Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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12/11/2009
05:57 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Hey Scrooge, Let Consumer Devices On Your Network

Here's a warm holiday thought for you: dozens of your colleagues getting iPhones, netbooks, or new home PCs as gifts, then pestering you to let them use the new gadgets on the corporate network.

Here's a warm holiday thought for you: dozens of your colleagues getting iPhones, netbooks, or new home PCs as gifts, then pestering you to let them use the new gadgets on the corporate network.Maybe it's time to play Santa and give them what they really want--a big, jolly yes. As in, yes, you can use your consumer device on our company network, and do work things.

It's not make believe. This week's InformationWeek cover story (free digital issue available here) argues that IT should be championing this openness to end-user devices as a strategic goal, in the name of both productivity and cost savings. The article, and a related in-depth InformationWeek Analytics report (at informationweek.com/analytics/enduser) includes research such as how much companies spend on PC replacement. Writes the author, Jonathan Feldman,:

Consumer tech moves far faster than enterprise tech. And frankly, enterprise users want the benefits of consumer tech. So what's IT's role in this brave new world? We need to be gap closers. The consumerization of enterprise IT will either be done through you or around you, and the end-user device is a key battleground.

Companies are doing this. Sometimes it's letting people bring personal devices onto the network, sometimes it's just letting people pick their own devices. The likes of Kraft and Procter & Gamble offer stipends for employees to buy devices of their choice. General Motors is working on how to let people use their personal iPhones and home PCs to safely do their GM work.

It's too much to ask for this by Christmas, of course. Perhaps make it a New Year's Resolution?

Related links:

Google Chrome OS Coming. Got A Netbook Strategy?

Global CIO: Fear Of Facebook For The Enterprise

Time For An iPhone Strategy

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