Monday, April 9, 2012

Technology > IT - Sum greater than the parts ?

An old (Jan 2012) blog entry by Mark McDonald from Gartner Technology > IT got me thinking more about the democratization of IT and what it means to IT and the business.

Technology is a funny thing. There is a completely different view of the same landscape from the organizations. Many people not in IT, see technology as a set of tools they use for doing all the tasks they need to accomplish to meet their goals and objectives against the business strategy. Like a carpenter or other craftsperson, it doesn't really matter what brand of tool I use or even what tool I use. If it is appropriately being used to do my work, then get the heck out of my way and let me get my work done.

If I am a sales person or finance person or other non-technology personnel, IT has a tendency of telling me what I CANNOT do or what I MUST use. They keep me from installing software on my "personal" computer that I want to use, they block YouTube or other sites that I use regularly for seeing what the competition or industry is doing, they vehemently let me know that I cannot be using any cloud resources due to security concerns.

At the same time they give me a set of tools that I don't like, find painful to use, and requires me to go through all kind of gyrations to use when I am out of the office.

Sure, I understand there are risks and requirements to mitigate those risks from using the internet. I don't know any difference from internet and the cloud. Seems to be the same thing to me. The corporate data that I use needs to be protected. Help me determine the best way to use these internet apps without putting the company in serious jeapordy. I regularly use Evernote as my brain away from home. I keep a ton of stuff in there and am constantly going there to find information I have saved on my customer and competitors. I also save a lot of personal things in there. Why is that bad? Recently I learned I could share one of my Evernote notebooks with someone else. This is great and made it easy for me to work with another company in building the best product mix to meet their needs. Same thing goes for Dropbox. I have a bunch of files that I sync from my pc, which by the way, I use infrequently any longer. I have an Galaxy SII and an Transformer Prime for accomplishing everything I need to do. Had an iPad but my kids took it over.

IT needs to embrace these ideas and help me use the tools I want to use. I'm willing to make some changes in order to meet the biggest risks but you also need to work with me. I don't ask for support except in a rare instance. These devices just work and don't fail the way my pc did on a regular basis.

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