It ain’t your parents IT Department anymore…
If you manage the IT Department at your current gig, a lot has changed from 10 years ago. IT is no longer laptops, networks and firewalls. It morphed into IoT (Internet of Things) some years ago and includes all things WiFi. Even the most mundane products now connect to WiFi– appliances, coffee makers, lamps, cars – you get the picture. Almost anything that turns on has the potential of connecting to the Internet.
At the workplace, this brave new world touches your network (cloud or no cloud) in new ways and must run the IT gauntlet, whether or not the “hardware” seems like a traditional piece of computer hardware/software. Workplaces are full of printers, security systems, HVAC systems, lights, speakers, and a plethora of other “things” that connect to the internet . Companies that sell these “things” are more concerned with selling convenience, “Cumon, make your life easier”! How safely they connect to your network (cloud or not) is not their big concern. It’s yours.
Prior IT Responsibilities:
- Hardware configuration and deployment
- Network archiving and storage
- Network configuration and protection
- Helpdesk support
- Firewall updates and network protection
- Networked software updates
- Networked software compatibility issues
- User compliance issues
Current Add-On Responsibilities:
- AV devices (TV’s, Smart screens, speakers, etc.)
- Sound systems
- Security systems
- Climate control devices (cause of the Target breach in 2013)
- More, more, more…
Gartners, a data analytics firm, says there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020. What does this mean to the CFO managing IT? It means that the IT Department faces a much bigger push for access to what feels like their “baby” — their network. This is a network they’ve built and backed up and secured and archived and grown. And internal customers want to punch holes in it so they can turn on music, control the internal climate, or schedule meetings using a corporate room scheduling device. And consider companies that sell AV devices requiring a network presence for customer demos (a revenue generation issue in addition to a security issue). These are such huge pain points for the IT Department.
Here’s the deal, you can’t live like the Flintstones. You must embrace current technology, you need to sell product, but make sure corporate data is safe.
- Set up a separate circuit for less secure devises. Keep this circuit away from the corporate data partition of your network.
- Evaluate the risk/reward of having any devices on the network and make senior executives aware of, and sign off on, those risk/rewards.
- Make sure your data backups are solid and easily restored. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how little this is done in SMB’s. It’s not “if”, it’s “when” you’ll be hacked. You’ll need your data quickly.
“Experience breeds wisdom, and wisdom breeds vision – Dalai Lama XIV”