Disruptive world of IT: New technologies constantly change enterprises status quo. #tsy13

At first, Zero Distance sounds like one of these new marketing phrases, with which vendors try to tell us how to make the world a better place. Well, it is one of these marketing phrases. But one in which can be found a lot of truth. Looking at the use cases that were shown at the T-Systems Symposium 2013 and further from all over the world, it is clear what potentials modern information technologies are offering. Here cloud and cloud computing are just a means to the end and serve as an enabler for new business models and help to change our world.

Who does not change dies out!

A fact, traditional companies are doomed, if they do not try to change. To hug the old assets is not the best strategy – especially in the age of digital business. Startups seem to appear from nowhere and overrun the market leaders in its areas, which do not have any chance to react at the same pace. It is the advantage of the greenfield startups using and do not have to deal with nuisance inherited liability of IT and further areas. But there are also companies who are successful on the market for quite a long time and understand the signs of the times. New technologies and concepts always have some influence on the business. Some companies have understood to reinvent themselves and profitable use cloud computing, big data, mobile and collaboration for their own purposes to change. Others, however, cannot or will not understand it and prefer to remain faithful to their status quo.

Hey farmer, where is the bull?

It is frequently surprising in what kind of industries information technology has a massive impact and thus leading to more efficiency. Let’s take for example agriculture. More concrete, the mating behavior of cows. This is important, because a cow just can give milk when she freshened. For the farmer it is therefore very important, that everything works frictionless.

The solution: Is a cow in heat, she is doing some typical head movements. Therefore the cow wears a collar including a mobile communications chip. The farmer gets the needed information to make the bull ready. Even for the freshen the solution helps. Here the tool transmits the values of a thermometer with an integrated SIM card. About 48 hours before the birth the body temperature of the cow changes. Two hours before the birth the farmer gets a SMS to be on site in time.

IT departments need to act more proactively

IT departments are and have always been the scapegoats in the company. Justifiably? Well, some yes, others not. But, is the IT department responsible on its own for the transformation of the business? Yes and no. Primarily, the management is responsible for the alignment of the corporate strategy. They have to say which way the company should go, finally they have the vision. But, the big question is the way the IT department behaves in this context. Is it just the supportive force that responds as necessary to the needs of the management and colleagues, or rather acting proactively?

Offense is the best defense. Today, IT departments should be really close to the technical and innovative pulse and be informed about the changes in the market. Based on a permanent internal or external market and trend research they need to know what to expect for themselves and possibly for the business site and respond as quick as possible and proactively, not to lose too much time, and in the best case to create a competitive advantage. Depending on the trend, they do not need to jump on every bandwagon, but they should at least deal with it and understand the influence, and whether they or their company are affected. If they see potential for new business models, they should carry these into the management, which also needs to understand that IT today is an enabler and not just maintenance. This means that the IT department in the company today has a much larger role as it had ten years ago.

To that end, the management needs to give the IT department a hand and rid the IT department of their routine tasks. About 80 percent of IT spending’s today are invested in IT operations, only to keep things running. These are investments in the status quo and do not lead to innovation. By contrast, only 20 percent of expenditures are invested in improvements or further developments. This ratio must twist, and the management together with the CIO have the task to make this change, so that a company remains innovative and competitive in the future.

Stop hugging the status quo.


Transformation: The role of IT and the CIO is changing! #tsy13

On November 6 this year’s T-Systems Symposium is held in Dusseldorf. Last year under the slogan “Zero Distance – Working in Harmony” based on innovative business models and modern ICT, a new kind of vicinity to the customer was central. This year the consequences of Zero Distance will be discussed. I’ll be on site at the symposium and comment and analyze the topics cloud, mobile and collaboration. For this purpose, appropriate article will be published on CloudUser during this week.

It’s all about the customer

Never the relationship with the customer and end users has been as important as today. Equally, the technological access to those groups have also never been as easy as today. This also the business side has recognized and steady increases the demands on IT. High availability as well as a maximum speed under the best possible security requirements are the claims to which CIOs have to be measured today. Simultaneously current solutions must be as simple and intuitive to use, in order to be prepared against the ever-increasing competition for customers.

Disruptive IT: The role of IT will have to change

Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobility and Collaboration are currently the disruptive technologies that will trigger a massive change in many areas and to face IT departments and CIOs with great challenges. However, these can be use for the own purposes and thus create new opportunities.

I just recently spoke with an analyst colleague on the role of the CIO. His amusing but serious conclusion was CIO = Career Is Over. I am not of the opinion. Nevertheless, the role of IT and also of the CIO exposed to a change. The CIO needs to be understood as an innovation driver instead of a maintenance engineer and be much more involved in discussions with the departments (marketing, sales, production, finance, personnel) respectively search for the dialog. He needs to understand what requirements will be expected to make the necessary applications and infrastructures quickly, scalable and easy to use and to provide apps and tools as from the consumer sector. This means that the internal IT needs to be exposed to a transformation process, without compromising the safety and cost. This change will decide on the future of every CIO and if he is still regarded as Dr. No or a business enabler, which is a strategically important partner for the CEO and the departments as a business driver.


The importance of mobile and cloud-based ways of working continues to grow

The advantage of a flexible way of working because of mobile and cloud technologies to outweigh the concerns and risks of 86 percent of executives and managing director of small and medium-sized enterprises. These are the results of a global study among 1.250 enterprises in Europe, North America and Canada by YouGov on behalf of Citrix.

Better productivity and image enhancement

The increase of productivity 48 percent and thus about the half of the respondents expect from the capabilities of flexible ways of working. 32 percent hope for an enhancement of their image as an employer. Approximately a quarter (23 percent) see in mobile ways of working a better compensation of a work-life balance, especially for employed parents (29 percent). In addition 39 percent see an improved integration of external teams and 28 percent an advantage for business continuity.

Concerns with private life

However, mobile ways of working also cause concerns. The largest to refer to the separation of private and work life (41 percent) and the apprehension, employees to obliged themselves for after hours. Although half of the respondend enterprises implemented mobile was of working, however, they encounter concerns with fixed oral or written regulations, controlling the employees. Certainly these restrictions to contradict to the wish to organize the work with self-reliance. Thereto the majority of 73 percent refuse rules to organize flexible and mobile ways of working in timeframes since the basically idea of flexible and mobile ways of working are restricted. Otherwise employees are not able to choose the location and time on their own anymore to be more productive and find their work-life balance.

Mobile and cloud-based ways of working are important

For most of us the worklife not to occur in a local limited area in a long time. Instead we live in a global, connected and especially mobile world from which each of us should gain its main benefits to become more productive and thus more profitable for the company but simultaneously have a balanced private life.

Modern enterprises today need to offer their employees the capabilities/ liberties to work from wherever they want. This must not be the Starbucks at the corner. But it offers the opportunity to withdraw in more creative areas like co-working spaces and thus obtain other impressions and opinions or get feedbacks of potential customer or partner. The biggest advantage consists in the possibility to escape from the daily outine in the office and be able to develop further. Cloud and mobile technologies to enable this like not any other technologies before.

The hazard to work overtime or even to end up in a burnout plays constantly in today’s working environment. But this is not an issue of flexbile respectively mobile ways of working. To the contrary, an employee obtains the liberty to “take time out” in a personal or even currently environment in order to balance. However, employees need to assume more responsibility to reach the agreed goals and simultaneously take care and organize itself to continue to have a private life. Whereby the employer should also help to make sure to capture the attention.

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TeamDrive SecureOffice: Seamless and secure document processing for smartphones and tablets

With “TeamDrive SecureOffice” the German vendor TeamDrive, known for its secure enterprise cloud storage solutions, and Picsel, the Smart Office manufacturer, have joined forces to launch the first secure office solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. TeamDrive SecureOffice presents itself as the first Dropbox-like synchronization solution with built-in office document handling and end-to-end encryption.

End-to-end encryption for enterprises and government agencies

With the integration of TeamDrive’s – for safety tested and certified – sync & share technology, alongside Picsel’s Smart Office solution for mobile devices, the two companies strive to set a milestone for safe productivity solutions for mobile devices. According to both companies, TeamDrive SecureOffice is the first technology of its kind that covers the needs of companies and government agencies with complete end-to-end encryption while allowing the sharing of data by different users on mobile devices.

A sandbox provides seamless security on the device

Based on sandbox technology, shared documents never leave the secure environment provided by the application. Complete end-to-end encryption is initiated when employees send and receive files via mobile devices. Data stored in the application remains within the secure environment of the application even when, for example, a Word document is opened. The document is forwarded directly to the internally implemented Smart Office application and opened without ever leaving TeamDrive SecureOffice’s secure environment. With the integration of Smart Office in TeamDrive, an encrypted synchronization solution for iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones will be realized.

Please note: On Android the encryption for the device itself and the SD card needs to be specifically activated in order ensure the highest level of security. On the iPhone and iPad, this is automatically active.

Features of TeamDrive SecureOffice

TeamDrive SecureOffice offers numerous functions. These functions include:

  • Support for multiple operating systems.
  • Powerful viewing and editing functions.
  • Comprehensive support for file formats such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe PDF.
  • Automatic document adjustment by zooming and panning.

Furthermore, the user expects a reliable printing solution for mobile devices and the ability to export files from an office application to Adobe PDF and provide PDF documents with comments.

Secure mobile collaboration becomes more and more vital

The safe use of corporate data is top priority. As we continue with the ongoing transition to a mobile society, the way we work and collaborate in the future is bound to progress and change. The introduction and toleration of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in enterprises has led to a new era of protection needs, needs which present a particular challenge for any organization wanting to protect critical data and intellectual property to the fullest. Therefore, new technological advances are more than necessary to help protect against the loss of sensitive data during the use of mobile devices and to not lose sight of simplicity and ease of use.

TeamDrive has proven itself to be the safest German vendor of sync, share and cloud storage solutions. The company leverages its expertise and proven security technology combined with Picsel’s Smart Office to increase the productivity of employees through the use of mobile devices. At the same time, both companies break fresh ground with their sandbox technology and give the critical issues of data security and data loss special attention and value.

For large companies, government agencies and any other organization working with particularly sensitive data, it is crucial to adapt to the mobile habits of employees and to respond to these habits with appropriate solutions. A first look at the Android version of the app displays how the seamless workflow of Picsel’s Smart Office for mobile devices in conjunction with TeamDrive’s cloud-based sync and encryption technology for business can help to achieve this goal.