In the words of the 'one-hit wonders'* the Stereo MC's in their 90's classic: "If you make sure you're connected, the writing's on the wall".  The written consequences of being connected were recently brought to the fore when an IoT fridge allowed a digitally-grounded teen to continue to tweet without a confiscated phone.  It's a helpful reminder to all businesses when buying any new tech - configuration and connectivity contained in an 'out the box' device might:

  • unintentionally have you connected or communicating in ways or via people who should not be; and
  • come loaded with options and tools which are not needed and distracting or, more importantly, cause you to operate in a way which breaches other agreements, policies, licence terms or rules/regulations.

Whilst the traditional customer worry might be that you are not being provided with what you were sold in the brochure - unwanted over-delivery can also have a consequence. So what can you do about that? As with the mitigation of risk in most IT projects, the best way to de-risk is a blended approach of contractual terms, money and project management - by:

  1. ensuring your agreement contains appropriate terms which limit the provision of additional functions, beta phase tools or connectivity - without you being aware and consenting - with appropriate contractual repercussions for that failing to happen; and
  2. having a review and implementation process (that is contractually enshrined) which means that such unintended inclusions are picked up prior to release/deployment; and
  3. by making sure that there is a charging regime that makes sure that a supplier is motivated to comply with its commitments not to bundle in unwanted scope.  

I know, it sounds a little strange to think I'm cautioning customers against the perils of getting extra for free - but having seen the perils of an additional service bundled into a CRM system inadvertently mean a legacy ERP licence was breached, and an unknown in-service messenger service meaning a security policy was compromised - its not just a theoretical risk. 

Andrew Joint

Sent via A Dishwasher

*I appreciate 'Step It Up' charted higher than 'Connected' and the album charted at #2 - but you get what I mean, no?