Death of traditional enterprises – IT and users on a collision course

So, how secure is the cloud? I can only speak for Huddle. Our cloud-based application has multiple levels of security. Physical security: servers hosted in secure facilities, operated by Rackspace with restricted access and 24/7 monitoring. Network security: servers are hosted behind sophisticated firewalls with a protected perimeter. We carry out penetration testing on an ongoing basis and have had formal penetration testing commissioned on a number of occasions by third parties. Finally, application security: access to workspaces and files is restricted, with full administrative control.

Then there are certifications and accreditations e.g. SAS70, disaster recovery and encryption.

But what about all the legacy systems that IT has already got in place in traditional enterprises? These cost an arm and leg to begin with and, due to low adoption levels, usually caused by a lack of user-friendliness, have become obsolete or hated. There’s no need to rip your existing infrastructure apart. SaaS, such as Huddle, boasts open APIs and numerous extensions, which makes it a doddle to integrate into the likes of SharePoint or internal intranet systems.

And now for a few statistics. According to research by Global 360, 46 per cent of SharePoint users only use it once a week or once a month. 83 per cent of SharePoint users prefer to use email for collaboration on documents. This shows that simply buying a piece of technology is not enough.  The technology needs to be fit for purpose and user-friendly. Users of a new system need to buy into the technology. This can only achieved if they are fully trained and supported at all times. Huddle prides itself on having high, if not the highest, adoption rates in the industry: 90 per cent adoption rate across the enterprise.

Government is an unlikely place for the cloud to flourish. Yet, the most conservative of all verticals, has embraced it with open arms. Huddle is currently being used by more than 60 per cent of UK central government and there are plans to get everyone in the Government huddling. We’re working with the MOJ, Home Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Cabinet Office, not to mention numerous local councils and NHS organizations.

The government should be a blueprint for the direction that IT departments in more traditional enterprises need to move in. For instance, the vision for the G-cloud is to provide political, business and ICT leaders with greatly improved agility, flexibility and choice in ICT. This will enable the public sector to deliver substantial cost savings on both existing and new ICT services. To Put simply, this means: to deliver easy to use, flexible, open software and services much faster to the users.

And what about Alpahgov, launched in April? This is a fantastic initiative where all the information that a citizen needs is available on a user-friendly, highly searchable and accessible from anywhere web site.

If the government can resolve the user/IT conundrum, so can traditional enterprises. Good luck!

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