We get it. Technology continues to evolve and your company needs to innovate. This means you, the IT manager, are stuck in the middle to connect the dots – all of them, every day, at any given time, because frankly, that’s the new nature of business you support. Sometimes this is without hassle, but let’s be honest, in today’s morphing workplace, managing technology – new or old – is often never as easy as it should be.
A busy IT manager needs some support however, now and then. Happily, there are plenty of mobile apps that can make your hectic days a little less hectic. Here are five favorites that I regularly use and recommend to any IT manager:
1. Lastpass Premium ($12/year): We all know that you have too many passwords. This can secure this potential security hole by creating complex, seemingly random passwords for you to use. Plus, there are built-in notifications that nag you periodically if you reuse the same password across your accounts. The desktop app is frictionless, and the mobile app (which comes with the premium subscription), while requiring some cut-and-paste to use, is still very useful.
While this is my current favorite password tool, if it’s not working out for you, check out a recent review I did of eight of these password tools for more options.
2. SymantecVIP Access (free): This gives you two-factor authentication when you don’t want to carry around a hardware key fob. As more accounts begin to support a second factor, it is incredibly convenient to be able to carry it around with an app on your phone. The other nice thing about this app is that it supports a wide variety of mobile phones (including BlackBerry and Windows Mobile versions) while being easy to use.
3. Box.com (free to $35/month): A secure cloud storage and collaboration service that supports iOS, Android and desktop apps, and provides at least 10 GB of free storage. You can easily share and edit documents for workers on the go, and there is wide support for additional functionality, including being able to fax from anywhere, connect with your SalesForce.com account, digitally sign documents and more.
4. 9BitLabs’ Simple Network Area Prober (SNAP) ($2): This tool lets you scan your local area network to see what hosts are active. Unfortunately, it only works over a Wi-Fi connection (which does makes sense, as you want it to enumerate all the hosts that are on your subnet). SNAP lets you drill down and see the IP and MAC addresses of each host, along with the name of the vendor of the network adapter and whether the host will accept network pings. You can also do a quick port scan and see which lower-numbered ports are open and accepting connections. While there are other more sophisticated and expensive network scanning tools, this one is easy to use.
5. TeamViewer Remote Control (free): There are lots of remote control apps on the market, but TeamViewer makes it easy to connect via an Android, iOS or Windows phone mobile client. This easy-to-use but powerful tool lets you quickly administer servers remotely and share your desktop across the Internet.
However your company is adapting to the changing nature or work, tools like these are designed to support your job as the IT manager in a way that better fits the mobile, always-on work style of today’s business model. Let us know below if there are other tools you or company uses to make the IT manager job that much easier.