Corporate IT needs to be torn apart, blown up, re-imagined and rebuilt from scratch.
Today’s information technology departments are obsessed with restricting access to technology and telling you “don’t touch that.” They won’t let you access Google Docs, even though working on a centralized, collaborative document will make your team more efficient. They won’t let you transfer a large file via SendSpace, so you’ll need to burn that to a disc and spend at least $20.00 to overnight it via FedEx. They force thousands upon thousands of employees to muddle through what is certainly one of the inner rings of Hell: Internet Explorer 7. Simply put, IT has become ineffective, burdensome and downright crippling to corporations.
It’s not their fault. They were built this way. In the 90s, employees everywhere started becoming hyper-connected to the outside world via the Internet. This was deemed a risk. Solution: Build a department devoted to keeping viruses, evil-doers and digital riff-raff out.
IT became the corporate moat.
Tomorrow’s information technology departments will have a simple charter: Get the best technology into the hands of employees so they can do their jobs better. Instead of lurking in basements with no natural light and responding to support tickets, they’ll be proactive. They’ll train senior executives on the latest technology trends. They’ll ask team members what their needs are and respond quickly. They will be obsessed with keeping the corporation digitally fit and competent.
I completely understand the need for security, risk management and business continuity. But these can no longer be the responsibility of the IT department. Firing the detonation charges will take significant culture and personnel changes, but it can be done.
The IT staff of the future will be educators, enthusiasts and helpers. Not hall monitors and security guards.