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. identicon
    arrgster, 27 Aug 2009 @ 6:45am

    First thing they always do

    Start installing illegal software. Sometimes it's they prefer their version of office they have at home. Sometimes "a friend gave them" a copy of lets say quicken. I even had a guy change the OS on his laptop because he didn't like the work version (he installed Windows me, which shows how much of an idiot he was).

    I don't care what you people say. If the software police come knocking on your companies door and you have illegal software on a system. They are going to hold the COMPANY responsible no matter what your policy says. After your company gets fined thousands of dollars (happened to a buddy of mine) I doubt you'll still have a job.

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