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Dale Vile

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Dale Vile is CEO and research director at Freeform Dynamics, a business he founded in 2005 to help guide IT pros on which technology to buy. During his time in IT, he has worked for large end user organisations and vendors, and has run both channel programmes and a reseller business.
Various devices including phone, laptop and tablet

Is your IT department too tough on users?

"It's too old, crippled by overbearing control, and generally not nice to use." In today's world of highly capable and highly desirable consumer tech, these are complaints we are hearing more and more from end users about company-issued kit. So should IT lighten up and allow users more freedom when it comes to the technology …
Dale Vile, 10 Jan 2014

Who should be responsible for devices, apps and services?

Are you a user or business manager fed up with IT constantly telling you "No" when it comes to the devices and apps you need to get your job done? Are you an IT pro tired of having to deal with users wanting their latest bling connected to the network? If you fall into either of these categories, or are just trying work through …
Dale Vile, 20 Dec 2013
Playmobil's Security Check Point

Sysadmins: How do YOU protect your networks against 'friendly fire'?

It will come as no surprise that preliminary analysis of results so far in our latest reader survey (still open here) suggests that corporate networks are going to come under increasing pressure as traffic volumes and patterns evolve. As part of this, it’s clear that most people are anticipating a world in which not just …
Dale Vile, 06 Nov 2013
cable

The unsung heroes of the networking team: Who appreciates you?

With so much focus on virtual servers, next generation storage and even new-fangled private clouds, it's amazing how little attention is normally paid to the comms implications of all this stuff. Too often, the network infrastructure is relegated to the bottom of the pile when it comes to grabbing modernisation budget. But when …
Dale Vile, 02 Nov 2013

OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

One of the pains of running a business is billing and cash collection, especially if your customers are big. It really doesn’t matter what you put on the quote or the invoice, they pretty much pay you when they feel like it, and 60 days is usually the quickest if you’re lucky. In effect, SMBs act in aggregate as an unwilling …
Dale Vile, 16 Sep 2013

So: Just how do you stop mobile users becoming leaky lusers?

A note from The Register management: This is a survey, and yes, you're right, that's you giving us valuable time and information for nothing. But we have to pay the bills somehow, so if you like the Reg being here you might consider helping Mr Vile out. And who knows, maybe your views will reach the right ear somewhere and help …
Dale Vile, 20 Jun 2013

Office Software Checkpoint

The desktop productivity space has been dominated for many years by Microsoft Office. Open source alternatives and cloud services like Google Apps have made some inroads, but most mainstream businesses are still hooked on Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel to one degree or another, with Exchange acting as a back end hub for …
Dale Vile, 09 May 2013
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

SaaS: Plugging the communications gap for small businesses

Yahoo!’s decision last month to axe home working prompted much debate. Common reactions ranged from outrage through incredulity to the sad shaking of heads over the fact that CEO Marissa Mayer is clearly out of touch with the modern world. Some of the reasons cited for this controversial move, however, are worth noting. The …
Dale Vile, 19 Apr 2013
management cloud3

There's more to cloud computing than just hosting

There’s a trick we use at Freeform Dynamics when trying to figure out the true significance, if any, of the latest Big Thing being promoted by IT vendors and pundits. We ask ourselves what will be left when the marketers get bored with the current buzz words and move on to the next Big Thing, as they inevitably will. As an …
Dale Vile, 11 Apr 2013
management big_data4

How to decide when to pass on PaaS

Most forms of cloud computing are starting to find a place in mainstream IT delivery. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), for example, is providing greater flexibility and better economy for those wanting to grab server or storage capacity from the cloud. It might not be totally replacing other forms of infrastructure hosting …
Dale Vile, 10 Apr 2013
Call of Duty: Black Ops II

The gaming habits of Reg readers revealed

A recent research study carried out by Freeform Dynamics we looked at the activities of Register readers with respect to smartphones, tablets, gaming and TV viewing. In this article we willf ocus on what you told us about your gaming habits (that’s gaming in the sense of playing electronic games rather than gambling). In total …
Journey

Prepare to greet the data centre of 2023

To some, the idea of enterprise data centres still being around in ten years’ time is anathema. By then, they assert, all enterprise IT will be running in public clouds. The only people who can’t see this are insecure box-huggers frightened for their jobs and IT dinosaurs with no imagination. We, however, are going to assume …
Dale Vile, 19 Dec 2012
Apple iPhone 5

Mobile devices bring back that old client-server feeling

If you see the phrase “any time, any place, anywhere” in relation to mobile access, and are tempted to point out the language redundancy (any place, anywhere), then you are probably not old enough to remember the birth of client-server in the late '80s and early '90s. If, however, cheesy music from a Martini ad is now running …
Dale Vile, 17 Dec 2012
WinPho 7.5 email

It pays to study the habits of your email users

How many email messages do you receive in the average working day: 20? 30? 50? More? And what volume of email have you accumulated over the past year: half a gig, a gig, two gigs? Whatever the exact amount, it is safe to say that most of us have to deal with a lot of email traffic and that an increasing proportion of it comes …
Dale Vile, 13 Dec 2012
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

Good news for Relational DBAs

Those advocating emerging technologies and ideas often talk as if IT is a zero sum game. When something new comes along, the assumption is that something old needs to move aside to make way. We have seen this happen on a number of occasions in the data management space, with frequent claims relational databases becoming less and …
Dale Vile, 18 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

Windows 8 and the ‘Dad test’ stunts

Out and about shopping yesterday, I spotted a PC magazine in the newsagent advertising the ‘ultimate guide’ to Windows 8 in the form of a ’33 page special’. As well as reminding me of reports that Microsoft is planning to spend over $1.5bn on Windows 8 marketing, it made me think of those horribly contrived YouTube videos in …
Dale Vile, 16 Oct 2012
cloud_accounting

Reg readers love Private Cloud (true)

When IT is your day job it is easy to lose sight of why you are doing it. Alright, it’s to pay the bills, fund your next holiday, buy nice stuff and so on. But from the point of view of whoever is paying your salary, the point is to enable and add value to the business. You and your colleagues in the IT department are there to …
Dale Vile, 24 May 2012
cloud computing Fight

The Great El Reg Private Cloud survey: Results are in!

We were surprised at the strength of positive feedback from the 570 readers who participated in our recent Reg reader survey on private cloud. It was quite a contrast to surveys on hosted cloud services, or even cloud computing in general. Whenever we run these, readers tend not to be shy about telling us how much they think all …
Dale Vile, 18 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Relationship between private and public cloud

We were really surprised by the positive sentiment that surfaced in relation to private cloud during our recent survey on the topic. The stark contrast between this and the mixed reaction we usually get when asking readers about public cloud was very noticeable, and the differences too great to be accounted for by the bias we …
Dale Vile, 30 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Six of the best ways to mess up IT change management

We at Freeform Dynamics have been running surveys and interactive workshops with The Register’s readership since 2006 on a wide variety of topics. Looking back, we see the same themes coming up time and time again. One of these is the perpetual problem of IT staff feeling they are not able to respond quickly enough to change …
Dale Vile, 24 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Has virtualization really ended all your worries?

OK, so you’ve virtualised a bunch of servers and saved yourself a bit of money on hardware. Life is a little easier because you no longer have to go through the server procurement and provisioning cycle quite so often to meet new requirements. But has anything fundamentally changed in the way you manage systems and deliver IT …
Dale Vile, 23 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Roll up to the great Register Private Cloud survey

The Register has constructed a lovely survey about Private Cloud, which will form the basis of a number of research-based articles to be published in coming weeks. The survey is a one-pager and will take a few minutes of your time. Please take part! Here's some background to our thinking. Without getting bogged down in …
Dale Vile, 15 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Public sector imperatives

We’ve just had a little look at the results so far from our currently running public sector poll. As a reminder, the aim of the exercise is to flush out insights, tips and tricks that can be of use to those involved in reporting and performance management in a public sector environment. The poll so far is confirming the need to …
Dale Vile, 23 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Keeping score in the public sector

Hardly a day goes by without news coverage around whether some public sector organisation or other is delivering against expectations, making the best use of funding, or otherwise performing adequately. This is something we are exploring in our latest reader survey. Apart from enlightening the rest of us as taxpayers, there is a …
Dale Vile, 16 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Beyond the relational database

As many marketeers switch their attention from the word 'cloud' to the term 'big data', you can almost hear the groans as another bandwagon starts to roll. It's now getting to the point where, yet again, we are being bombarded with terms and messages that are ambiguous at best, meaningless at worst. So in true Freeform Dynamics …
Dale Vile, 14 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

It's the BIG email and office study

There's been a lot of talk recently about the imminent death of traditional email and office applications to be replaced by shiny new web apps all served from the Cloud. Now, we know the world changes slowly and this won't happen overnight, or be suitable for all. But there are a lot of old Exchange or Notes installations out …
Dale Vile, 12 Oct 2011

The effects of Consumerisation results

The results of our mega-survey on consumerisation are in. It was a big sucker, and all those who completed it should be congratulated for their stamina and commitment. And your efforts really are appreciated, because we learned a lot. In the first part of the survey, we asked readers to tell us about their own use of personal …
Dale Vile, 10 Oct 2011
The Register breaking news

Are you slaving away on the wrong projects?

One of the hardest decisions that the IT department faces was highlighted in a very lively Regcast a few months ago. Terry Dewhurst, the streetwise director of transformation at Lastminute.com, talked about how hard it can be to call time on a project that is on track to deliver something that nobody wants any more. This can …
Dale Vile, 01 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

Complexity killed the IT quality of service ...

“Ring, ring...” “IT support. How can I help you?” “The system’s really slow. It’s taking about a minute to save stuff. Normally it’s only a few seconds.” “How long has this been going on?” “About 20 minutes, and the backlog is building up. It slowed down yesterday too, but then seemed to right itself after about 10 minutes so …
Dale Vile, 19 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

The Network is the Problem: Barriers to cloud adoption

How can cloud computing be a sensible option when it makes you so dependent on the network, and often even the public internet? If the comms slow down, the user experience takes a dive. Lose the link completely, and you’re stuffed. We have been hearing such questions and objections from nay-sayers ever since commercial hosted …
Dale Vile, 28 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

The Impact of Cloud on IT

if you've got a few minutes to spare, take a crack at our Cloud impact survey. "Cloud" has been the marketing buzz word of much of the last two years. Many IT vendors now fear to talk about any product or solution without squeezing the term into usage at least three times a minute, even if they have nothing to do with any type …
Dale Vile, 07 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

End user productivity revisited

Productivity is a concept that sometimes appears to have been hijacked by IT vendor marketing people. We hear everything from smartphones and slates, through unified comms, to full blown cloud-based collaboration offerings positioned as the key to getting more from the workforce. But which technologies and services have the …
Dale Vile, 18 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Cloud connectivity: Five minutes of your time, please

As business has become more mobile, the ability to connect to business applications and communications has become more critical and is turning applications into services. Meanwhile, as cloud services provided by third parties become a bigger part of the IT service delivery, connectivity becomes one of the cornerstones of the …
Dale Vile, 11 May 2011
The Register breaking news

The Great Reg Cloud Survey

With all of the noise generated around Cloud, we thought it was time for a reality check with one of the world's largest communities of IT professionals - that's you, by the way. We're trying to understand if Cloud is really the future of computing and if it is, how much? Do you think you'd trust them to host any of your apps, …
Dale Vile, 08 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Optimising IT isn’t all about the cloud

Are you sick of cloud computing being shoved down your throat as the answer to all IT delivery problems? Or perhaps you are a convert and can't get enough of the 'C' word. Well we at Freeform Dynamics are pretty fed up with having the same sorts of discussions over and over again. It's getting a bit wearing having to keep on …
Dale Vile, 15 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

When information sharing goes wrong

One of the most troubling phone calls I have ever received was from the irate managing director of an IT reseller. I was working as a channel manager for a major software company at the time and the complaint was that we had a leak. Extreme carelessness After a bit of investigation, we figured out what had happened. A few days …
Dale Vile, 14 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Help! I'm in an abusive relationship with my supplier

In a previous article we highlighted the various ways in which sales and service functions can be broken. If you are on the receiving end, then you have a legitimate right to protest and demand that things be made better. But some customers are troublesome for no good reason. They have been supplied with a good product or …
Dale Vile, 13 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Timeless principles of sales

When I first moved into software sales about 20 years ago, my then boss gave me a book to read called How I raised myself from failure to success in selling. It was written by Frank Bettger, a former baseball player who had quit the sport due to injury and found a new career as an insurance salesman. It could have been really …
Dale Vile, 24 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

The changing nature of end user computing

Life used to be pretty straightforward. An employee joined the organisation, and they were allocated a desk with a PC on it. The IT department controlled what was on that PC, always knew where it was, and generally had pretty easy access to it. Today it's different; at least for most organisations. The PC is now likely to be a …
Dale Vile, 16 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Mind mapping for IT pros

Let’s clear up a couple of things to start with. The term mind mapping doesn’t come from a Spooks plot line. It isn’t about poking around in people’s noggins to extract secrets or reconfigure their brain. Nor is it some esoteric practice used solely by intellectuals enjoying the luxury of sitting around and thinking a lot. Mind …
Dale Vile, 11 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Better trading practices

It’s 2011, the age of high-speed electronic communications, and we still see companies faxing orders to suppliers and insisting on paper invoices. Banks are still struggling to recognise the real person among the tangle of account records they maintain, and calling a telco customer services line with even the simplest of …
Dale Vile, 21 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

The good, the bad and the ugly

Interested in software as a service (SaaS) but worried about the risks to your information? That’s understandable, given the chatter and FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) that surrounds this area. What are the risks you really need to consider in making an objective assessment? The answer will depend on your own situation and …
Dale Vile, 08 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

The weakest link in Software as a Service

The delivery of cloud based application functionality via the Software as a Service (SaaS) model frequently sparks security-related concerns. In our latest workshop on hosted apps, Reg readers have been very forthcoming about their nervousness in this area. In parallel with the workshop, however, we have been gathering data …
Dale Vile, 26 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Whose data is it anyway?

Losing control of one’s data is among the first concerns that arise when software as a service (SaaS) is mentioned. Fans may point out the merits of applications running in the cloud, but it’s not the software we worry about, it’s what happens, or might happen, to our data. As one Reg reader put it in a recent survey: “I'm sure …
Dale Vile, 07 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

SaaS and Security

The security discussion around Software as a Service (SaaS) is pretty lively. It is common to hear IT professionals question whether service providers can be trusted to look after business data. We are trying to determine how real the risk actually is, and how it compares to risks currently associated with data storage in house …
Dale Vile, 06 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Is cloud data secure?

Would your data be more secure in the hands of Google or left where it is? Your answer to that depends on where you store business information at the moment and, of course, whether you feel Google can be trusted. We’re picking on Google here because it is the “cloud” player that, rightly or wrongly, receives the most criticism …
Dale Vile, 17 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

A question of performance

Software as a service (SaaS) promises a lot but many are still nervous about relying on it for business use. The concerns we hear most centre on security, privacy and operational risk. The first two are the most important and we will be covering these later in our workshop. In the meantime, we will start by considering …
Dale Vile, 16 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Trust and risk in the cloud

Stick enough kit and multi-tenant software in one huge data centre and there is no arguing with the economies of scale that can be achieved. Megahosters like Google and Microsoft playing this game can deliver web search capability and online consumer services such as email, office and social networking tools at minimal cost per …
Dale Vile, 15 Dec 2010
graph up

Will the cloud mean joblessness for you?

You’ve heard the rhetoric: Cloud computing changes everything. The days of the enterprise data centre and the small business computer room are numbered. At some point in the not too distant future, you’ll be switching off the last server, turning out the lights, and looking for a career change. The sad thing is that some people …
Dale Vile, 29 Oct 2010

Desktop pleasure, desktop pain

Let's face it, the desktop and laptop environment is one of the major points at which the rubber meets the road when it comes to business computing. From a user perspective, the machine they use is the gateway to IT, and its performance and reliability plays a big part in determining levels of satisfaction. But if you’re …
Dale Vile, 03 Sep 2010