years. In addition to his role as enterprise editor for iPhone Life magazine, he is the chief software Architect at ITR Mobility, a management and IT consulting firm."

What a load of crap.

Hard time finding interesting work .... (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36967698)

I had a hard time finding work before this job that I have now. Companies still want and operate against technologies such as BEA TUXEDO(i had to look that up because I had never heard of it before), VBA Access / MS SQL 2008, MFC(MFC??? "Really?!", I said to myself. "Microsoft doesn't even support it anymore"). Other skills of epic proportions included excel, crystal reports, clearcase, fortran...yes ALL IN ONE job posting. I am telling you, there are jobs like this everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Sooner or later business clients are going to wake up and realize that they can run more smoothly with the latest technological advances and the companies not investing in infrastructure for future client growth or to even keep their existing contracts will go out of business.

Press hit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967750)

This reads like a cross between an advertisement and some wishful thinking.

It's not arrogance to want to control what is allowed on the network, it's fucking common sense.

What 'Consumerization of IT' Really Means For IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36967902)

It means corporate data walks out the door. Period.

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