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Apple IT

Consumer Tech: an IT Nightmare 533

snydeq writes "Advice Line's Bob Lewis discusses the difficulties IT faces in embracing the kinds of consumer technologies business users are demanding they support. 'Let's assume the consumerization of IT is the big trend many think it is. But using consumer tech in a business environment is a very different matter from being satisfied with consumer tech in a business environment. One of IT's legitimate gripes is that we're often asked to turn consumer-grade technology into business-grade technology with a wave of our magic wands. On top of the intrinsic technical challenges, there's this: IT doesn't have anything that even resembles a methodology for performing the business analysis we need to figure out what it means to put consumer tech to productive day-to-day use.'"
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Consumer Tech: an IT Nightmare

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  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @08:14PM (#37928092) Homepage
    for the IT department here.
    1. lock it all down:
    ive worked for companies that insist IT is the gatekeeper for everything from remote controls to pagers and cellphones. While you get great control, you also have no time or resources to dedicate to projects and ostensibly everything with a wall wart becomes "your job." Powerusers view you as some sort of hitler-incarnate so you wont get help or input from them at all.

    2. trust your users:
    im working at a company that embraces google apps, that trusts its users in the cloud, that appreciates anything that frees up resources so that projects can be accomplished and new achievements in the organization can be made. the downside to this is your IT support is often branded as a group of do-nothings as IT can really only help people with approved technologies. IT guys find themselves in elevators and hallways, cornered by desperate users who swear the problem theyre having in the cloud is something your IT department works on. If the bitching gets loud enough, you may end up supporting it anyhow, and that subset of 8 systems your team used to directly assist users begins to look like 'infinity.' you really need strong management for this type of environment to work. ready and open paths for users who bite off more than they can chew to safely make their way back to known desktop technologies is also a big plus. You can in some cases leverage power users to evangelize people in certain directions or help out where possible. Wiki's work wonders.
  • Re:Very True (Score:4, Informative)

    by sribe ( 304414 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @08:24PM (#37928224)

    Spending more for SLC vs MLC? sure. Ditto, for the network gear. But don't kid yourself... "enterprise" drives are no less failure-prone than their Best Buy Brethren. Nowadays, they're *all* crap.

    Really? With Seagate Barracuda LP drives I had a 95% failure rate within a year. (Different batches of drives in different servers in different data centers, FYI.) With Seagate Constellation ES I've seen 5%. Now granted, the "enterprise" drives shouldn't even have that high of a failure rate, but they are a LOT better.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @08:40PM (#37928420)

    Why do I have to support your purchase?

    You're asking why you have to do your job?

  • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @08:46PM (#37928492)

    iPhones fully support exchange activesync, with remote wipe and everything.

    In the mail settings, you add an account, and tap the first mail type in the list "Exchange"
    Feed it your email address, then password. Done.

    It uses the encrypted outlook web api (Same as the web app in a browser would over https) so works on the internal wifi as well as outside on 3G.

    Employees are warned about the remote wipe feature, both in the employee handbook and directly when I'm asked if they can get their mail on their phone.
    Users can even log in to web mail and perform the remote wipe and remote password reset features on their own, including from home, and most importantly whenever they need it.

    Otherwise it has been one of the more simple non-windows devices I've had to support on a windows network.
    I come from a Linux/Mac background as well, which doesn't translate the best to running a windows domain. I'm the reverse equivlant of the ditsy windows admin installing x11 and gnome on all the servers so he can remote admin them :P
    The less I have to do to dig deeper into the windows world, the better.

    Most android devices are basically as easy, but usually also ask for a username instead of extracting it from the email address for the first try.
    Only two people with android ever had mail problems, both solved by removing and re-adding the mail server entry.

    I'm just thankful the CEO is no longer using that blackberry... BES was hell!

  • by NotSanguine ( 1917456 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:02PM (#37928674) Journal

    Then your exchange servers are broken or your IT shop is clueless. iOS uses ActiveSync, which is designed to connected to Exchange servers (it's licensed from Microsoft). Of any Microsoft products, this has to be one of the easiest to configure and maintain that I've seen and that's saying a lot.

    It's also completely worthless from a security standpoint. No encryption. You have to expose parts of your Exchange infrastructure to the Internet as well (Yes, you need to do that to do OWA over the Internet also). Since good security practices teach us that if you expose a system to the Internet, *eventually* you will get hacked.

    Good For Exchange (GFE) at least provides on-board encryption for email/calendar/contacts, unlike ActiveSync. And you don't need to expose your servers to the Internet to provide services. Then again, GFE is crappy software.

    Anyway, if you think ActiveSync is a viable solution then your corporate environment is either unconcerned or unaware of the serious security issues posed by it. Hmm...does that mean your IT people are clueless?

  • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:34PM (#37928900)

    > Wow, how much do you have to pay for an Android developer licenses to do the same thing? $100. Shocking.

    Try $0. Android owners don't have to play "Mother, May I?" with Apple and jump through hoops to run our own apps on our own phones. We can install our own .apk files anytime we feel like it. If you want to publish on Android Market, it's $25.

  • Re:Very True (Score:3, Informative)

    by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @10:00PM (#37929108)

    the most common "failure" is due to how the drive firmware handles bad sectors

    - a "enterprise" drive passes the bad sector info to the controller to allow it to remap and also use it as a predictive failure indicator.

    - a "consumer" drive remaps internally and depending on the firmware it will try to recover the sector an in general hang/timeout on I/O while doing this

    When a Raid controller sees the drive hang/timeout on I/O it is considered a "failed" drive. While people will argue that all it takes is a reset and the drive is good to go - it puts the array in a degraded state which puts data at risk and also reduces the array's performance - and don't forget to count the $in someones time dealing with it.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!