Friday, 02 March 2012 22:15

NASA could benefit from Workshifting

Written by  Preston Rose

 

 

Well, here we go again.  This time it was NASA, the one agency in the US Government that we like to root for, really dropped the ball.  Today it was disclosed that NASA reported a "loss or theft" of 48 devices within a 2 year span, and included a laptop containing algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station.

Now, the sad part is once again there will be the standard reaction (and being the US government our tax dollars will be at work).  We’ll most likely watch more money being thrown at the problem, more restrictive rules established about where a notebook can and can’t be used, and some employees will be terminated for not using common sense,  (OK, I jest, - no government employee is going to be terminated because they lost code that could bring the space station down).

Well, I don’t jest about the first two!  In fact, it’s somewhat the usual reaction I often see and most likely someone is already pitching NASA about how to encrypt data better so when they lose the next notebook the recipient of that “loss” will just get impatient and delete the data before cracking the code.  And they will most likely release a 100 page amendment about "Where you can and can't use a notebook".  But, it’s really all for naught.  And wasteful.

It’s the “If we make it more complex or throw enough money at it - that will fix the problem”.  But it never does.  It’s like trying to empty the Atlantic into the Pacific.  As long as humans are “using” devices with data on them, the next headline will be the same (just another agency or company on the next headline).

So, what could have NASA done?  Well, to use another football metaphor, they could have Shifted. Now to be “very” serious here, to save money (our money) and embarrassment (and not to mention lives in the space station) - they could have adopted something as simple as Workshifting.   Yep, Workshifting. Now true, it’s a new term in the IT world, but really one that will soon become as common as the “internet” or “cloud”.

So, what is Workshifting?  In short, Workshifting is really just a simplification of thought (and Computing) and at its essence, it’s a simplification of IT that allows people to get work done in the right place - at the right time - by the right people - safe and securely.  And one more thing, it would have nipped the problem in the bud because NASA has something in common that your company has and that is - NASA employees humans that make mistakes.

In short, if NASA had utilized Green Qube’s model of Workshifting BEFORE they let notebooks out the door the loss of 48 devices would have been as dramatic as “NASA LOSES 48 BOXES OF PAPER CLIPS”.  Why?  Because we can afford the loss of 48 “devices” but can’t afford the loss of DATA!  In general, there are three things that can be done and the first two never work.

First, spend more money; Second, make more rules; and Third, simply the problem by utilizing a Workshifting model.  And Workshifting is a "smart" inexpensive Technology (and yes, new to the "Pay as you Go" crowd).  If NASA had used Workshifting and served up their users desktops via a Green Qube Cloud Solution, (i.e. Green Qube Workshifting model) there wouldn’t have been any data on those devices to worry about anyway.

Now, Green Qube believes computing was originally designed to make NEW things possible NOT impose constraints.  Therefore, we believe at the core - your business should have the flexibility to; 1) place personnel wherever they’re needed, 2) whenever the need arises, and 3) on any device - and NOT be bound by rigid IT rules and infrastructures.  So, a Green Qube Workshifting model is actually more secure than even what NASA had in place.

With a Green Qube Workshifting Solution, all data and applications remain centralized and accessable via the cloud, but instead of data traveling from place to place, it remains in our highly secure datacenter, NOT on the user device at all.  If a user device is lost (for example, a NASA laptop left in a cab) no corporate assets are compromised; meanwhile, you can use any available device—smartphone, borrowed laptop, rented computer, or device from home - to access your Green Qube Desktop via the Cloud.

Now, if your interested in learing more about our Workshifing Solution download the 5 Most Important Reasons to Workshift click here.