How to help someone help someone publicly deploy shiny app without

Pretend you work for a big organization that is spread out all over the world. You develop a shiny app that you would like to share on the world wide web, but may not be secure enough. Your company has RStudio Connect Standard, but it is only used internally.

  1. You need to find someone to help you. What is the likely title of this person? What is their expertise? What kind of group do they work in? There are digital groups and IT groups and security teams everywhere, but not in your working group.

  2. What exactly are you asking this person to do? Assume they have never heard of RStudio or you or your group. Are you asking them to install and maintain a new server while also finding a way through the company firewall and keeping your data safe at the same time? Is there any good documentation out there to help point this person in the right direction? How can you help this person see what they need to do so they are willing to do it?

I've been in a similar situation in a global organization. I had no quick fix.

I started by screen recording myself demoing a Shiny app and some Rmarkdown reports on a trial installation of Connect on a laptop. I posted that video to our internal Workplace app as well as Confluence page, and that got a few people's attention. From there, the video demo was shared, and I expanded my network of interested people until a particular director - who had time, money, and people - was interested.

After several pitches and slide decks outlining and justifying requirements, that director assigned a software engineer and an IT person to get Connect installed and running on the correct server on the correct network. I connected the software engineer and IT person with my RStudio Customer Success rep so they could work details among themselves. The software engineer would occasionally ask me to check a URL to see if Connect was up and running yet. The IT security person had a few questions along the way, and I would direct him to the Connect Admin Guide here as well as directly to my RStudio rep or RStudio support.

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Thank you Jeremy, this is extremely helpful! I have seen the user guide and installation guide, but was not aware there is an admin guide. I also appreciate your perseverance.

I am lucky enough to work for a company where a bunch of enthusiastic R users have banded together to get us top-of-the-line RStudio resources AND the division that houses the server is willing to share with the entire company. However, none of these people need to share their work with the outside world like I do, so the external-facing application R-user crowd is just 1 for now.

There's also very good lesson in your story that maybe I am looking for the wrong person and should look for more of a director type. I have been working on this on and off for almost a year. I'm going to push this as hard as I can for the next two weeks. If I don't get anywhere the alternative is that we will send any of my shiny apps to a consultant who will recode everything to a language that is "more suitable for production".

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