Been there, done that, lost sleep over it . . . how far should corporate IT go to support user/employee devices?
Here’s a good article from TechRepublic on Gartner’s advice . . .on the latest support issue – employee owned SmartPhones.
In looking over Gartner’s suggested best practices I saw things we attempted to apply years ago when PDAs came out. We applied limited support definitions through the use of signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs). As usual, most folks did okay on their own but (remember the 80/20 rule?) we did spend lots of time on some of the employees wanting to use these devices. When new IT management came in they declared these SLAs a bad thing and they were destroyed and support as required by the employee was offered and delivered as required. Good PR move – bad resource allocation move.
In small companies the IT department (usually 1 or 2 techs) don’t have time or the skills to support non-corporate technology. On the other hand, in a small organization – say 10 to 20 employees, the IT department can be closer to the user community and may be able to offer advice on non-corporate IT issues easier and with less impact on daily workloads.
The key is for senior management to make the decision on whether IT should support non-corporate technology and (this is really important) back it up. If the answer is NO – don’t make exceptions (including the president) and if the answer is YES – cut the IT folks some slack if they are out fixing someones smartphone when the email system goes down.