@CloudExpo Authors: Mauro Carniel, William Schmarzo, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Wearables

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Controlling Cloud and iPad. Be the Usher, Not the Bouncer

These two words conjure pictures in your head of similar folks, but their function is completely opposite

The purpose of an usher, be it at an old-time movie theater or a wedding, is to take people to suitable seats and see that they’re comfortable. The purpose of a bouncer is to throw out bums and keep the peace. These two words conjure pictures in your head of similar folks, but their function is completely opposite.

image Many of the things confronting IT today that are as much driven by the business and buzz as by IT and requirements are Cloud Computing and Wireless Devices. Look back historically and find parallels to these things, they’ll help you decide how to handle both phenomenon.

The business user that says “I don’t need you, I can go to cloud provider X” doesn’t realize what he is saying any more than the business user who said the same about SaaS vendors did. You can block  him or you can educate him. He does indeed need you, for all the reasons we’ve talked about before – Data Security, Access Control, Integration, and meaningful Reporting. He may not realize that, but he does. Even if “Cloud Provider X” is really just a SaaS vendor with a fresh coat of paint that offers a “complete”  solution, we all know that “complete” is not the same as “integrated” and certainly doesn’t imply “secure”. You just have to help the hot-head understand that fact.

The business user that wants his iPad to have 100% access to corporate resources yesterday has a similar issue. We saw this problem with Palms when they first came out. The problem is that they want access without the inherent security. It is your job to educate them on what steps are necessary and how long it will take to set things up in a secure manner, so that when they leave their iPad in a coffee shop – and some will, that is the other bit we learned about devices from the first Palm wave – your corporate systems are protected.

In both of the previous cases – SaaS and Palm – most IT shops played the bouncer, enforcing an artificial rule by locking out non-approved Palms and denying attempts to use SaaS products. And the lesson we learn from that tidbit is that those who did paid for it dearly. People don’t forget that you “roadblocked” them. And honestly, that is 100% about politics and not technology. Since IT is about giving users reasonable access to technology to do their jobs, being the usher is a better solution in the long run. New technology comes and goes like the wind, but politics has a nasty habit of sticking around to haunt you.

In both cases, emotions will run high, so short circuit that problem with the simple expedient of having a plan and sticking to it.

Ask the business to prioritize iPad access versus revamping the website, or whatever other major projects you have going on, then dedicate resources accordingly. Meet “it already almost works!” claims by iPad users with calm responses that “works” and “works securely” are not the same thing, nor is “almost works” the same as “ready for prime time”. Ask them if their phone “almost worked” if they would use it, then explain to them what the plan created above is, and when you’ll be ready to roll out access.

Cloud follows a similar vein. Ask the business to clearly state their goals in using Cloud Computing. If the goal is to be more adaptable or agile, there are a lot of routes to that destination and they don’t all fly through the clouds. Plenty of organizations are achieving a greater agility with virtualization today, without moving into the cloud and increasing complexity in an already complex world. If the answer is to meet a specific need with a  specific “SaaS sold as cloud” solution, then get the vendor name and check them out the way you would check out your own apps – do they conform to your security policies, can they integrate with your applications, etc. And present a plan to use them, or alternative solutions that will solve the same business problem. If the stated goal is to remove the roadblock of IT, well you have your work cut out for you. You’re going to have to show them how your work integrates and secures their systems, and it’s not a roadblock but a cost of doing business. You’re also going to have to listen to demands that will sometimes be reasonable… And sometimes not.

The point is, if you’re the bouncer, you’ll spend a lot more time winning back the goodwill of the business. If you’re the usher, you are taking their arm and leading them to the seat that they believe will help them grow the business. Since you work for the same business, usher is a better answer, as long as your corporate data is protected, and when someone asks for data from that “cloud” provider to be included in the data warehouse or weekly reports you have a way to meet that need. That is to say it is integrated or at least accessible.

You won’t regret it, I promise. IT is the only place that can vouchsafe for the level of security these products support and can take steps to make them more secure. IT is the only place that can verify the ability to get data in and out of a given cloud provider in a manner the business can use, and IT is the only place where contingency planning for when/if a cloud provider doesn’t work out can take place. So usher.


Me? I’m already wondering how long it will take IT to support the Blackberry Playbook because as soon as they have wifi, I want one.

Follow me on Twitter icon_facebook

AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Related Articles and Blogs

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, addressed this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of the ...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.