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Technology and the 21st Century Squad Car

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Public safety services have changed dramatically over the years as technology has disrupted our industry. We now operate under a “mobile first” paradigm, where tools and information are extended from the enterprise to the field as their primary function instead of as an add-on feature set. Security – in the past considered a solution unto itself – is now pervasive at every level of system design.


Application Optimization Can Make Efficient Use of Bandwidth and Boost Performance, but Implementation Can Be Tricky

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I recently took part in a small executive dinner panel to provide an integrator’s perspective on the topic of application optimization. This event was produced by IDG/CIO magazine and moderated by one of its editors.

CDW hosted the event in partnership with F5 Networks, who also had a subject matter expert on the panel along with a local customer. It was a great evening with about 35 people from the Seattle area attending. I like attending these events, as you get to hear the real-life stories – straight from the trenches – of how IT professionals are dealing with various issues.


What You Need for an Effective HIPAA Security Risk Assessment

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Good risk assessments tend to include at least three distinct assessment components of varying complexity, followed by a good reporting system with internal and external checks and balances.

While specifically designed for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), this general methodology could be used for any assessment project with a compliance component. For example, this could include the Payment Card Industry (PCI) credit card rules or the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) for financial institutions – with a few minor changes.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3: The “Notelet” that’s Bigger, Brighter and Bolder

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As promised in a previous blog post, I’ve done some road testing (planes, trains and automobiles) with Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3. The only way for me to do this right was to use the device as my main computing device. So I finally got my Surface on the company network, installed Symantec Endpoint Protection, Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, and I was up and running in no time.

Actually, I probably spent more time downloading software, syncing docs and installing Windows and Office updates than actually doing any setup/customization work. But that was expected since it was a brand new machine.


Getting Your Feet Wet with IT Orchestration

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In a prior post I offered the recommendation of surveying your staff before you jump into orchestration.  Did you find any nuggets?  Was your staff excited to hear about the initiatives or were they hesitant?  Were there any organizational changes you could make to better set yourself up for success?

When you got answers, you probably found the good along with the bad.  As I brought up before, this is to be expected and should be that of as your base IT footprint.  You are always better for knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are.  Not facing them for what they are means you would only be stacking the deck against yourself.

Software: Business Expense or Business Asset?

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Software is what’s required to make the train run on time and keep the lights on, or perhaps a little more tangibly stated, software is what some IT guy writes to produce those reports that management expects at the end of every month.

Software is everywhere and it’s a lot of things, but in accounting terms, it’s merely an operating expense. In other words, software is merely a cost you must control to positively affect the bottom line. 


Cloud Computing – Start Small, Win Big

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The word “cloud” is thrown around today like the word “green” was about 5 years ago. With all that background noise, it becomes a problem to discern whether or not this technology is beneficial for an organization, or just another craze. To confuse issues more, there is rampant “cloud washing,” wherein products that are not cloud native are being branded as such to garner attention.