Sarah Perez has written an excellent piece on the new trend of Technology Populism – where “more and more people are functioning as their own IT department at work.”
More than anything, IT Managers need to realize that the power of individuals to provision their own applications, information, and social networks is a trend that’s unlikely to stop. They can block sites on their firewall, but as users venture out on laptop computers beyond the company’s walls, those sites become accessible again.
It’s like a hydra – cut off one head, proverbially speaking, and three more will grow it its place. People will use what they want to use.
For an IT manager to successfully balance the risks and rewards of technology populism, they must first embrace the trend to move forward, then they must address their particular company’s exposure levels.
Some IT managers dig their heels in and refuse to embrace the new trend.
But I think that group is smaller than one would think. Many more IT managers try to address and manage exposure levels – but the problem is they jump right to that step without first putting out the message that they embrace the new trend, and I think that leads people to think they don’t.
Read the whole article. There is a nice graphic dealing with the percentage of companies planning on using social media. It appears that many companies will be using these technologies without even knowing it. They are just too easy for any employee to implement. The take home message – a company may feel that it knows what is happening but often it employees are using the new tools whether the company plans to or not. Better to grab the tiger’s tail and hope to keep up than to just close your eyes. Because, very often, that tiger takes you on a trip that adds real value to the organization.
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