I am purposely avoiding the Windows vs Mac discussion or the current mobile war that is brewing on multiple fronts in this post to avoid having those issues get confused with the subject matter. So the discussion that cannot be ignored is that many companies, at least what we are led to believe, are offering employees choices of their own compuuter, laptop and/or mobile device to use for work. If you had said this was possible 5 years ago, folks would have believed that you're crazy.
Today, this is happening with regular frequency. Again, I don't want to mention specific cases. These days, most posts in the media and on the blogs are about switches from Windows to Macs or Blacberries to Android devices or iPhones. Any time you have a market dominance such as the one enjoyed by Windows and Blackberry, the pendulum can only swing the other way. Perhaps one day, we'll talk about the erosion of Mac or Android in favor of something more exciting or innovative.
So, choice. This is an entirely new shift in thinking of corporate minds that are generally conservative in nature, culturally or fiscally. What is more astounding is the entrenched nature of tech departments across the world.
It is simple to believe that CEO's and CFO's have their reason to create a uniform working culture across the board to reduce cost and foster compatibility for the sake of efficiency. On the other hand, I suppose I have misread IT department.
IT departments are entities much like any other corporate or government bodies and should be treated as such. And while individual technicians might be tech enthusiasts, once they enter the Borg-like influence of these beasts, their individuality ceases to exist and their natural proclivities are overwhelmed by the hive mind.
But walled garden has started to come down. Why is that?
I can think of two reasons. First, changing of the guards in the corner offices. While Wall Street might still be high-minded in their conservative corporate views, the newer generation of executives grew up in the world of iPods and a culture that finds coolness in geekdom. Thus, they are more open-minded about worker environment, including telecommuting. Plus, what is the IT guy to say when his CEO wants him to support a system that he currently doesn't?
This willingness and pressure to adopt new technology from outside the walls of the IT department
Secondly, the line has blurred in the last couple of years between consumer and enterprise technology. And this has happened across the board including the dominate players, Windows and Blackberry. This was largely a reaction to competitive pressure from consumer electronics that added many enterprise features that started with the original iOS from Apple.
And just one more reason. Tech is moving fast. Especially mobile tech. IT has no choice to but move along with it, kicking, biting, and crying or otherwise.
Who wins? Mobile warriors like you and me.