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IT Managers

How you can use UC to beat shadow IT communication channels

How you can use UC to beat shadow IT communication channels

This is an interesting article about IT’s role in the ever changing scope of team communications among the organizations with which we’re involved. There’s always a demand for IT to “keep up” as trends change but, as the article states:

…there is seldom consensus between departments as to how their teams should communicate. In fact, different company departments often have a bad habit of walling off their communication.

The issue of “shadow IT” can be a big one. After all, how are you supposed to secure access to your network – let alone maintain your communications – when you have no control over the tools that your team is using?

Ever since the cloud, many departments have been bypassing IT and adopting solutions out of the cloud – often called shadow IT. Generally, IT still struggles with this as it related to all technology, including communication systems.

Unifying communications can help to ease the pain, but only if it’s done right.

IT can reduce the impact of shadow IT and add sanity to the otherwise communication anarchy by simplifying mediums, integrating communication platforms and consolidating channels when possible. IT that creates comfortable and easy-to-access communication channels reduces the chances rouge departments will deploy their own detached solution.

Take a look at the full article with the link below and check out how you can use unified communications to solve your issues with shadow IT.

Thinkstock IT faces a regular cadence of communication challenges. New technologies and platforms that facilitate office communication frequently enter the work arena. And office leadership challenges IT to keep pace, deploy better systems and re-architect old systems to suit the needs of different departments. However, there is seldom consensus between departments as to how their teams should communicate. In fact, different company departments often have a bad habit of walling off their communication. People have different communication preferences. Some prefer video chat, others face-to-face or email, or SMS. Similarly, people have preferred software environments: Google Chat, Slack, Facebook, Twitter, HipChat, Skype for Business, Asana, WebEx, etc. Those in leadership roles often make their preferences the standard for their team’s communication – even if that means adopting solutions without IT’s approval. Ever since the cloud, many departments have been bypassing IT and adopting solutions out of the cloud – often called shadow IT. Generally, IT still struggles with this as it related to all technology, including communication systems. What happens when a company has multiple chat platforms, social media and conferencing applications and other communication mediums? In such a situation, communication standards between departments is incredibly variable. As such, it […]

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6 hard truths IT must learn to accept

6 hard truths IT must learn to accept

I find that accepting new truths often leads to a paradigm shift in the way that we manage our organizations and the way that we have to address new network security threats. Reading through this article, I find that there are many ways in which we need to start changing the way that we deal with our IT solutions inside of our companies – small and large alike.

A couple things really stood out to me when reading this article:

“BYOD has become BYOIT,” says Mike Meikle, CEO of secureHIM, a healthcare cybersecurity and education firm. “Employees can quickly stand up whole IT solutions, from applications to storage, with a few button clicks, and then access these platforms from their mobile devices.”

I remember when I was first starting in this industry back in the early 2000s, there was a huge focus on preventing this exact type of behavior. This idea of “shadow IT” was such a threat that it was almost all anyone talked about. Now, with BYOD having become such a big trend in workplaces, it seems that we really do have to redefine what that means.

“Everybody wants systems that are easy to manage and hard to breach,” he says. “But they usually end up with big ticket security appliances that are hard to manage and sensitive data that remains unprotected. A smarter approach is to assume your environment has already been compromised and design your security plan around that.”

I think that, in all of our talk about network security, this “we’ve already been hacked” approach is a good one. While we certainly all love to think of ourselves as having the ability to create the impenetrable network, there’s more value in the realization that it’s more than likely that you’re already compromised. Like the article says below – how secure is that USB drive that your co-worker just plugged into their desktop?

 

Wikimedia Sometimes the truth hurts. It can be hard to admit that you’ve lost control over how your organization deploys technology, or that your network is porous and your code poorly written. Or no matter how much bandwidth you’ve budgeted for, it never quite seems to be enough, and that despite its bright promise, the cloud isn’t the best solution for everything. In a world where anyone with a credit card and keyboard can spin up their own data center, it’s easy for CIOs to feel irrelevant and redundant. Good luck with all that. The gap between your dreams and cold hard reality just gets wider every day. That doesn’t mean you should give up, but it does mean you need to get real about what you can change and what you must accept. Here are six hard truths CIOs must learn to live with. [ Beware the 12 ‘best practices’ IT should avoid at all costs while heeding the 9 forces shaping the future of IT work . | Get an inside look at 13 real-world digital transformations . | Get the latest insights by signing up for our CIO daily newsletter . ] 1. Shadow IT has […]

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3 Tips for Making Better Investments in Security

3 Tips for Making Better Investments in Security

This is obviously a big topic these days and it’s almost getting to a point where I feel like this is overshadowing discussions in advancements in Wifi, VoIP and other network technologies on which most of us have spent the majority of our careers focusing. That said, I think it’s safe to say that, until we get to a point where we don’t have to worry about it (don’t hold your breath), security is going to be the talk of the town – especially as more and more of our information is being moved onto servers somewhere “in the cloud”.

I found this article interesting for a couple reasons – first, I think the three points they pull out here are good ones to note. But even more, I thought that the paragraph from the article quoted below brought light to a different perspective: as security becomes more of a strategic focus than just something that’s discussed during IT staff meetings, we need to make sure that focus is developed into the larger business model and and not based solely on a small group’s experiences and biases.

“One would think that as information security matured from back-office function to a more strategic role, CISOs’ approaches to portfolio prioritization would have followed suit. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Speaking with dozens of IT and security leaders, we found that most approaches to making security investment decisions are largely subjective. Too often, they’re based on personal expertise and credibility rather than systematic processes and business value metrics.”

The rest of the article is well worth the read as well. It’s linked below so read and enjoy!

Information security’s role is becoming more strategic, but its approach to making investment decisions hasn’t kept pace. To better align security investments with enterprise strategy, IT and security leaders must stay focused on the right risks, add rigor to decision making processes, and give stakeholders opportunities for input. The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing color, and the days are growing shorter – all signs it’s time for IT leaders to start thinking seriously about next year’s budget. One key issue that CIOs need to consider when drafting their 2018 budgets is how information security’s role is changing within the organization and how best to support that change. IT and business leaders need information security to take on a more strategic focus; but so far at least, its investment priorities haven’t followed suit. As organizations transform their business models to support new digital products and services, information security will increasingly adopt the role of “digital business enabler.” That means finding new ways to help business leaders take smart risks with information technology in pursuit of new growth or competitive advantage. This will change the way organizations deliver security, the skills and tools security teams will need […]

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