Management Tools

Management Tools
What's a greater concern for returning to the office? Comment how you are prioritizing...

Top Answer : The majority of our focus is definitely on the human factors as the technical factors are mostly related to things we had to solve as we went distributed.  We will need some additional technical stuff to support the human factors (eg. scheduling software to limit the # of people in the office at the same time) but solving the human factors of helping people to feel comfortable, ensuring that safety precautions are being followed, etc... are much harder and why it will be a while before we go back.

Pulse Flash Read: Google suffocates AirTable with… Tables

Google Tables just dropped, seemingly surprising everyone, but probably none more so than AirTable. Which Tables seems pretty much the same as..? Google’s main selling point seems to be automated workflows with Tables… which AirTable already offers. AirTable must be pretty bummed after announcing a suite of updates this month.  Maybe, though, we shouldn’t be surprised any more. After all, Google made Google Meetings free once everyone started using Zoom during the lockdowns, and recently launched some hardware to augment its quest for that space. Google has even been sending free Nest devices to Spotify users after retiring Google Music. It seems to just be prodding in all directions at the moment, like a puppy at a kid’s birthday party, demanding attention back from all these new players that have emerged as part of the wave of digitalization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hey! We’re Google! Hey! Remember us! We can do all this stuff too! HEY! Really, it’s surprising in many ways that Tables hasn’t arrived sooner, given that most teams structure so many of their workflows using various Google apps anyway, sending emails to plan out meetings that are added to Google Calendar. You begin to wonder where it ends, though. If Google can just decide to create content management platforms seemingly because they’re bored, SaaS vendors everywhere will be constantly looking over their shoulder to see if the giant shadow of Google is looming.  On a final note, Tables was a product of Google’s Area 120 incubation lab. I’m not sure an incubation lab is quite as innovative as advertised if all it’s doing is basically reproducing what already exists, taking half of that rival’s name and putting the word ‘Google’ in front of it. 

What do you think of this move by Google? Will you be trying Tables or sticking with AirTable?

Top Answer : Lol. That last paragraph is hilarious.

Lifecycle ManagementLifecycle Management

What does the future of lifecycle management look like in 2020? How are IT execs benchmarking their companies against their peers'?

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Pulse Flash Read: Password(less) Passwords are rubbish, aren’t they?  We’ve all asked for someone else’s Netflix login, only to break out in a cold sweat when you see that their password is something like: basketball (yeah, they finally signed up to watch The Last Dance). And, let’s be honest, you didn’t feel great about them sending it over iMessage either. I’ve literally turned down free access to Netflix because of this. And cybersecurity experts like NordPass agree: they’re sick of telling us how rubbish passwords are.  Letting humans stay in control of those crucial windows of access that passwords reveal will always be problematic. The bad actors awaiting in that password-generated web traffic are experts at exploiting human faults. Take the recent Twitter hack: Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) seemed like a great extra layer of security until a fatal flaw in the thinking was revealed: all it took was some social engineering and the implicit trust users feel with 2FA was turned into a classic bit of phish bait. What if the answer is in the problem? Password-related attacks happen when human meets internet. Can we remove either or both of those issues? Turns out we can. Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) are secure pieces of hardware for containing digital information, lock and key in a discreet piece of machinery that fits neatly on your desk. (Actually, they’re pretty small nowadays, the main issue might be losing it, SD-card style.) They generate truly random keys, unlike computers, that exist outside of the internet’s nefarious reach, providing what’s known as Root of Trust (RoT); trusted nodes within a cryptographic system, a critically important element for any IoT network (and much more reliable than human secret-keepers). If you’d prefer not to ship out HSMs to all your remote staff, there are simpler options that, while not as cloaked as HSMs, at least bypass the password problem. Both AWS and Microsoft Azure offer OTP (One Time Password) access via SMS (yes, it might seem annoying at first but it takes less time than resetting that password we forgot 30 seconds after creating it), plus others such as Okta, OneLogin, Acceptto and Hitachi ID offer robust solutions. We produced a white paper with Microsoft you can read here about IT execs’ experiences with FirstLine Employee remote login.  Magic links are another option. San Fran-based Magic (formerly Fortmatic) promises ‘customizable, future-proof, passwordless login with a few lines of code’. All you have to do is embed Magic on your site and apps, clients receive an email link they click to sign in, and that’s that. The link, like that 5 of hearts you were watching, vanishes and the hijacking opportunity along with it. (Incidentally, Magic uses HSMs to handle your data.) Here’s a guide of how to add Magic to your apps, including a more in-depth discussion of both HSMs and Magic. The demise of the password comes with an acceptance of our own limitations. We forget. We enjoy simplicity. We share. So, accept that your team are human and find a password alternative that fits your needs. Because if you don’t, those clients, and your investors, might end up being another thing you’re scrambling to retrieve. What startups/tech are you excited about in the passwordless space?

Top Answer : This is our first editorial piece by our community editor Aaron Towlson. Would love your thoughts on it and if you'd like to see more of these to spark discussions  . Thanks!

SaaS Management ToolsSaaS Management Tools

Pulse dives deeper into what SaaS Management Platforms CIOs are using and how they are analyzing this spend.

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Email ManagementEmail Management

This survey was created to help IT Executives understand the tools and technology available to help with email management.