10 Things Your IT Department Won’t Tell You- WSJ

I subscribe to TechRepublic and the following post came in today’s email:
Sanity check: Did The Wall Street Journal sabotage businesses by publishing tips on how to circumvent IT? 

Wow! Great comments – and lots of them. They ranged all the way from – “it’s about time” to “shame on them“.

Here’s the WSJ article: 10 Things Your IT Department Won’t Tell You.

On the surface it appears very irresponsible for the WSJ to publish this advice with the step by steps to work around IT. To their credit they do talk about the risks – to the user and the company. How many folks will read the risks and pay attention to them?

You know how I like to question the traditional IT department and management, but this time I’m on their side – mostly!

If you read the article and focus on ‘user needs’,  all of the needs described are in support of worker productivity (except looking at porn and IM’ing to friends) and  have technical solutions…but they cost money, require strategic business & IT vision and planning, adherence to best practices, support from executives and IT staff with the appropriate depth and breadth of skills. Oh – did I mention they cost money?

I have a whole list of anecdotes, observations and opinions on this topic. Rather than write a book – truth is stranger than fiction, and every IT professional has lived them anyway – let me say this: PC might mean ‘Personal Computer’ at home but at work it means ‘Property of the Company’. Encouraging people to abuse and violate corporate IT policies and processes, and showing them how to do it – just might get them fired. As one of the commenters to the TechRepublic post wrote, “I’d like to see WSJ’s IT policies”. How many of these 10 Tips would get WSJ’s staff terminated?

My advice to IT folks? Read the WSJ article closely and determine how it would impact your organization, and how you could meet the user needs in your company.

My advice to users? Use this article to encourage, engage and persuade upper management to support your productivity needs with more realistic services, increased accessablity to IT resources and more money in IT budgets.

If nothing else, this might sell papers for WSJ…. 


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