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How Should Your Organization Respond?

Is there an optimal solution? Sure, but the ways you could react to this issue are as varied as businesses themselves. For example, your law firm may consist of 90% knowledge workers and 10% administrative staff. Complicating that division is the fact that your knowledge workers are also revenue producers (and hence also production workers). Or maybe your people answer calls for that little green lizard on TV that promises to save money on car insurance. The profile of such a company might be 50–75% production workers in a heads-down telemarketing operation. Easy to standardize applications, relatively speaking, and the call center clearly uses production workers—except for you, in this example. Because these are your people, you would be a knowledge worker.

Some tips transcend any kind of business and address every workstation environment:

  • The value of a piece of equipment is not limited to the equipment itself, but also the application(s) residing on it.
  • Even if a piece of equipment has relatively low value (such as a laptop or other PC), it must have standards for protection that represent the value of the data, not the platform. Such protection includes passwords, restriction of access, physical security (where the possibility of theft exists), regular backup schedules, and other considerations. Imagine the information that could suddenly be made publicly available to competitors and outsiders if the wrong person acquired the laptop or PDA of your company’s CEO. What kinds of standards for protecting that data can you point to at this instant?

I hope this article in some small way has helped you put standards for the workstation and desktop environment in context. I also hope that it has given you a fresh perspective on how to protect your company as mission-critical applications move to desktops, laptops, PDAs, and beyond. Best of luck in your pursuits!

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