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  • How can IT risk assessments best involve employees?

    In conducting an IT risk assessment, are you asking the right questions to your staff? Are you talking to the right people? These elements are important for disaster recovery. Continue Reading

  • Rethinking your place on the early adopter curve

    The best-run organizations will have a technology infrastructure in place to thoroughly support the business and all its goals. While most companies fall short of that perfection, even an operation that's close to the ideal should feel good about its technological capabilities. The trick is to not feel too good for too long.

    An IT environment won't continue to perform at a high level without some help, so it's worth thinking about where you are on the early adopter curve. IT decision-makers should be open to deploying new products and services.

    The cover story for this issue of Modern Infrastructure explores the questions around how an IT team should approach new technologies and strategies. The accepted wisdom in most organizations has traditionally been to let the risk-takers chase the latest, coolest thing hitting the market. It was wise, went this way of thinking, to let others figure out if a new product works -- or doesn't. If that tempting new thing proves its value, then the smart money would step up and give the go-ahead for implementation.

    But now, as the pace of change in both business and IT continues to accelerate, the greater risk might be to implement a technology too late rather than too early. An organization that is willing to take some risk stands to gain an advantage, possibly a significant one, if it figures out how to capitalize on a fresh technology before its competitors do. For this reason, it might be time to rethink your position on the early adopter curve.

    So even if your infrastructure is as good as it can be now, don't get too comfortable. What's true today might not be true tomorrow.

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  • The art of managing IT risk is never quite mastered

    Risks abound, and no amount of preparation or caution will eliminate them entirely from our lives. This is as true now as it was in the past, and it likely will remain true in the future.

    While technology enables us all to work more effectively and productively, the necessity of managing IT risk remains. Risk follows wherever we go -- from the data center to the cloud, from virtualized workloads to containers. Smart IT organizations are continuously assessing threats and then devising ways to minimize them. That's the goal, at least.

    This issue of Modern Infrastructure examines some of the current approaches to managing IT risk, from maintaining security to handling costs.

    In our cover story, TechTarget's Beth Pariseau writes about the particular challenges of container security. IT shops have been reluctant to put containers in production in large part because of the uncertainty about how secure they might be. Updates from Docker and more disciplined app development practices are making containers less risky, Pariseau writes. And there's reason to think that containers could be even more secure than VMs.

    Getting comfortable with containers is a process not unlike how technology professionals learned how to safely use cloud services. It takes some time and effort, but managing IT risk can bring exciting and powerful new tools safely into the fold.

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