Do users have enough power?
Or are they gaining too much!
Pundits say we are entering a new era of freedom and empowerment. Users should be allowed to do whatever they want to improve productivity and make their lives easier. Whether it’s hooking up personal devices to the corporate network, storing confidential documents in DropBox, or discussing business matters over social networks, this is the way of the future and users should be allowed to get on with it.
Many IT pros question the wisdom of all this and try to lock things down on the grounds of security, compliance and cost control. They are then branded as Neanderthals who need to wake up and smell the coffee. Others are simply sitting back to wait for an altogether less pleasant scent as all sorts of stuff ultimately hits the fan as a result of the inevitable chaos.
Does it need to be all-out war between users and IT though? Maybe users feeling they need to do their own thing is a reflection of inadequacies in what the company provides. Rather than totally rejecting the cry for freedom, or going to the other extreme of giving in to it too easily, perhaps we should simply roll out more appealing and flexible corporate solutions.
Against this background, our latest Reg Reader survey looks to get under the skin of this highly controversial area. So, if you are a frustrated user, an exasperated IT professional, or someone working in an environment where a happy equilibrium has been reached, we’d love to hear from you.
It'll take you about 5mins to complete and you can start right here.
They don't need more power
Give users more power and they'll royally screw things up and then place the blame on anything but themselves and the cost to fix it, and the incumbent delays this causes to other tasks, will never be assigned to the user.
For example, sharepoint (an unmitigated POS at the best of times), has a security scheme that makes the standard Windows file and print security look sensible. Give users uncontrolled access to this and you'll be tracking access problems for weeks.
Likewise, give users full access to file security and you'll get endless problems relating to rights propagation, or rights not propagating. This is before the problem of share level rights overriding but not being overlaid in the security inspector and on some occasions propagating and others not.
These are just two examples of common technologies in place. Yes, MS could attempt to fix the abortive mess they created in the first place, but doing so would break millions of existing installations. MS may like to regularly fuck up the User Interface of systems but even they're not as stupid to make these changes.
The question is really what do users actually need? They don't need more power - it'll lead to problems. But the answer is partly in the question... "need". Needs change and a good IT department should be responsive and try to regularly re-assess users needs and promote a culture where users are able to suggest solutions and where the IT staff have the people skills to resolve what the users actually need, communicate with the user in sensible language and look for the best way forward.
Alternatively a snake-oil salesman can sell you BYOD.
You're asking for trouble if you let users have too much power.
This is my network, I use it to make money, and you are not allowed to connect to it without my permission, and then only under strict rules, set by me.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.