Monday, April 2, 2012

A Shakespearean Sea Change

I am currently attending the MidMarket CIO Summit in Orlando. This is a great networking and information gathering event for the medium size business. It has an industry keynote each day as well as analyst sessions from InfoTech.

The keynote this morning was from Davin Juusola, an analyst from InfoTech. Technology is in the midst of a Sea Change. The idiom is from a phrase in Shakespeare's "The Tempest".

But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

It has come to mean a profound change, though Shakespeare was talking about what the sea had done to change the body of Ferdinand's father over time.

This profound change to our entire computing paradigm is coming about from: Mobility, Social Media, Big Data, Cloud and the necessity for Security around all this. Any one of these can be a major issue for the enterprise today and taken together they can feel overwhelming.

Get over it !!!

This is happening. Employees are bringing their own mobile devices into the enterprise and being productive with them. Sure there may be some abuse of the devices but this is more of a people issue than a technology issue. The enterprise needs to determine the best way to embrace the concept, train the folks on best security practices and build a mobile device management policy and process.

Social Media is another matter. There are certainly SOME folks in the business who SHOULD be using it for marketing, customer contact, support, etc. This is unfortunately an active vector for malware and even more mean, nasty, ugly things to come into the network. IT should be monitoring this and helping the organization to use these resources responsibly. They are really no different from the internet and we KNOW how that can be ;-)

Moving more and more services to the cloud is a great way for the organization to deliver content, apps, collaboration with the business. It is probably NOT going to save you any money, but will allow you to focus on more important processes since you won't be running all this hardware. We DO need to make sure the services are secure and the data we are storing out there and the apps we are running out there are secure and appropriate for being outside of our "(fire)walled" landscapes. Not all of them are.

With data being created at an ever increasing rate and storage media costs decreasing at almost the same rate we have more data than ever before. What are we going to do with this. A whole new role of "data scientist" has evolved to deal with the big data. New tools, techniques and processes are being developed to allow us to deal with hundreds a millions a lines (columns) of data. As the "internet of things" grows, so will the data associated. Companies like Google, SAP and others are learning how to use this data in an effective and efficient way. When will your company? Will you do it before your competition?

In every one of these technology disrupters, security is a significant component. We need to determine where the controls need to be, what really needs to be locked down, who needs to see what, where is the information being stored and what can we do when something bad happens. AND IT WILL.

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