"BYOD is a scenario IT departments are learning to live with, but they struggle to manage them from a security, cost, and operations perspective," he says. "It becomes very difficult to ensure compliance to corporate standards and still meet business needs. They need a management solution that ensures corporate data security and allows them to manage costs with minimal impact on IT operations and infrastructure." (InfoWorld's "Mobile Management Deep Dive" PDF report shows how to do so.)
IT concession No. 2: You've lost control over how your company uses technology
It's not just consumer devices invading the workplace. Today a business user with absolutely no tech acumen can spin up a third-party business cloud service with a phone call and a credit card or, in many cases, a Web form and a click of a button. IT has lost control over IT.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. The burgeoning universe of cloud and mobile apps can give frustrated business users access to tech resources they need without putting an additional burden on IT staff or budgets.
"For years, IT has controlled every device, application, and process around technology," says Jeff Stepp, managing director of Copperport Consulting. "But with business units getting more technically savvy and frustrated with IT, they have gained executive support to go off on their own to research, procure, and implement new apps and gadgets. These newly empowered business units are often successful in getting what they need implemented more quickly and cheaply than going through their own IT department."
Your job is no longer to provide top-down solutions; it's to enable business users to make the right decisions, says Scott Goldman, CEO of TextPower, maker of text-messaging platforms for business.
"Instead of struggling to regain control, tech departments should strive for something more valuable: influence," he says. "When IT departments treat their users as customers instead of complainers, they get more of the results they want. The days of the all-powerful IT department dictating methods and machines is gone. The sooner they realize it, the faster they'll actually regain some level of control."
In a September 2010 survey (PDF) of more than 450 data center managers, sponsored by Emerson Network Power and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 95 percent reported suffering at least one unplanned shutdown during the previous 24 months. The average length of downtime: 107 minutes.
In a perfect world, all data centers would be built around highly redundant, dual-bus architectures where maximum load on either side never exceeds 50 percent, says Peter Panfil, a vice president for Liebert AC Power, a division of Emerson Network Power. They'd be able to handle peak loads even when critical systems fail and others are down for maintenance, with a separate recovery facility ready to come online in case of a region-wide disaster.
In the real world, however, 100 percent uptime is only possible if you're willing to pay for it, and most companies aren't, says Panfil. That forces data center managers into a game of "IT chicken," hoping outages don't occur when systems are beyond 50 percent capacity.