Out With The Old, In With The New IT Model

Andrew PryfogleBy
 Andrew Pryfogle, Founder, President and CEO of Terrapin Solutions

Remember the last time you took a new job? That first day when you waited with bated breath to see what kind of laptop youd be issued? Would it be the shiny, brand-spankin-new laptop of your dreams? Or would it be the re-tread, re-furbished, re-issued clunker of your predecessor? Weve all been there.

Its remarkable that buying computers for employees remains the common practice of most companies. It’s remarkable because there is a much better way — a more secure, faster, efficient and cost-effective way.

Test this theory. Ask any room full of people this simple question: Outside of your work computer, how many of you own your own computer? How many own more than one? More than two?” By the time you get to more than 4,” youll likely have only the geeks in the room with their hands up. (By the way, my family of three has six computers and two iPads; I am a proud geek indeed.)

So in a world where the overwhelming majority of workers owns their own personal computers, why do companies insist on spending precious big dollars to buy employees corporate-issued machines? Companies have always done this for important reasons, including securing corporate data and intellectual property. Standardizing on a specific, corporate-approved desktop image also, in theory, cuts down on IT support costs. However, oftentimes pursuing these objectives by providing corporate-issued machines accomplishes exactly the opposite: less secure data, vulnerable intellectual property and a more expensive support model.

Suppose for a moment you could fully protect your corporate data, eliminate the risk of data loss/theft, and cut the costs and complexities of user support while never again buying another corporate-issued machine? With technology and solutions available today, this is now very achievable. In fact, in our own company, thats exactly what we do.

Let me give you a hypothetical situation: Today Im hiring Joe Green as my new CFO. Terrapins team is 100 percent virtual, so lets say Joe lives in Boston, 3,000 miles from our headquarters. Heres how my phone conversation would go with Joe:

Joe, welcome aboard! Great to have you on the Terrapin team. Lets get you set up in our systems.”  (I would then log in to our secure IT control panel to set Joe up.) OK,  Joe, heres your new email address, Here are your applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, etc. As CFO youll also need access to Quickbooks  as well as our secure finance directories. OK, thats done. Now, I want you to go to this website, download this small client, and use these credentials to log in. Let me know when youre done.” (Two minutes later.) “Excellent, youre good to go. Welcome aboard, Joe!”

This describes exactly how I onboard a new employee at Terrapin. Note what questions I DIDNT ASK.

  • What kind of computer do you have?
  • What type of machine should I send you?
  • Where should I ship your new computer?

Now lets fast-forward our story by three months. I just found out that Joe Green has been skimming the books. Time for Joe to go. I log in to my secure IT control panel and shut Joe down. I still hold all his data, all his email, all my valuable intellectual property. I wipe his remote machine clean of all my stuff in seconds.

Could this be the future of IT? It is for Terrapin and for a growing list of our customers. How about you? Will you and your customers continue to buy machines for your employees, or will you stop the madness and embrace a smarter, better, faster model?

Id love to get your feedback. Post your comments and lets start a conversation about the future of IT.

Andrew Pryfogle is the founder, president and CEO of Terrapin Solutions, a master agency headquartered in San Franciscos East Bay. Pryfogle started Terrapin to address the growing demand for cloud services such as hosted VoIP, cloud computing and cloud infrastructure. He has been in the telecommunications industry for 22 years and has held senior sales leadership positions with carriers such as AT&T, MCI and WorldCom. In 2001 Pryfogle helped start GoBeam Communications, a pioneer in hosted IP telephony that was sold in 2004 to Covad Communications where Pryfogle spent three years running the channel.  He also is a member of the 2011-12 Channel Partners Conference & Expo Advisory Board.

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