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What are the TECH FACTORS in IT?
We are asked our IT experts about tech factors in collaboration, security issues and their impact.
Tags: Frink  CISCO  Tech Factors  Business Factors  collaboration  cloud  webex  scalability 
As IT experts, how do define tech factors?
A tech factor is basically the way you choose to solve a client’s problem or to reach a goal with the right technology. That also includes being considerate about the client’s budget, requirements and business needs. Finally, it includes a setup that enables the client to maintain the technology in the future and therefore, the prospective costs.

Which tech factors are the most important ones in collaboration?
The most important tech factors in collaboration fall under four main categories: scalability, usability, API and security.

Could you explain the four categories in a bit more detail?
* Scalability is the idea to set or build up a system that is easy to extend and shrink. Because if your business expands, then your technical capacities should be able to follow without further large investments.

* The idea behind the tech factor usability is to make a program as user-friendly as possible. That means needing less training and on-boarding ceremonies to ensure quick user adoption.

* API means Application Programming Interface and the idea behind it is to be able to integrate other applications in collaboration technology.

* There is hardly any topic more discussed than – you guessed it - security. You don’t want to find yourself and details about the company in the news, so steps need to be taken to avoid this scenario.
In addition, there are so-called system certifications such as HIPAA, SAS70 or SOX which set a certain standard when it comes to giving away control of stored (customer) data. Obviously, it is recommended to follow those standards for higher transparency and a professional setup.

Another aspect is to protect and encrypt your data and have full control over the authorized persons that can access your data (e.g. by provisioning). link to provisioning article.

How would you describe the trend over the last five years? And what is your prediction for the future?
One of the main trends over the last five years was less telephony and more video conferencing. We have seen small clients up to 20 employees investing in telepresence systems because it gave their business a head start. We have also seen large corporations hesitating to substitute old phones despite the fact that they are not reachable anymore for emergency cases.

Then there is the cloud boom which is not to just all hype but rather a new way of accessing and consuming services. Suddenly even smaller businesses can use and access services that would have been accessible only to the largest of corporations some years ago. Besides, more flexible and faster working environments receive the ubiquitous support they need.

Another trend, which would not have been possible a few years ago is the greater degree of automatization. With the increase of technology used by one employee at the average workplace, around 10-15 different databases are filled, sometimes still manually, with user data. Provisioning allows managing data, mostly sensitive, in one place and reduces errors and waste of time.
"The most important tech factors in collaboration are scalability, usability, API and security."
Does hardware or does software have a bigger impact?
As long as you use the cloud, neither of them, because those services run independent of any hardware. And the good news is: updates come in automatically.

However, software has a bigger impact because nowadays collaboration is all about virtualisation. Software is way harder to set up if there is a hardware layer where all the information/data comes from. The virtual layer spreads the information/data to a virtual server and is more complex. The hardware is just the data provider.

And certainly there are situations when a very old device is not supported anymore by the latest software upgrade – then both need to be replaced.

Can you explain the security aspect more precisely?
First and foremost, it is important to build the collaboration system in such a way that it becomes auditable for 3rd parties.
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For questions regarding Tech Factors in IT or for examples of Frink's approach of the tech factors in collaboration services please see our case studies or contact us here.
Editorial Team: Bernhard Albler, František Maroušek, Christina Forster