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Sorry, IT: These 5 Technologies Belong To Users

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the rayguns-not-on-the-list dept.

IT 348

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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Sigh (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483732)

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 (4, Insightful)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483788)

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 (5, Interesting)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483918)

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.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483930)

your friend [..] is documentation. Make the end user sign a piece of paper

Requiring a user to sign off is not documentation, that's CYA mentality. Documentation, in this case, is having a document (preferably easily accessible, like, say, an intranet page), signed or written by management, that states where the responsibilities of IT end and the user begins.

Not saying you're wrong, just nurturing my peeves. Keeping track of individual users' employment contracts should not be delegated to IT.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484006)

Exactly. Signing off or not, where I work there are substantial legal and fiscal penalties for data loss, up to and including dissolution of the company or forfieture of profits, financial penalties in excess of revenue, and loss of business as in no longer permitted to participate in that business despite a 105-year history.

Or more simply, risk of losing the entire business.

Your assessment of risk is not the same as your employer's assessment of risk, and likely not very well aligned with reality.

Re:Sigh (2)

DocDyson (2429538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484058)

So, in essence, our litigious society and the risk-averse enterprise culture that litigation and regulation foster are the reason why enterprise IT is, in many organizations, in the Dark Ages compared to what a tech-savvy user can do with their personal IT.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484202)

Tech savvy user? You're the type that install a facebook sniffing app on your phone for personal enjoyment, and you're the type that we catch on your phone using Facebook when you should be working.

If you allow us to lock down your device and face dismissal and confiscation of your device if you are caught using it illegally, sure, go nuts.

I've seen too many people abuse the right to use personal devices on a corporate network. If ANY company is serious about security, they either:

A. Don't let personal devices on the network, and provide a proper device.
B. Let people use their own device, but place it on its own DMZ WLAN and use Citrix.

Hardly. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484242)

So, in essence, our litigious society and the risk-averse enterprise culture that litigation and regulation foster are the reason why enterprise IT is, in many organizations, in the Dark Ages compared to what a tech-savvy user can do with their personal IT.

What is this "tech-savvy user" you speak of?

There is a recurring discussion on Slashdot about the wisdom of putting critical infrastructure systems on the 'Web where any "terrorist" living anywhere in the world can attack it at any time.

That is the key to this discussion.

The IT department is tasked with keeping the private company data private. One of the reasons for that is so the company does not get sued for "losing" that information (or lose an advantage to a competitor).

Once the "tech-savvy user" connects his/her "personal IT" to the Internet it can be attacked by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time. And losing your credit card info just means a problem for you. If the company loses the credit card info of their clients / customers / partners / etc, that's a problem for a LOT of people.

Re:Sigh (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484316)

Dark Ages? I want to see HIPAA get medieval on your buttocks (to steal a phrase from the Gump Fiction skit).

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483810)

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.

It's a difference in perspective. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483916)

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 (4, Insightful)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (4, Funny)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484142)

I like your hammer analogy and would like to subscribe to your newsletter

Re:Sigh (3, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484342)


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.

Re:Sigh (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483880)

Yet you are afraid to use your real name to reply. Sigh.....typical IT zombie geek personality.

Fucking GMGruman (5, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483976)

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.

Seconded! (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484032)

He's posting on InfoWorld (not known for insight) and then sending the link to /. because no one reads InfoWorld's website.

If his articles were so amazing then people would be going to the original source, wouldn't they?

Instead, he's sending his links to /.

Re:Sigh (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483988)

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 changes too fast. The support costs become huge. You can't specialize in a gazillion specialize languages and so you can't support them when they don't work with build "XZY".

Be especially careful of anything that runs on user hardware and software- because you can't control it. They change from IE8 to IE10 preview edition and say FIXITFIXITFIXIT.

Re:Sigh (3, Interesting)

hazem (472289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484272)

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.

Why are you linking to his articles? (4, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Sigh (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484346)

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.

Security (5, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Security (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483690)

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".

Re:Security (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483736)

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] .

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484050)

Or perhaps the problem is that "users" think that IT are just a bunch of jerks who want to take away all fun, so they don't listen to what the IT folks have to say. If people actually understood the need for manageable uniformity and data security, there wouldn't be so many "IT is there to be my tech bitch, yall! I can only get work done if I have facebook on my iPad in the cloud with USB dancing bear and weatherbug; antivirus just brings m down!" posts.

Re:Security (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484100)

to fight back in the war not against personal freedom but against data integrity.

You oppose data integrity?

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483932)

what strikes me about the lost devices problem is that we always hear about the (unencrypted!) data that was found on the device. But we never seem to hear about all the other sensitive data you could find on them. Things like:

1) Cached copies of internal data, such as server names, IP address assignments

2) Passwords for anything the user had access to

3) URL for the company VPN portal(s)

See, I have heard some people advocate "just keep it all on the cloud" as a solution to the problem of mislaid devices. But almost everybody has their devices save passwords if it has the means to do so. Some companies use a proprietary VPN solution where the correct URL, encryption keys and access passwords are all stored in the application. It's one thing to lose a filing cabinets worth of memos or customer data, quite another to lose a complete identity kit that would allow a stranger complete and total access to anything your employee had access to.

I think users need to be taught how serious such losses can be, but short of firing them, I can't think of any non-BOFH way of handling it. My preferred method is the "name and shame" technique. Imagine if every one in the company got the following email:

"Hi all!
      Please be advised that effective immediately, all VPN access, email services and internal file server access is suspended for everybody until each person can contact the IT/IS dept and arrange to have new keys and passwords assigned to them. The IT/ID dept is very aware of how disruptive this is going to be for everybody, but after Bob in Accounting insisted on using his IPhone to access Initrode systems and then lost the device on the way home from the pub, we are forced to take this step to protect the company from liability exposure. Bob's IPhone now contains the virtual "keys" to access everything and is unfortunately in the hands of parties unknown, so we have to change the locks. At this time we believe we can avoid having to reset the voicemail and fax-to-email systems as well but we will keep everybody posted

On behalf of Simon;
Stephen the PFY"

I imagine that you do that a few times, with a tour of duty in the mail room or janitorial depts for repeat offenders would really curb the problem. Sure we could just issue everybody individual keys and then disable them individually, but where's the fun in that?

Re:Security (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484116)

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 corporate LAN, or trying to guess the username / password to a corporate cloud account.

They're making this about as difficult as sitting in a Dunkin' Donuts / Starbucks in the corporate office-park, drinking my coffee and eating a donut, as I wait for the data to download to my laptop (gotta love 802.11n, up to a mile in range now? don't even need the cantenna), or compromising someone's email account, which is where everyone keeps their username / passwords for other accounts these days, and using that info to log into the cloud.

Hell, all it takes is some social engineering with the cloud people (bribery, or just getting a job as a low-level tech) or a common flaw in the security (because those never happen, God no), and I get access to EVERYONE'S DATA.

Still, I have a list of (legal, less stress) opportunities for employment that pay much better than this possibility, sitting on my desk, so I'll be giving it a miss for the foreseeable future. ^_^

Re:Security (4, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Security (1)

devitto (230479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483790)

Thin client. Keep the data far away from users, and secure.

Re:Security (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483984)

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 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.

well work at home on your own time drives that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484068)

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.

Re:Security (1)

anonymov (1768712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484118)

> "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 physical security are known to everyone, digital security awareness as common sense is still somewhere in the future and better left to professionals.

Re:Security (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484008)

"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.

Re:Security (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484178)

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 things for you (whether that in-house IT be a managed service provider/outsourced or internal employees).

Were I work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483658)

We simply have created a separate subnet and SSID for BYOD, staff register with upper management and we put their device on this network. It isn't terribly complex but it gets the job done.

Re:Were I work (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483896)

I was about to suggest the same thing.

You can then tightly control the gateway to that subnet, manage protocols at the router, and only allow company issued devices on the secure wifi. That way the company bears the cost of the devices, and therefore gets to make all the rules and need entertain no arguments.

Most users don't need access to anything on the company servers other than email anyway, and you can route that access thru your public facing gateways, so it would be tightly controlled.

Its still not going to prevent company documents walking away. There are too many ways that can happen, bluetooth, thumb drives, microSD drives, and the rogue Dropbox, Spider Oak, Box accounts.

But it will eliminate the casual, careless, or accidental breaches, lost device worries. Then any remaining breaches fall into the categories of Intentional, Malicious, Criminal or at the very least, cause for Termination.

I'm not sure how practical it would be to take the next step and simply don't allow wifi on company network period. But I do know that this is the approach taken in some high security environments, and many government agencies. I suspect this would see a lot of push-back from workers and management at your typical business.

And along with it.. (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483680)

Then let them have the security and stability while you're at it.

infoworld spam again (3)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483696)

This is the 3rd post from info world about BYOD in the last few days can we give it a rest.

Infoworld is aimed at Non IT Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484064)

Infoworld has always painted IT as a walled fortress that
1. never lets the users be free
2. does not respond to management
3. it always behind the times
4. does not respond to the external business environment
5. does not make the applications screens look like the ones from 24 and Mission Impossible.
6. IT people are huge security threats
7. IT people are fungible 'resources'

Infoworld has been spewing this anti-IT crap,FOREVER. Recognize them as your enemy.

Infoworld feeds management delusions. Infoworld plays on the fact management has no clue.

There are about a dozen or so Infoworld sister publications. And Gartner. They all peddle the same IT is evil problem and peddle the same Snake Oil and Silver Bullet solutions.

IT is about solutions to problems. Not devices or platforms.

Should 'Users' be doing IT's jobs?

Should not the Users being doing the job they were hired to do?

Maybe IT should do the COO's job. And fire all the incompetent management that slurps up this Infoworld FUD.

Why not let the janitor do open heart surgery? The janitor wants 100% success, while the heart surgeon is going to say you only have a 50/50 chance. Why not listen to the pleasant janitor that is telling you what you want to hear, rather than some Big Brained, Alpha Male, Hard Assed Surgeon who speaks truth.

So don't let Infoworld's outright muck slinging attack make you doubt yourselves. We are IT. We are Gods. We make it look easy. Everyone that can use a toaster thinks they know better.

Brush off the puny lamentations of the Users and the MSM.

Re:infoworld spam again (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484164)

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.

Speaking as a customer (4, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483700)

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.

Re:Speaking as a customer (3)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483770)

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.

Re:Speaking as a customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483992)

That's gibberish. Please go back to school and rewrite your first paragraph.

Re:Speaking as a customer (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484144)

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 themselves early on. Help them along with some complicated questions they will be unable to answer, and know more about their product than they do. (A nice shotgun is the best form of seagull management.) It's not just about job security, it's about making sure people (your customers) don't get brought along for a ride, raped, and then left in a ditch somewhere to die...

i would hate for you to see what really goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483852)

on inside of a big, fortune 1000 corporation.

i deal with personal information every day, and i have received 0 training in my department on privacy.we get training on some govt regulations once a year, but most of the coworkers cheat on it. they also spend a lot of time shopping online and visiting 'funny websites', alot of which are not blocked by the IT staff.

people plug their phones into the computers all the time. its the easiest source of power.

---- i know it all sounds bad.

but think about this, you said you are worried about your credit card number getting out.

how secure are credit cards? do they require a password? no. you just walk in, give someone a number, and you get stuff.
think about THAT system for a minute. just think about it.

imagine creating Paypal, but never having passwords. you just tell someone your email address, and they give you stuff. thats basically the way the credit card system works.

---

think about the HIPPA law. companies that deal with HIPPA actually do take precautions. why? because the HIPPA law says they can get sued for a ton of money.

there is no HIPPA for credit cards or your purchase history. why? financial companies own congress. they literally own congressmen.

life is funny man. life is funny.

Re:i would hate for you to see what really goes (3, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484022)

think about the HIPPA law. companies that deal with HIPPA actually do take precautions. why? because the HIPPA law says they can get sued for a ton of money.

there is no HIPPA for credit cards or your purchase history. why? financial companies own congress. they literally own congressmen.

That's not exactly true. While there's no law governing credit cards, the credit card industry themselves have organized a PCI council that sets security standards that all companies that accept credit cards have to follow to protect the credit card data. Fines can be levied by issuing banks for merchants that fail to achieve and maintain compliance.

Re:i would hate for you to see what really goes (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484254)

and how many banks have been fined or removed as payment processors?

yeah, i thought so

Re:Speaking as a customer (4, Informative)

jsrogers (2518196) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Speaking as a customer (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484152)

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.

Classic. Thank you.

The purpose of IT... (4, Funny)

west (39918) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Slightly different phrasing. (4, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (3, Insightful)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

Re:Again? (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483786)

Meh I didn't word that well, the pressure of quick post has gotten to me.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483808)

IT's complaint was "We don't know Linux".

God help us all...

Re:Again? (2)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483920)

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.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483926)

Was with you until you wrote 'M$'.

is BYOD real or an Infoworld hallucination? (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483734)

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.

Re:is BYOD real or an Infoworld hallucination? (1)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483870)

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.

If people want to BYOD (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483740)

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]

Re:If people want to BYOD (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483854)

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.

Re:If people want to BYOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483924)

This is why I refuse to use my personal phone for work email; we have some software to enable it, but it basically gives my employer full control over the device.

Re:If people want to BYOD (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484074)

This is why I refuse to use my personal phone for work email; we have some software to enable it, but it basically gives my employer full control over the device.

Is it separate software, or do you have to agree to the ActiveSync policy settings when you connect to exchange? If it's the latter, then they don't have full control, but they can do things like require a lockcode, require device encryption, and remotely wipe the device if it's lost or stolen. The lockcode policy is annoying since I lost the ability to use the Android unlock pattern (which I could easily swipe without looking at the phone), now I have to use a unlock code, but I'm fine with letting them remote-wipe the device if I report it lost or stolen.

If it's separate software that you have to install it could have more control, but not "full control" unless your phone is rooted.

If your company has IMAP (or POP) enabled, you can get around the Activesync policy by using IMAP/POP. (though you lose contacts/calendar syncing)

Re:If people want to BYOD (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484098)

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.

Only belong to users.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483744)

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.

GMGruman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483794)

GMGruman is not a nerd; he is a self proclaimed "Smart User".

His articles are designed to troll IT staff. He comes off like he thinks that users should be empowered to manage their own security, when most of the users I support can't even manage to use Office without messing up a spreadsheet.

EMBRACE THE CHANGE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483798)

In the world of expect change. Many corporate campuses are moving towards a guest only wifi which allows for all the Boyd devices to work. Technologies like UAG from Microsoft allow this to be safe and viable. Corporate systems will continue to evolve and be web based. as for support , companies are saying that BYOD are self supported. that means all everything on them including software.

Gruman again? (1)

bluestar (17362) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483804)

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

Re:Gruman again? (1)

Mr. Shotgun (832121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484084)

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.

Missing the point (1)

obi1one (524241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483812)

He talks a lot about how his 5 things are personal for the user and IT is used to providing uniform solutions, so IT cant help. What he breezes over is that much of what IT does (and is up at night about) isnt really about providing software and services, but data and infrastructure, and that his 5 technologies (well maybe not social media) are all dependent upon IT provided data and infrastructure to be useful. When the unaffiliated device or software tries to connect to the infrastructure or data that IT is responsible for is the interesting problem area here, and he glossed over it without really adding anything new to the conversation.

Another? (1)

Gaggme (594298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483842)

Another article from GMGruman plugging his own article while expressing his contempt for standard IT practices. His last article posted to reddit, highlighted his fundamental misunderstandings about IT security. This is just another nail in the coffin Even a basic google search shows how utterly idiotic his stances are on corporate tech. Seems as though he jumps on the curtains of the newest trend, then either glorifies or demonizes it without actually comprhending. Example http://www.technologytell.com/gadgets/54796/pc-world-calls-ipad-buyers-idiots/ [technologytell.com] My condolences to their in house IT who must auto-forward his calls to a queue that noone answers.

Well now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483846)

That's fine and all. But the network you want to use all those devices on belong to the COMPANY paid for by the COMPANY.
And IT is in charge of it working properly and reliably. Because it's their JOB.

Now... put your little toys away and get the fuck back to work or you're all fired for not doing your JOB.

Oh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483848)

It's splitting pretty fine hairs by saying, "stay out of web services, mobile, social networking, etc." but that you should focus on:

[...] business collaboration, client management suites, file syncing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), innovation management and ideation platforms, mobile device management (MDM), platform as a service (PaaS), productivity, public social media, security and identity management, self-service BI, smartphones, social marketing management tools, tablets, videoconferencing, and video platforms.

When the user says, "I want Salesforce instead of Sugar", and their only rationale is that a salesman that specifically targets non-technical folks told them it's prettier, your job is more than handling the SSO component and Office connector. You should explain the more fundamental differences, for everyones sake. Then let the company decide based on a rational set of pros and cons. That's not the same as ruling with an iron fist.

Bring it, use it, fix it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483876)

If you bring you own device and 'you' can get it to work on the infrastructure provided as is then fine. But when you can't, just sit down and shut up, do some work. I'm fine with that.

Ubiquitous computing and network connectivity is what we all want. But given some of the crap hardware/firmware sitting between you with your shiny and your cloud I could seen and admin going postal before giving a rats ass about what you need now that you have a phone that's smarter than you are.

Sure, but its "my" network. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483928)

Keep your devices off it and you can do what ever you want with them. Just dont come to me when they break.

I Give Up (2)

Mr. Lwanga (872401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483936)

Where do I pay money to stop this Infoworld astroturfing?

It's not about you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483948)

My staff has access to servers that talk directly to the back end systems of banks and other financial institutions. Want to log in to the same network with your new spyware ridden Android phone? No, no, a thousand times no. Get over it.

It's like buying go-karts and then expecting to drive them on freeways. There are rules in place for a reason, and it's not to harm your fun. Build your own network and play all you want on your time. I own Metallica t-shirts but I don't waltz into work wearing them and saying "This shirt belongs to ME, HR guy! It helps ME make money for the company, and your dress code doesn't!"

Great, You Can Keep Em! (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483952)

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.

BYOD? Then BYOS(upport) too (4, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483972)

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.

Re:BYOD? Then BYOS(upport) too (0)

david.emery (127135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484124)

I don't ask, and I don't WANT, corporate IT in my home office infrastructure. I do my own support, because I give myself much better service than corporate IT. It starts with much more secure and less touch-labor-intensive technologies than the Microsoft-everything approach from Corporate. I have full back-ups, including offsite backups for critical data. I have secure server including VPN to the home network. I have firewalls turned on and I actually pay attention to the logs.

The normal IT approach has been either "we don't do that" or "we won't pay for it." Now my boss, when he hired me, said, "You need to be productive, and we'll buy you what makes you work." Most of the infrastructure in the home office, by the way, was purchased and maintained on my nickel (except for the color laser, a real boon for productivity particularly because they pay for the printer cartridges.)

And the only problems I've had were when I left a test account open, allowing someone to route spam through the DMZ server. Yeah, that was a user configuration error, which I caught and fixed (by both removing the account AND disabling/breaking SMTP on that machine; someone would have to dig deep to find where/how I broke SMTP configuration to reactivate email, if he were to gain access to the machine itself.)

When corporate CIOs start handing out charge numbers for employees to charge -when IT keeps them from doing their jobs-, then I'll start to believe that corporate IT has turned into a real service industry. Instead, it sure seems to me it's more of a jobs/power program for MCSEs, with no accountability for their failure to provide service to end users. I understand the need to protect and provide service to the corporation as a whole; that does not excuse treating the end user community as basically slaves to IT's view of the world.

Re:BYOD? Then BYOS(upport) too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484192)

When corporate CIOs start handing out charge numbers for employees to charge -when IT keeps them from doing their jobs-, then I'll start to believe that corporate IT has turned into a real service industry.

Do you charge your local police department when they stop you from doing your job, such as when you are speeding? Maybe the fire department is inconveniencing you by having a fire code. Charge that shit back!

Is somebody paying for these articles? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484002)

This has to be the tenth article about BYOD and the terrors of the hated IT administrator that I've read in the past two weeks.... Is somebody out there lobbying the "journalists" to write this drivel?

Here's a question... Do you want to give your personal information to a company that is fine with BYOD? How about one that puts your personal info in the "cloud".

How about this... if you bring your own device and during a random audit it's shown to not be 100% up to date with the latest security patches, you are fired on the spot. You might think it's harsh, but that's the reality those bad guys in IT face every day. They're in charge of corporate data protection.. which frequently means consumer data protection. The users who are moaning for the latest iDevice need to understand that yes the iPhone is awesome, yes it's easier to use than a Blackberry, and yes it can be infinitely more productive.. but until Apple builds a decent permissioning and provisioning system for it, it's never going to be accepted by corporate IT departments. If you want to use your iPad, lobby Apple, not your IT admin.

Re:Is somebody paying for these articles? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484200)

In defense of Apple, if you use a blackberry, you have to pay shitloads of $$ for BES. So, if you are using Apple, they don't have a management solution, you should take the same $$ and buy your own iOS management solution, and there are plenty out there.

If you want to go with the Apple solution, now that Lion server is out, take a look at this:

http://www.macworld.com/article/160477/2011/06/osx_lion_server.html [macworld.com]

BYOD is paid spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484012)

There is no phenomenon, this is just a group of mobile device providers astroturfing to get their devices into business. Unless the devices can be managed by Active Directory or Linux backend they have no place in a business environment.

Re:BYOD is paid spam (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484184)

"Managing it" is useless if it doesn't even provide the minimum level of function you need such as patch levels and "full disk" encryption. Take Android for example - other than Nexus phones, which ones are patched up to date? And which Android phone has full disk encryption?

Galun Grumen (1)

jwlondon (627142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484016)

I am slightly concerned that the majority of people reading this mans articles have done after seeing link on Slashdot. His intended audience is presumably people who believe that IT departments are a self created entity and are entirely responsible for corporate governance and the reasons for it. We all know a little knowledge is dangerous. Please can we not give him any more attention.

Can we please stop with the GMGruman articles?! (1)

The Other White Meat (59114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484054)

Seriously, this guy is a hack, his articles seem slanted and unprofessional, poorly sourced, etc. I get that InfoWorld is desperate, but why is Slashdot helping him with free advertising?

They can't have it both ways. (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484080)

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 Slashdot of all places. At issue is not only the security of what individual users are working with, but the security of the network as a whole as each individual uses
* Information management/security. This is similar to the previous point, but goes further. Who owns the data? Who has access to the data when the employee leaves? It's difficult (if not impossible) to gain access to important business information which is on an employee's personal device or cloud service associated with a non-work mail address.
* Service reliability. In-house IT may have a history of fucking things up and making a mess of things, but at least someone competent can come along later and, even in many of the worst situations, retrieve it. With Cloud services, there is no such possibility, and there are no backups (in all likelihood). What happens when a Cloud service (god, I hate that word) eats an important document? I've seen it happen, and the user comes crying to IT anyway; the burden falls on us to 'recover' the document, because that's what they're used to. They have no ability to discern why it's not possible.
* Device reliability and employee productivity. I'm not going to be able to do anything consistent if I'm hamstrung on both sides when a user's device breaks. I can't replace it with another machine/device from stock (because I haven't been given the budget or time to provide such things). In all likelihood, even if I had such a device I couldn't restore the data to it that needs to be restored, because there's no consistent means of providing those backups.
* Time. IT is going to spend a lot more time per-issue and spend a lot more time doing absolutely nothing - also known as sitting on the phone, on hold, waiting for support. Sure, less time will be spent on implementation projects in the medium term, but long term this will be problematic.
* Professional degradation. This plays heavily on the "time" issue previously mentioned. I can hardly make a career in IT if the things I'm supporting are fleeting and not exactly technical, just another stupid UI to dig through. This is a short-sighted approach, and is as bad for organizations as it is for me. You won't have people considering IT if all they can do is generalize in 100 different closed and locked product UIs, with their biggest technical skill being knowing how to call support. This will eat into user's time, eventually, as people stop going into IT. When companies eventually want a turnaround, competent IT for in-house maintenance (or MSP) will be fewer and far between, costing quite a bit more than previously.

In short, Cloud services look appealing to users because IT is unappealing to them. IT gets in the way and prevents them from doing things; IT does not provide them with the tools they (think) they need. They look elsewhere, which makes IT look bad. When that backfires, IT then looks bad again when we're unable to recover their data from a proprietary service we have absolutely no ability to reverse engineer.

*** Let me make a pointed warning about a very specific "cloud" service: AutoTask. This is the biggest steaming pile of shit I have ever seen, and it's about as bad as it gets for vendor lock-in. Managers love it, it's got all the right sales words to describe it. It doesn't work, however. Not only are the use fees fairly high, but the product doesn't work. I've seen it display wrong numbers, lose records, display different data depending on which person is logged in (erroneously, regardless of supposed credentials), and it doesn't even work consistently in any one browser. Hell, it doesn't work well in any browser, and the Android client is a fucking useless waste of time. What's more, you can never get your data out of it: the data you do get, if you ever chose to leave the service, is a proprietary 'database'. The database contains none of the logic or relational information you've entered to keep track of things. None of the reports or anything like that, of course, either. What you do get is a binary file full of symbols and numbers which is almost impossible to make any sense of and unusable by any other application. A company which uses this product is fully at the mercy of the business practices and vitality of AutoTask.

Cloud services only work well for the business when they are controlled by in-house IT, working for the business. There's no two ways about it. Companies that think Clouding everything is a panacea are ignorant and are going to suffer for it. In complete self interest, let me suggest you work for them; it'll make profitable companies more available for me. :)

Minu5 2, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484082)

fo8 a moment and smells worSe than a

I'm sorry, is there an echo? (2)

TaliesinWI (454205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484130)

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.

"GMGruman writes"... (0)

sstamps (39313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484148)

That's as far as I get before I skip to the next article.

How do you control them? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484156)

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 Nexus phone, your phone will *NEVER* be patched up to date. Additionally, no "full disk" encryption possible on most of the Android phones, including Nexus!

And Galun Grumen's experience is? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484168)

Oh, he's been a writer for 25 years. Not a CIO, not a businessman, not a geek. He should go and actually try working in the real world.

It's a fluff piece but... (2)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38484172)

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).

The only problem I have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484210)

Is that I'm the one in the noose when Joe or Jane User's device is compromised and something happens. I can't lock down the device or I'm Mr. Evil IT Guy. I can be held responsible if it causes trouble, and then I'm Mr. Incompetent IT Guy. Yeah, sounds fair :(

Fool me once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38484238)

Not even going to read this one. I read this jerk's "How to thwart the high priests of IT" story last week. He's a self centered hater of anyone in IT. He thinks he knows best and to hell with everyone and everything that gets in the way of him doing whatever he wants on the network. Damn the consequences. I am sure this is more of the same.

But users don't want to "manage" cloud services (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

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