Networking

04:00 AM
Art Wittmann
Art Wittmann
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

The Art of IT: The Fall of the IT Control Freak

Face it: Your users know more than enough about their computers to be dangerous. So let them choose their own systems and offer a very broad array of software. You

Remember back in the '80s when computers sat on and under desks? Big, hulking CPU boxes with archaic monitors that weighed more than a typical house pet and took up about four square feet of real estate--these were the "workstations" of our workplaces. Back then, technology cost serious money: Each worker sat in front of a $6,000 workstation, connected to $50,000 worth of servers through $15,000 in software. For IT, those days were good, because serious money meant serious control. Workers couldn't be trusted to use all that expensive stuff without strict guidance from IT.

Flash forward to today. I type this column on a lightweight laptop that cost about one-fifth what those workstations cost. It's plugged into a 19-inch, $300 flat-screen LCD I bought myself, just because I wanted it and believed it would improve my work life. Did IT have any say about my setup? Yeah, right.

Dress for Success

The concept of improving one's work life through the purchase of work gear is nothing new. For years now, classy threads have supported upward mobility. More recently, smart technology has done the same. After all, the cool guys have BlackBerrys--or, as contributing editor Dave Molta calls them, Crackberrys--so if you want to be cool and your company doesn't support cool, your only option is to buy it yourself.

Herein lies the problem. Great technology is now priced so almost anyone can afford it. Gamers have much better technology at home than most of us have at work--mostly because work applications don't require it. It used to be that the spiffiest graphics cards were reserved for scientists doing visualization work, or your weather forecaster who wanted to show low-pressure areas moving in from the south. Now, it's the home gamer playing Grand Theft Auto.

Art Wittmann is a former editor for InformationWeek. View Full Bio
Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Hot Topics
6
Guide: The Open Compute Project and Your Data Center
James M. Connolly, Editor in Chief, The Enterprise Cloud Site,  7/21/2014
4
Network Security: An Oxymoron In The Cloud Era?
Rajat Bhargava, Co-Founder & CEO, JumpCloud,  7/22/2014
4
Understanding IPv6: Link-Local 'Magic'
Denise Fishburne, Cisco Champion,  7/24/2014
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Cartoon
Current Issue
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed