Evolve or Die: How IT Can Damage Your Company

Windows 95 computer with a CRT moniitor

Recently I had a customer come to me with an HR problem – it was a bit odd, I admit, until they explained it to me. Due to their company’s policy of not offering Mac as a choice of computing platform for their employees, they’d had prospective employees turn down job offers and go to competing companies because they could not use the platform of their choice to get their job done. They also had seen an uptick in IT training spend due to new employees who were fresh out of college having never used Windows before. Let that sink in for a minute – employees that had never used Windows before. I thought it was an interesting problem and having given it some thought, there’s a few very good reasons as to why this has happened.

Source: Evolve or Die: How IT Can Damage Your Company | Nerdily

This entire piece sums up perfectly how large IT infrastructures are being left.

The very first paragraph of the post is true and if you don’t think it is, you’re deluding yourself.

Times change, users do, users can, and if you tell them, “no,” they’re simply going to see where you erected the last fence post and do an end-run around it.

I added the emphasis because this is such an important point. If you put up arbitrary roadblocks in front of people trying to get work done, they’ll find another way. The example has been 100% true in every organization I’ve ever worked in support.

For example, does your organization attempt to block services like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud? Very likely. Do you have an internal cloud so that users get that cloud functionality? Very likely not. In that case, I can guarantee that your corporate data is on Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and other services outside of your control.

In 2015, you can’t block services that help people get their work done and not offer a solution of your own. All of this is being done while asking more and more of people.

Blackberries and smart phones tether people to their corporate responsibilities longer and later in the day. Telework, laptops and VPNs mean working from everywhere, anytime goes from a luxury to an unspoken requirement.

Before, I worked at a place where Macs, Linux, Irix, Unix and Windows all worked in harmony to support an overall mission. Now, I’m in a place that views anything outside of Blackberries and Dells as alien technologies. I’d forgotten how limiting it is to try to pretend half a world of technology doesn’t exist.

My new role is no longer straight IT Support. I describe it as part event planning, part troubleshooting and part evangelism. And everyday I have struggles with technology here. I realize I am one of the edgiest edge cases because I work directly with all parts of the agency where I am. And it’s clearly not setup for that.

It’s 2015 and I’m still fighting battles in trying to move 1GB files across our network to other agencies. I’ve done my part in working around the limitations of my job to better serve my customers. But it’s a struggle that shouldn’t exist.