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.
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The changing nature of end user computing

Tech Panel 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
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Mind mapping for IT pros

Workshop 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. …
Dale Vile, 11 Mar 2011
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Better trading practices

Workshop 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
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The good, the bad and the ugly

Hosted apps 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
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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
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Whose data is it anyway?

Hosted apps 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
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SaaS and Security

Tech Panel 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
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Is cloud data secure?

Hosted apps 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
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A question of performance

Hosted apps 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
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Trust and risk in the cloud

Hosted apps 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
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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 …
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
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The pain and promise of x86 servers

Reader Study Advances in x86 server technology have been relentless. Year-on-year improvements in price-performance and advances in power efficiency have driven down the costs of commodity-based infrastructure. At the other end of the spectrum, you can now pretty much build your own virtual supercomputer or mainframe with modern x86 clusters …
Dale Vile, 10 Aug 2010
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Should your data centre look more like Google’s?

Reader Study With all the talk of cloud, some are predicting the death of the enterprise data centre. The argument is that renting capacity from a service provider reduces costs and therefore owning your own facility in the future will become an extravagant luxury that few will be able to justify. For those not buying this line of thinking …
Dale Vile, 09 Aug 2010
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Those demanding mobile users

Workshop For years, when we asked Reg readers what worried them about mobile, "security" was top of the list. Now business mobility has become a victim of its own success in many organisations, at least when looked at from IT's point of view. The problems of managing user expectations, integrating kit or compliance are familiar if you …
Dale Vile, 09 Jul 2010
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Policing personal calls on business mobiles

Workshop Communications technology makes it easy to mix up personal and business calls. If you want to keep track of what you pay for, and minimise your mobile bills, then you should be able to monitor personal use at some level - either independently, or with the help of your service provider. Giving employees a mobile phone or handheld …
Dale Vile, 05 Jul 2010
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Apple in the workplace

Mini Poll Apple's success as a manufacturer of consumer electronics is beyond question. The kit has become an accepted part of many people's lives, and the brand is one of the most well respected and desired on the planet. You might think this is good or bad. You might not care. This is secondary to the fact that the Apple phenomenon is …
Dale Vile, 30 Jun 2010
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Mobile: what they need - and what they want

Workshop Many years ago an IT manager, responding to one of our research studies, said one of the saddest and most pathetic sights he had ever seen was a 100Kg salesman coming into his office telling him that his 120g mobile phone was too heavy. He needed an upgrade to something smaller and lighter. That was back in the days when mobiles …
Dale Vile, 22 Jun 2010
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Resurrecting old jargon

Lab No one disputes the fact that there’s a lot of data kicking around in most businesses. Neither are there arguments about how hard it is to find relevant information when you need it. Sure, there are exceptions, and some very progressive businesses manage their so called ’information assets’ extremely well, but for most of the …
Dale Vile, 08 Jun 2010
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But is that really cloud computing?

Some have accused me of being a cloud computing sceptic, and it’s true that I have not been one for pulling punches in some of my previous articles on the topic (see here, here, here and here, for example). Let’s be absolutely clear, though - my criticisms have largely been around the language and messaging used by vendors, …
Dale Vile, 13 May 2010
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Dumb questions on server computing

Lab Poll You listen to some marketeers and it’s all so simple. Whatever form of server computing they are promoting is assumed to be the answer to everything. Back in the real world, servers are obviously used for all kinds of stuff, from running boring back office systems, through highly dynamic Web applications, to core activities …
Dale Vile, 23 Apr 2010
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But is that really cloud?

Reader Mini-Poll Cloud computing is one of the most talked about topics in the industry at the moment. One of the difficulties, however, is that it is sometimes hard to work out exactly what people mean by it. Different vendors and service providers use the term in relation to some quite different types of offering. Various well-meaning …
Dale Vile, 16 Apr 2010
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To connect or not to connect?

Workshop Following our recent discussion of the pros, cons and practicalities of hooking up your ERP system to the outside world, we thought it would be good to tap into the views of Reg readers on the topic. So we put up a poll with an open comment facility and, true to form, almost 50 readers came back with their own experiences at the …
Dale Vile, 12 Apr 2010
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Does your IT universe revolve around ERP?

Workshop There are a couple of major pivot points for activity within the IT landscape. The first is the mainframe - that beast sitting in the data centre doing all the really important grown up processing and data management - which demands respect and needs to be constantly fed with budget and attended to by the high priests of that …
Dale Vile, 09 Apr 2010
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Connecting up your ERP to the outside world

Workshop Poll In this week's ERP workshop poll, we are looking at the practicalities of integrating with or providing access to the outside world - suppliers, distributors, resellers, customers and so on. If you have experience of ERP from this perspective, get clicking below with your feedback. READER POLL: 1. Which of the following …
Dale Vile, 07 Apr 2010