Bring your own device (BYOD) policies encourage mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. In addition, peer-to-peer networking applications like BitTorrent, DropBox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive allow users to store copies of data across multiple devices in multiple locations. All of these technologies influence data storage mechanisms and network security in the workplace. How do today’s System Administrators implement solid data management and data security practices without adversely affecting end user productivity?
In the past this has been accomplished through isolation. Sure, an end user can bring in a laptop from home but this device is segregated and provided limited access on the office network. Only devices supplied by the employer are given access to company documents and applications–all other devices are considered “unsupported”. This paradigm is rapidly changing.
It seems that the way System Administrators address this paradigm shift is through centralizing data. Much like the old days when users were provided with a “dumb terminal” and access to a mainframe, today’s modern interface devices are becoming ubiquitous across the network as they provide end users with an interface to centrally managed web-applications and data stores.
Centralized data has the advantage that it’s easier to control, to secure, and to store. Centralized data is also “big data”, which implies larger storage devices as well as other technologies for compressing and deduplication in an effort to reduce storage space requirements. Lastly, there is an emerging need for qualifying the data as a whole–telling the story, if you will–to represent data content on a meta-level in order to allow for such executive decision-making resources as data-mining, reporting, and real-time dashboards.
All-in-all, the way we handle data is changing as mobile devices become more pervasive not only in our professional but also our personal lives. This reinforces the notion (perhaps soon to be a truism?) that “Mobility is King” and that the old ways of managing data are gone or dying. The old king is dead, long live the king!