Where Should IT Departments Focus Their Support?

Security and productivity are big drivers for IT managers.

The team responsible for network and data security at Pennsylvania State University is hoping to thwart data theft and security breaches

Sometimes IT departments have to recognize that they can’t be all things to all people.

Larry Conrad, CIO at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says in terms of e-mail devices he will support in the future for university employees, he’s going to focus on BlackBerrys with a Microsoft Outlook client.

The team responsible for network and data security at Pennsylvania State University is hoping to thwart data theft and security breaches

Sometimes IT departments have to recognize that they can’t be all things to all people.

Larry Conrad, CIO at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says in terms of e-mail devices he will support in the future for university employees, he’s going to focus on BlackBerrys with a Microsoft Outlook client.

“If someone wants to go down to a store and buy some other device, they’ll be able to run it on campus, but if they want our support, we’ll steer them toward a BlackBerry,” he says, adding that he’s convinced the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, in conjunction with Outlook, is still the strongest e-mail/PDA software and service available.

“It’s really a productivity issue and the need to focus our limited resources,” Conrad says. “I have to look at what the chancellor, vice chancellors and deans are using and respond to their needs,” he says.

Ithaca College in New York takes a more open-ended approach. Ed Fuller, associate vice president for information technology services, says the school recently deployed 802.11x Aruba Networks wireless gear so visitors could access the web more easily and so faculty, staff and students could run wireless handsets such as iPhones and Samsung BlackJacks.

“Up until this past year, we didn’t have a good way to deliver the access to these new devices,” says Fuller. “Now the wireless infrastructure is in, and the iPhones and similar devices run fine.”

Mar 03 2009

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