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
    FHuminski (profile), 27 Aug 2009 @ 7:17am

    I work as an IT contractor to the US Gov't.

    Not 5 minutes ago, I was getting a cup of coffee and overheard two people complaining because they had to remember a 12 character password.

    These are the sort of people who you want to give unrestricted access to. The same people who, in their own words, *don't care*.

    Someone has to care about security. Someone has to care that crapware, viruses, and similar crap doesn't get put on the network.

    Oh, and let's not forget licensing! Regardless of how anyone feels about it, the way things are, if we're not controlling what gets put on the computers, I guaran-damn-tee we'll get hit with software licensing violations.

    No. Sorry. As long as the user base remains WILLFULLY ignorant and self-interested, the controls and lockdowns need to stay in place. They prove the need for this on a DAILY basis.

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