Why an Agile Team Charter is Essential to Success

agile charters for agile teams | | File Management, General Information, Industry Thoughts

80-90% of new products fail and 50-70% of IT projects flounder.

Why? A major reason is that the foundation of the agile process is cracked for many teams because they don’t use an agile team charter. Without the agile team charter, you lack that solid vision statement that keeps teams in-sync. That’s according to Alex Cowan, a fellow at the Batten Institute and Darden faculty member, who just launched an online course called Specializing in Agile Development.

So, what’s an agile charter? Here’s insight into what the charter is, and why it’s important: Continue reading

Automation – Workflows for Notifications, Files, Users and More!

automation | | Feature Focus

SmartFile is releasing an innovative feature that will allow you to use SmartFile in amazing new ways. We call this feature Automation, but you may also know this in other programs as workflows. Simply put, this gives SmartFile users the ability to put process around your SmartFile site activity through a predetermined set of steps. This post will introduce you to the basics of automation, automation rules and some awesome things you can do with them. Let’s get started.

How Automation Works

Automation is driven by rules. A rule has two parts: definition and action(s). The definition is a combination of options that SmartFile will refer to anytime something happens in your site. The action is what happens when the definition is met. Multiple actions can be attached to definitions to create more complex workflows.

Example –
Definition = A specific file is downloaded.
Action 1 = Email users that the file has been downloaded.
Action 2 = Move the file to an archived folder after 7 days.

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Deploying Rocket.Chat without Docker on CentOS 7

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.29.32 PM | | General Information, Help, Quick Tips

 

When it comes to business messaging platforms, you want to find a good balance between cost, features and security. Slack is great, but it’s a little pricey since it uses a pay-per-user model. Fortunately, there are messaging platforms that are feature-rich and won’t clean out your company piggy bank as your team grows.

Rocket.Chat is a free, self-hosted, open-source alternative to pricier messaging programs like Slack. Not only does it not impact the bottom line, it’s a secure platform that lets you control your chat history.

If you’d like to make the platform more secure, while also understanding what the application and all of its pieces are doing, you can try this method to deploy Rocket.Chat without using Docker on CentOS 7. Continue reading

Should I Document That? Effective Documentation Tips for Sysadmins

sysadmin documentation tips | | General Information, Guest Post, Industry Thoughts, Quick Tips
Guest Post: This is a guest post from Josh Reichardt, DevOps Engineer with about.me and the owner of Practical System Administration, where he writes about scripting, devops, virtualization, hardware and policies. Follow him on Twitter at: @Practical_SA.

If you have worked in IT for any period of time, you have likely heard about how important documentation is. However, if you’re just starting out in the industry, you may have no idea how to effectively “do” documentation.

Having spent the last 6 years in an administration/engineering role, I have learned a number of important lessons and developed a few techniques that have helped me write documentation in a clean, consistent and usable way.

This list is not meant to be a comprehensive solution, but more of a guide that allows you to pick and choose the pieces that are important or applicable in your environment and improve your documentation. Even if you already have a firm grasp on your documentation skills, I believe in looking for new and improved ways to do things — the more you know, the better.

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Deal With Cloud Sprawl Today Before It Becomes a Problem Tomorrow

cloud sprawl bring your own cloud | | Back Up & Storage, Online Security

Cloud sprawl, otherwise known as Shadow Cloud or Bring Your Own Cloud, is an emerging problem for IT due to the growth of easy-to-set-up cloud providers. While typically a Shadow IT concern, it can also rear its ugly head thanks to a lack of IT policy and oversight into cloud usage.

What exactly is cloud sprawl? It’s unknown, unauthorized and unregulated cloud usage by the members of an organization.

cloud sprawl is huge - bring your own cloud - shadow cloudYou might think that for every 1 authorized cloud provider, you’d have 1-2 unauthorized cloud providers, meaning roughly 50% of your cloud usage is unauthorized.

Brace yourselves, because in all actuality, more than 80% percent of your current cloud providers are probably unauthorized per Cisco. For some companies, it can be 25 times what they estimated according to recent surveys.

All this said, it’s important to tackle this problem ASAP, before it becomes an unwieldy nightmare tomorrow. Continue reading