And then there was Cloud, Virtualization, and the most disruptive of them all, Mobile! How does the IT Manager prioritize in this age of constant consolidation and drive for efficiency? Is it the internal drivers for a more agile data center that can fire up a virtual server the minute a Business Unit Manager comes up with a new big revenue generating idea? Or is the adoption of tools that will help make life easier, more fun and above all more efficient for sales and other revenue focused teams, the priority?
The latter is obviously eluding to the rapid adoption of Mobile technologies with Tablets, in particular those from Apple, leading the way to a new and faster form of communication and information exchange. A form of BYOD?
Personally, I think BYOD has gone mainstream already by the simple fact that smart phones have already outsold PC's in 2011 and Apple even out shipped the PC in Q4 2011 with just the iPad! So why bring your own instead of asking IT to be more flexible and provide the tools that best meet the user's needs? Wouldn't that enable IT to get back into the drivers seat?
Why is it that when the CEO brings in a gadget it is immediately supported and connected to the network while those that could really benefit from Mobile devices have to stand in line. Is that perhaps the whole reason why today's Digital natives bring their own devices to work? The gap between traditional IT and the requirement literally imposed by these Digital natives to work in a new, socially connected fashion, is causing a great divide.
The concept of letting people bring in their own favored devices makes perfect sense. Why worry about the hardware when you need to worry about the Information and how to protect what is really important to the business, irrespective of the device.
This is the Information centric approach to IT which not only considers the data but also the user's identity. The two really go hand in hand.
In the age where any type of information, sensitive or not, can be easily uploaded to a Cloud, stealing it is like taking a lolly from a baby.
The core value of the IT manager will be to monitor and mitigate the Risk of Information loss. Protecting end users from accessing vulnerable Cloud Services, ensuring a Data Loss policy is active and making sure the user's identity is protected. These are the requirements for the Digital age. I call him or her the "Information Protection Manager", sounds a lot better than the "IT Guy", don't you think?
More about the Information Protection Manager and how BYOD stretches the responsibilities in part two of this blog!