3 steps to secure your network for the Internet of Things

Posted by at 8:38 AM

everything connectedThe number of devices that rely on network connectivity to do their jobs is skyrocketing — mobile-connected devices will outnumber people in the world by the end of the year, according to Cisco. All those smartphones and tablets are improving productivity and access to data, but they can also become security risks that open your network to attacks. The vulnerability of network connections has always been a problem, but the more devices are linked, the more risks you’ll have to manage, and the more stringent your security will have to be.

No potential threat is greater than the Internet of Things (IoT). As the IoT takes hold in organizations, it will exponentially multiply the number of devices on your network, connecting everything from thermostats and HVAC systems to vehicles and manufacturing equipment. Experts expect 26 billion connected units by 2020.

Every organization is facing the inevitability of the IoT and must take a stand against future security risks now. Here are three things you should do to take control of your connectivity and head off any risks as we brace for an explosion of devices as part of the IoT. Continue Reading…

Tablets in education: Why one Texas school district turned to the Surface RT

Posted by at 12:29 PM

Surface RTThe tablet landscape is crowded with iPads, Galaxy Notes, Kindles, and Surfaces, each including a different blend of features, that IT managers must carefully evaluate to select the tablet that best the needs of thousands of users. Unfortunately, there is no “best” tablet for any industry or organization — it all depends on what systems you’re currently using and what functions you need to achieve defined goals. That’s exactly what a Texas school district recently discovered as it navigated this exact situation, vetting the many tablet options to find the one that best fit its teachers’ needs and its existing IT infrastructure. Here’s how the school district narrowed down the tablet field and what option they ultimately settled on.

The Challenge

The district sought to equip its 2,200 district teachers with tablets to aid in classroom activities and increase mobility and productivity throughout the school year. But many tablets could achieve those objectives. The district was unsure which tablet would offer the greatest benefits, and needed to narrow down the choices. It turned to longtime partner SHI to dig into its true needs and match the district with the right device.

SHI defined the district’s six key device needs as follows: Continue Reading…

5 consequences of poor BYOD management

Posted by at 9:31 AM

Tablet-Eating-100-Dollar-BillBring your own device (BYOD) has slashed hardware and maintenance costs and fueled mobile productivity at companies large and small, and adoption is accelerating. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 45 percent of organizations will be all BYOD, while 40 percent will offer a mixed program, and only 15 percent won’t have any BYOD program in place.

But while BYOD can be a positive policy for numerous industries, it’s not going well for all organizations, especially those that have ignored the potential hazards associated with the policy.

Last year I discussed two unexpected consequences of BYOD, but since then the risks have expanded as available technology diversifies and new mobility demands arise. Here are five additional pitfalls of BYOD environments, and how organizations can avoid them: Continue Reading…

Apple tips its hat to the enterprise with new VPP Credit

Posted by at 10:30 AM

Shopping-Cart-With-Apps-InsideApple recently introduced mobile device management (MDM) for iOS as part of a new focus on enterprise markets. This is great news for both the companies that steered clear of iPhones and iPads until now and those that dove into iOS despite the enterprise limitations. One aspect of the move is especially welcome: Apple expanded its Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to create VPP Credit. Under the program, businesses can now purchase large volumes of apps in bulk through purchase orders (POs).

While iPads have been a mainstay of the workplace for years, companies struggled to manage work-related applications housed on each individual device. Initially, app purchases were conducted per user and individually charged back to the enterprise. Not only was this tedious, but the moment employees left an organization, they took all of the pre-installed, company-purchased apps with them. Organizations could lose out on hundreds of dollars per device. Continue Reading…

Why enterprise iOS adoption surged before Apple’s mobile device management tools

Posted by at 3:34 PM

iPad at workApple recently introduced a mobile device management enrollment solution for iOS that would make it easier for enterprise and education customers to roll out mass numbers of fully configured iPads or iPhones to employees without ever touching the device. For many in enterprise IT, this makes iOS a lot more appealing.

But that’s not to say the enterprise has ignored iPads and iPhones until now. In fact, Apple has made significant headway into the enterprise market over the last five years, with sales surging more than 1,000 percent at SHI. Not to mention that iOS activations made up 73 percent of total device activations in the fourth quarter of 2013 among enterprises.

Even before a solution existed for a smooth enterprise deployment, many pioneering organizations sought out iOS anyway, a testament to the strengths of Apple’s products. But still, having every user install the necessary apps and configure settings would have been a major drain on time and resources. Continue Reading…

4 questions employees should ask before buying a Windows tablet for work

Posted by at 8:33 AM

More and more, enterprises are trusting employees to choose their own mobile devices and operate them in the workplace, and tablets are at the forefront of this movement. Yet with that choice comes certain variables for the enterprise, namely security, compatibility, licensing, and support.

Existing and upcoming Windows tablets offer much of the performance of traditional desktops and laptops, and their security seamlessly integrates with many existing enterprise systems. The myriad options allow users to adopt a tablet that best fits their work, right out of the box.

Here are four questions that a workforce should ask to help focus its search for a tablet best suited to a particular job and that will fit existing enterprise systems. Continue Reading…

Amazon Kindle now available through SHI

Posted by at 9:43 AM

SHI continues to expand our mobility services, last month adding Microsoft Surface to our repertoire, and today revealing the immediate availability of the Kindle family to U.S. business, public sector, and academic customers. Specifically, SHI customers can now purchase the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire HD 8.9,” gaining access to many advanced features, including the ability to securely access corporate networks and join meetings using Skype or WebEx. Customers will also gain access to Whispercast, Amazon’s mobile device management (MDM) solution, for simplified mobile rollouts and management.

The addition of the Kindle family to our portfolio of mobile devices demonstrates SHI’s commitment to equipping customers with the mobile solutions they want and need to be competitive. Call your SHI account rep to discover the mobile devices that will best meet your organization’s requirements.

For the full details of this announcement, please review the press release we issued today.