Ooh I’d sell my soul for total control over you
~Motels, Total Control
I’m betting a lot of IT pros feel like that old Motels’ song these days. There was a time not that long ago when you had total control, but today if you want your users to succeed, you have to give up at least some of that control.
At a Fierce webinar yesterday called “Going Mobile: Your content on any device, Dan Keldsen, an analyst with Human 1.0, who has a fair amount of security experience, talked about security as it related to mobile content. He said if you looked at security on scale of 0-100 with zero being no security and 100 being total security, you couldn’t ever achieve 100, and if you did, you would render your content virtually unusable.
Of course, you can’t leave your content with zero security either, but you have to rethink your old notions to balance security and ease of use. The beauty of the cloud-mobile connection is that you can get your content wherever you are, regardless of your device or platform (presuming you support it).
My favorite example of this connection is Evernote, which has mobile, web and desktop versions of the program. As you update one, the others sync automatically, so if you need to grab your content on the phone you can, and if you need to grab it on a web site you can and if you’re home on your PC, you can use the dekstop app. They all work together.
A balanced approach should enable you to track your content and your users, while letting content travel outside the firewall, and your security tools should give you the flexibility to do that. In yesterday’s post we talked about how one cloud company was providing that kind of back-end security support to enable you to give your users the freedom to share and access content from any device with confidence because you know you have logs of the activity should something go wrong.
Total control is probably overrated and there are tools to help you monitor the network without a lot of heavy lifting to be certain key information isn’t getting out. Just today, HiSoftware announced a new product to monitor social activity on NewsGator Social Sites 2010. The way it works is if any words, content such as social security numbers or violations of HIPPA or other regulations (as defined by the administrator) goes out onto the network via NewsGator’s social tool, it’s flagged for the administrator to take action. (There are more general use products, too).
These types of tools can give you the peace of mind you need, while giving your users the freedom and flexibility they need to do their jobs in an increasingly mobile world. And that could give your company a competitive advantage where your flexibility literally pays off in spades.