Freedom of IT Choice


A big story in IT is the shift from inside-out to outside-in -- that is, to technology being popularized in the consumer world and then making its way into the enterprise, rather than the other way around.

This goes back at least to the days of the PC, and the pattern has repeated itself with email, IM, smart phones, and social media.

It makes sense if you step back and consider the democratization of computing power, and the freedom that gives individuals to test-drive applications and services on their own and with their peers. When they see something they like, of course they are going to want to use it at work, too.

This habit is if anything even more deeply ingrained in younger workers, who bring to the office not just their tech preferences but their tech-drenched culture of multitasking, presence awareness, planning on the fly, and such.

Now Nick Wingfield says the tide is turning and resistance from IT bosses is starting to crumble: "Some forward-thinking companies are already giving employees more freedom to pick mobile phones, computers and applications for work--in some cases, they're even giving workers allowances to spend on outfitting themselves. The result, they've found, is more-productive employees. There's a reason professional chefs bring their own knives to work, rather than using a dull set of blades lying around the kitchen."


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