Time For IT Guys To Unshackle Corporate Computers

from the can't-do-that dept

This one ought to infuriate some of the IT folks, but Farhad Manjoo, over at Slate, is making the case for why corporate IT folks should give up trying to control everyone's computers. He says it's silly for them to dictate which apps you can and cannot use, what websites you can and cannot visit and what mobile devices you can and cannot use. He argues that doing so only restricts employees from actually doing useful and innovative stuff and also can make employees significantly less productive.

The response from IT folks will always be about the cost of maintaining all of this -- noting (perhaps correctly) that any time there are any problems, people will call up IT folks who will have to try to service all sorts of things, rather than having a standard list. And, of course, they'll say that users are often dumb, and prone to doing things that put computers and networks at risk. Thus, locking stuff down isn't only cost effective, but it's prudent to protect the company.

In the end, though, if that prevents important work from getting done (or done quickly), that seems like a problem. In the past, we've pointed out study after study after study suggesting that those who are actually allowed to do personal surfing at work are happier and more productive. Manjoo makes that point as well, mentioning recent studies that have shown the same thing and suggesting that companies that trust their workers on these sorts of things tend to get much more out of those employees.

Filed Under: it, limitations, personal surfing, security

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  1. icon
    romeosidvicious (profile), 27 Aug 2009 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey dummy! Clonezilla is free (http://clonezilla.org/) and even has a server edition. On top of that there are plenty of free deployment tools that are not image based and will work for Microsoft products such as: Unattended (http://unattended.sourceforge.net/)

    And a Checkpoint firewall? You have to be kidding right? Checkpoint is arse in a handbasket. If you can't afford a real firewall then your best bet is a *nix box of some sort running the firewall with a nice web interface for changing/adding rules.

    I think my solutions are more cost effective than yours. And don't bother telling me they won't work in corporate America I have installed them in small to mid size shops for years. The large shops use real firewalls and can afford Ghost. Strangely enough where I work now is a very large shop and Ghost used to be standard for images until someone pointed out clonezilla. We don't do many images and use OSS tools for our OS installs worldwide. And while I can't tell you who I work for I can safely say it's one of the largest shops around.

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