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Is It Time For A Browser Free-For-All?

In brainstorming about a browser article this week, I threw out to my colleague that nearly all businesses will just go with Internet Explorer 7 for simplicity and lock out other options such as the new Firefox browser, also due this month. But will they? Or better question, can they, even if they wanted to?
In brainstorming about a browser article this week, I threw out to my colleague that nearly all businesses will just go with Internet Explorer 7 for simplicity and lock out other options such as the new Firefox browser, also due this month. But will they? Or better question, can they, even if they wanted to?We wrote in May about how central IT departments need to loosen their grip when it comes to consumer-driven technology, from IM to Google Desktop to wikis. As one IT exec put it, if people are bringing in consumer tech, "It's obviously filling some kind of need that IT isn't meeting. They're all red flags, but they're also opportunities for doing something better."

But Gartner analyst Tom Austin suggests central IT simply can't put a cap on consumer tech, a fact it finds "embarrassing." In the blog entry "Admit It, IT Is Out of Control," he suggests IT pros are failing in their effort to control consumer and Internet-based technologies. And they're as frustrated as end users about the pace of change, he says. "Most IT organizations that are doing outstanding work implementing and evolving critical enterprise-class systems know full well that the ability of users to be creative, to innovate, to team and to lead suffers under the slow rate of progress that can generally be driven from central IT citadels."

So what's it going to be with browsers as the new options expand this month? Is your company going to try to control what employees use? Or let the free-for-all rage?