Ted Schadler of Forrester says “Innovation happens at the edge of the enterprise.” So true, and so different than in the past.

Not that long ago, the really important new things were created at the center of the enterprise. Think Bell Labs, IBM, the Apollo Program and DARPA…deep in the bowels of these places was where the “magic” happened.

Now, enterprises live on the edge – literally and figuratively. Employees are geographically dispersed, and external business partners are part of almost every project. Collaboration across this extended enterprise has changed from being a differentiator to “table stakes”.

IT grew up in the old model, where centralized command and control was a recipe for success. It’s hard to turn established infrastructures inside out, but that’s exactly what is needed in order for today’s organizations to enable the edge-led innovation prevalent today.

Case in point: business content.  In the old world, keeping information tightly controlled, within the facility, only accessible on certain devices was the norm.  Now it needs to be available everywhere, inside and outside the building, on whatever devices your employees and partners are using.

Yet it’s still sensitive and valuable, maybe more so. How do you share content on the edge and still keep it safe?

The trick is to move the focus of control from the infrastructure to the data itself. Data-centric security frees content to go where it needs to go, regardless of the device on which it is viewed. Rimage’s Signal technology is one way to do this.

The biggest value IT can provide to the extended enterprise is to get out of the way – without getting out of control.