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Friday, September 23, 2011

The consumer as Information Technology manager

A story in today’s New York Times suggests that more companies are allowing their employees to drive the decision about the computing devices they will use.  When it comes to smartphones, tablets and laptops, decisions are increasingly being driven more by consumers and less by the I.T. department.  Click here to see the story. 

Implications:  In the company I worked for before CSS, I met resistance when bringing my personal laptop into the building hoping to connect to the company’s server and email system.  Of course, the concern was security, and that my personal machine might contaminate the network with a virus.  In reality—because I so frequently upgraded my own equipment—they created a situation where my personal technology was better than theirs… and I had to “dumb-myself-down” to work at my workplace computer.  And it made the after-hours work I often provided more difficult to deliver.

Today, consumer technology rivals that of many sophisticated companies… first because overhauling the I.T. capabilities of a business is very expensive and takes time.  But also because consumer technology is changing so fast. 

Once upon a time, companies had to wonder whether their employees had better technology than the business.  Now, businesses must figure out how to manage the needs of customers who are well equipped, too.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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