IT Hardware and Software Lifecycle

There is a lot of confusion on how vendors retire their IT solutions. I’m going to try to clear up some of that confusion. The focus here is the IT hardware lifecycle, but many times software vendors follow a similar pattern.

First, let’s use some precise terms. I hear/read “EOS” all the time. Does EOS mean End of Sale? Or does it mean End of Support? As you’re going to read here, those two terms mean very different things. I also don’t like EOL, End of Life. Does a product go EOL when it stops being sold, or when it stops being supported? Again, two very different dates. When life ends is a sensitive subject, far too deep for IT hardware and software. If it isn’t clear what is being referenced, End of Sale or End of Support, you may end up SOL. I’ll use very clear terms in this article. Let’s get started.

With almost all vendors the product lifecycle process goes like this.

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Technology Vendor Special Discounts

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Many times IT vendors will offer special discounts at the end of the month, quarter or year. They offer these discounts with a deadline. But is that deadline real? Why would they sell it for $x,xxx in December and not sell it for the same price in January? If you put enough pressure on them in January for the same year-end price, they’ll give in, right? Actually, many times that is wrong, the special discount really does expire.

There are a few reasons that vendors will not honor special discounts after the deadline has passed.

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Spear Phishers are Winning, Here is a Real Example

Please be aware, the spear phishers are getting even more crafty and almost impossible to stop. One of our clients just lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a spear phishing wire fraud attack that used this technique. Here is how they do it:

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The Three Legs of Cyber Security

For nearly 10 years I’ve been using The Great Wall of China as a way to illustrate the three legs of IT security. I explain how security is a three-legged stool and the Great Wall shows this in perfect detail. The analogy has been useful with my conversations with both technical and non-technical IT professionals and students. I hope you find it helpful with developing your own total security plan and/or explaining this complex subject to others.

Cyber/IT security is an ever evolving cat and mouse game that challenges all of us, at home and at work. However, there are some fundamentals that don’t change. Defense in depth, policy with enforcement, and the three legs of security are examples. By focusing on the fundamentals, and allowing the fundamentals to drive your decisions, you will be able to get through all the noise, buzz, hype, etc. around IT security. There are no magic bullets, focus on the fundamentals and not the next new shinny object.

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MSIS Sponsored Capstone Projects

You may know I’m now running the Sponsored Capstone Projects at the University of Utah.  What you may not know is this could be of value to your organization.

One of my responsibilities is to bring new projects to my students. This means I can help organizations get important, but unbudgeted, projects done. These are graduate IS students with an average of 5 years work experience. A project team can complete projects that require hundreds of man hours. But these are not “free” projects to the sponsoring organization. While there is no hard dollar cost today, we do require sponsors allocate staff resources to interface with our project team as well as executive sponsorship. In some cases, software or cloud services are needed and provided by the sponsor (ownership retained by sponsor after project is completed).

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Five Ways That Retail Benefits from WiFi

Author: Dave Norwood

1. Advertising

With current Wi-Fi technologies we can actually detect where someone is within a store, or mall. For example, when they’re walking by the Apple Store we can, if they’re using the mall Wi-Fi, have a pop up ad that reads, “For the next 30 minutes there’s a 20% off sale on iPads,” or “There’s no waiting at the Genius Bar.” Continue reading

Fast Five Ways That Healthcare Benefits from VDI

Author: Dave Norwood

1. Roaming Desktops

Roaming desktops are the idea of being able to connect to your desktop from any device, from anywhere. So, in a VDI (Virtual desktop Infrastructure) environment, the desktop is running as a virtual machine in the data center. When a user accesses that desktop, they’re using any mobile device with a screen and a keyboard, whether it’s a hard keyboard or virtual keyboard, to remote control that desktop in the data center. Continue reading