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Strange bedfellows: John Chambers and Barack Obama

It’s a funny thing Cisco CEO John Chambers was such a strong John McCain supporter since it’s actually president elect Barack Obama’s administration that is likely to boost the company’s shares and stabilize business during rough times.

Tuesday Cisco was named by Bloomberg news as one of the top companies likely to benefit from Obama’s new stimulus package. General Electric and Emcor Group (maker of voice and data systems) were also mentioned in the article.

Obama’s stimulus package will create jobs by building infrastructure, but unlike Dwight Eisenhower’s plan in the 1950s, Obama’s not just talking roads and bridges — he’s talking technology. Specifically, he’d like to see hospitals and classrooms wired for efficiency and government agencies have better, more secure networks and automated business processes. The government could spend as much as $900 billion on this plan.

Cisco’s shares rose 8.2% Monday, according to Bloomberg — twice the increase of the Nasdaq 100 as a whole that day.

Chambers, who was the national co-chair of McCain’s campaign and the technology and economic advisor, hasn’t sounded off about the Obama connection, but Cisco’s public relations department said the federal government can lead the way toward an “information-based economy” in the same way that the highway program moved the U.S. into a new era in the 1950s.

Shares of construction companies and steelmakers rose by close to one quarter Monday after Obama said Dec. 6 that his package would include the “single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.”

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I've made a survey with 131 IT practitioners, and ask their point of view regarding Shadow IT in their company. have a look at the result with this infographic : http://wp.me/p2zMA9-1x
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I've read the article, twice now, and clicked a few of the links, and I'm still not sure what Shadow IT is supposed to be?  I want to care about what it is, but because of that, I'm left wondering, is this article real or just FUD?
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My understanding of shadow IT is that it refers to technology solutions that the organization’s employees have identified and started using to meet their needs without it being sanctioned and supported by IT. This could be applications, devices, whatever. For example, many employees where I work started using their personal Dropbox accounts, or creating an account for their team, to share and collaborate on documents. Later, IT comes lumbering along and announces that they’ve decided Box is the solution that the enterprise will use. So, Dropbox is considered “shadow IT.”
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Thanks for that example, Mcorum.  That's roughly what I thought, from the context, they were referring to.  A lot depends on how a given application is used, and whether its actually exposed to the real world.  There's a lot you can do with firewall rules to hide these things, but I didn't feel the linked article gave a solid definition of what Shadow IT was, which is why I asked.
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Can we really afford to move from BYOD to BYOTechnology...?

While I'm usually a major proponent of free-lancing of every stripe, I think we're looking at a vast array of dangers when we open our company to everyone's favorite bit of technology. That said, locking down or forbidding or ignoring the phenomena is a surefire recipe for disaster. Ideas and passions won't damp down that easily.

Instead of letting it in or fighting it off, why not nurture it? Whatever you do, change is coming, for sure. Hell, change is always coming. So anticipate it, prepare for it and learn from all that incoming wisdom.

Adopt it all unseen? Hell no. Incorporate the best of it, bit by bit. Absolutely. There's lots of good stuff worth learning and adding to your own corporate mix. Takes a bit of effort and investment, but the payoff can be huge.
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I can't image that companies can afford to jump from BYOD (which we've barely begun to control) to the unknown of BYOTechnology. But, that said, like most innovations, this one is probably unavoidable, too.

Those who are still trying to "block, forbid or ignore the Shadow IT phenomenon" might as well double down on their stock in buggy whips. It's only possible to stave off the inevitable for a short time. And innovation has always been a demanding master....

Instead of digging in our corporate heels, it seems a far wiser choice to slowly and cautiously incorporate this new demon. It's huge and it's complex; getting it wrong can be a real disaster. But the benefits of getting it right are equally massive.

The wiser course would be to invest in command and control. Know this new enemy and incorporate the best bits of all its myriad technologies. In the short term that's a much more complex, more expensive approach. But the long-term benefits can be huge. That's worth the investment. And, be realistic. That change is inevitable - it's best to be prepared.
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