Archive for April, 2008

Are the young more rogue?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

I just did an interview with Business Week.  The thrust of the article was around the frustration of business users and the propensity for them to find their own solutions, bypassing IT and downloading their own software and services.  Sounds a bit like rogue behaviour?

The journalist was testing the hypothesis that the young were more likely to ignore IT rules, because they were used to Googling their required phrase and then downloading some freeware to solve the problem.  Now, we Brits are renowned for our love of queues and obeying rules, and that is my actual experience of enterprise life.  The pent up frustration of the users transcends genders and generations, but here in the UK we observe the rule book.

Where rogue IT is implemented, it is just as often an old school person who authorises it.  IT departments are getting more adept at clamping down on rogue IT like SaaS, social networking and Excel (I know more than one company that bans Excel).  But the well of desire from the business users is gradually tipping the balance of power in favour of the business.  This is, of course, unfair on IT who are measured on governance, resilience, security and compliance.

When the spat reaches the board room, more often than not, the business is winning the battle based purely on ROI.  Is this good in the long term?  IT argues that chickens will come home to roost.  As to the age gap, is there more likelihood of younger people to break the rules than older?  In my experience, not in the UK.

I regularly exchange emails with retired friends and relatives.  Everyone is becoming tech savvy these days.  IT needs to provide business agility or all business people will find it for themselves.