MAILBAG: Public sector, policy, privacy and PKWare

Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on Google+.  He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.

This week, our coverage seemed to revolve around topics that start with the letter P: public cloud versus private cloud, private sector jobs versus public sector jobs, and policies on bringing devices into work.

Oh, and PKWare.

Certainly the story that prompted the most discussion was the one we wrote about how IT workers facing layoffs in the federal government could conduct their job search. Readers were divided over whether public sector experience would be enough to keep IT professionals afloat in the private sector job market.
One reader, who used “Retired” as a screen name, didn’t seem to think so:
“After 25 years with the government, I was told by one agency that they are only interested in people with private sector experience.”
Another commenter, ContractIT, dismissed the remark by a human resources consultant that federal government experience was an “advantage”:
“I would disagree with this. I think it’s common knowledge that government [is] run with different objectives in mind; thus, that culture is very [different] to that of all private sector companies. Integrating an IT professional who has worked internally for the government is a lot more difficult [than] one might initially think.”
B. Davis countered with a personal example of success:
“I happen to have done just what this article states: I was originally an IT worker for DND and over the last seven years, since retirement, have had no difficulties in finding IT jobs that were of interest to me.
“It is all in being realistic about what you want to do and knowing what strengths you can bring to the table when being interviewed. The fact that federal employees are bondable and IT workers normally also hold security clearances at various levels is a huge plus over non-public service job hunters.”
There was another controversial topic we covered: public clouds in the public sector. We wrote about how the City of Edmonton had adopted cloud-based Google Apps for staff e-mail and scheduling
Reader Brente did not view this as a positive development, writing that the move was “proving how foolish the Edmonchuk gov[ernment] is”:
“The cloud goes down, and poof, or the U.S. gov[ernment] decides they don’t like Alberta’s stand on oil, and poof goes your data. The only good cloud is a private local cloud; the rest is far too open to the foibles of the government where the data is held!”
Not being familiar with some regional Canadian slang, I actually had to look up what “Edmonchuk” meant. Brente, would you happen to be a Calgary native, by any chance?
Finally, we wrote about how PKWare, the old file compression stalwart, is now aiming to give tech-savvy employees the means to secure data they sent to the cloud on their mobile devices.
Reader Lloyd Jura wasn’t so sure that the “honour” system was the right way to go about things:
“For starters the SecureZIP solution sounds like a solution. However, from experience working with several organizations, I totally agree with Tauschek. The biggest issue with consumerism or BYOD is the lack of control of the enterprise over the documents being sent to the cloud by the employee.

“PKWare is apparently proposing an honour solution or has come up with an honour solution—it doesn’t work. Enterprises are looking for something that they can easily control and not leave it to the employees to do the right thing.”

Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on Google+. He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.

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