mobile devices

You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution?
You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution?
You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution? 1024 684 InfoVision Admin

You Say You Want a (Tech) Revolution?

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
All right, all right

John Lennon and Paul McCartney couldn’t have had a clue about the societal or technological changes that would take place in the 44 years since they penned their anthem to change.

It can still be hard to tell if what we’re witnessing is a revolution – or simply a natural evolution – especially if you read the marketing hype around new technology products. Of course, it may be that we can’t recognize a revolution until after the fact.  Or maybe marketers desperate to differentiate their product or service are overusing the word.

In the world of enterprise software, here are just a few of the technologies that were once called revolutionary that have since become stepping-stones in the evolution of IT.

  • The World Wide Web
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  • Virtualization
  • SaaS, IaaS, PaaS
  • Cloud computing
  • Mobile computing
  • Social media
  • The “app store” model for purchasing software
  • …and the list goes on and on

Any one of them, by itself, is a sign of evolution.  But when you take them all together and look at the huge impact they’re having on enterprise software, it’s starting to look as if all of these changes together really are bringing about a revolution.

So how do you make sure that everything is going to “be all right” as you navigate through the significant changes in the way you plan, develop, deploy, manage, and pay for enterprise software? By getting rid of old patterns of thinking even faster than you are updating outdated and inflexible technology.

We’re all sick and tired of legacy systems that slow down our organizations and gobble up our budget.  But the truth is that in many organizations, it’s old ideas and old procedures and processes – not old technology – that are really holding us back.

One of those old ideas is the traditional approach to enterprise software license management. No one likes it when an audit turns up over-used applications that require a true-up payment.  IDC says that 24% of large enterprises have paid a true-up of more than $1 million following a software license audit.

A most unwelcome revolution is underway in the way companies look at their IT budget.  Peter Sondergaard, a senior vice president at Gartner, told the 2012 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo audience that “Every budget is an IT budget.”  CIOs are increasingly being hit with transfers of unplanned and unapproved costs incurred by other departments.

It starts, Sondergaard says, when the marketing department spends on software to help them manage social media, the sales department signs up for cloud-based CRM, and individuals with credit cards sign up for Dropbox accounts and submit their expense reports.  “It isn’t new, but it is accelerating,” Sondergaard says. “By 2018, many companies will spend 90% of their technology budget outside of IT.”

Of course, these departmental expenses don’t just create cost issues, but also support, security, back-up, compliance, and discovery issues as well.

So how do you make sure that these unwelcome revolutions don’t derail your enterprise software plans? Get help from the experienced enterprise software management pros at InfoVision.  We’re getting more and more calls from clients who need experienced strategic resource teams who can help them review their potential risk from software licensing non-compliance, and we’ve developed a methodology that can help you identify and manage departmental spending and software assets. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies
The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies
The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies 1024 490 InfoVision Admin

The Pros and Cons of “Bring Your Own Device” Policies

Just a few years ago, mobile devices were the tools of business professionals. The PDA and smartphone giants were Palm and RIM, and these devices were largely restricted to business use. Today, however, smartphones are quickly becoming the mobile communication choice for personal use, with close to half of U.S. adults owning one. This widespread adoption means that more options are available, and devices are upgraded faster than before, with consumers often more able to keep up with the latest mobile technology than companies are. Because of this, many companies and employees alike began to realize the advantages of adopting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Proponents of policies that support BYOD cite the numerous tangible and intangible potential benefits, including:

Potential Cost Savings. Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices has the potential to result in significant savings. In addition to no longer having to pay the cost of supplying – as well as upgrading and replacing – the devices themselves, companies also lose the cost of any outside support and warranties, as well as the monthly service fees associated with the devices. Although many companies offer reimbursements for employees’ out-of-pocket monthly fees, they are often significantly less than what the company would pay.

Preference. Many mobile device users have a clear-cut preference for a specific OS or manufacturer, and are more comfortable using their preferred device. Reports have suggested that the ability to use their mobile device and their preferred platform increases overall employee satisfaction, as well as creates a more positive relationship with IT staff. In turn, many companies who support BYOD policies report a higher mobile platform adoption rate among employees.

However, BYOD is not without potential drawbacks. The main concern, as supported by research from research firm Gartner, is the question of security. Some companies have indicated that their hesitancy to adopt BYOD policies mainly stem from what they perceive as the possibility of security breaches and data loss. Not only do they lose the granular control over the access and security restrictions on company-owned devices – including the ability to remotely wipe or lock a mobile device in the instance of loss or theft – but they also fear that a work device that is also heavily relied upon for personal use faces a higher potential of being lost or contracting malware.

In addition, the use of employee-owned devices for work purposes raises a number of questions regarding the company IT staff’s responsibilities regarding troubleshooting and support. Not only might there be questions as to whether the IT staff should be expected to make troubleshooting employee’s devices available as a resource, but it also raises the issue of requiring multi-platform support for company-specific apps or software.

It’s clear that allowing employees to bring their own devices to work presents numerous potential benefits, as well as significant possible drawbacks. Because of this, what’s right for one company may not be right for another. One company may feel that the benefits are overwhelming and the risks easily mitigated, while another may ultimately decide that the potential for security breaches and extra strain on IT outweigh the benefits. Others still may find a middle ground with a restricted policy, such as providing support for only specific platforms, or limiting BYOD to tablets and not smartphones.

However, regardless of a company’s stance on BYOD, it’s important to have a policy in place that clearly outlines their decision. By unambiguously stating what BYOD is allowed, if any, as well as security and support requirements on the part of both the company and the employees, they can create a clear-cut policy that supports the best interests of the company – whatever they may be.

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