Global Information Technology

January 15, 2013

Tech Talk: Mobility Among the Cloud

Over the past several decades, IT has moved from a data-center model, where most information and data was inside the enterprise, to the Internet, where there’s more information outside the four walls of the enterprise than within it.  More recently, the pervasiveness of mobility, social media, and bring your own device (BYOD) and cloud (BYOC) are bringing about both technical and cultural changes that are profoundly changing enterprise IT and computing.

Much like the Internet in the 1990s, the greatest impact to enterprise IT is coming from the personal adoption of mobility that is assimilating into the workplace.  The onslaught of BYOD in combination with cloud services is shaping corporate change.  In its narrowest definition, BYOC is where employees save their personal and work-related data and files in the cloud.  It is said that the ancient Vikings were successful because they were the first to see water as a highway and not merely as a defensive barrier.  With a comparable mindset, IT must invert the way we view BYOD and BYOC.

At West, IT is examining the best ways to enable the use of these devices as we support and enable the goals of our global supply chain initiative: increased asset utilization;  improved customer service; reduction of risk; and a tax-efficient supply chain.  Next month, I will present some of the downstream implications that we are considering to protect information assets as we seek the best ways to enable personal mobility and cloud service while ensuring the security and privacy of data and intellectual property.