Cedric Puddy, an IS director based in Kitchener, Ontario, said his organization supports BlackBerry Enterprise Server unconditionally. If the user device supports POP/IMAP over SSL, they can use it, Puddy said, but support will be offered on a best-effort, time-available, basis. "Ultimately its the end users problem if we choose to punt the problem," he said."But if your device cant do SSL, it cant connect to our mail serverend of discussion," he said. Still, I was surprised at the number of letters that supported this consumerization trend in enterprise technology or backed user-side implementations. Colleen Beale, a practice manager with the Baltimore-based VAR Data Networks, said technology is always changing, despite the wishes of the IT pros. "My IT department is still standing firm on keeping out anything to do with BlackBerrys because they are not PC-based (we use Windows-based Treos with ActiveSync for Exchange). But technology moves forward no matter how many well-intentioned, yet insulated IT people resist change. If you took a vote, I would imagine you would find most of them heralding the days of DOS, when things were simple and you didnt need anything flashy, like a mouse," she chided. She said that while IT shouldnt be in the "innovation game," businesses must keep up with the demands of their customers and the culture to stay competitive. She offered a list of values for future IT. "Have a group that helps bridge the gap, the ones that arent afraid of changing the status quo, but whose job it is to figure out how to make the next generation of technology stable and secure, embracing it with caution not dread," Beale said. In my column, I mentioned a report of an IT manager who was lobbying his clients against the iPhone and the Macintosh. He said he would quit before he would allow a Mac in his environment. This drew a strong response from Daniel Reiss, president and CEO of Automated Terminal Systems, of Washington. He said that IT consultant would be quickly out on the curb. "Too many [people] in IT departments do not understand their function, or who actually earns the revenue that allows [IT workers] to be paid regularly. It is not the function of the IT department to block technology or innovation. Neither is it the mission of IT workers to make their own jobs easier, rather to facilitate the work of the end users. Whatever benefits [users] will benefit the organization and ultimately IT," he said. In addition, he expressed concerns over the increasing demands of networking and security for IT, which could be leading to a lack of understanding of productivity applications used by departments in the organization. From each site I visit and each conference I attend, its evident that corporate management and departmental users seem to have a different idea of the mission and execution of the IT function than the IT department. Whether the topic under discussion is application support, storage, data retention and provision policies, client functionality, or iPhone, theres a growing culture clash over goals and values between IT workers and their clients. Perhaps thats something that needs fixing before any more innovation takes place? Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.
At the same time, Puddy said that users will be held liable if they lose the device and any harm results. He added that this wasnt such a worry since his companys core confidentiality requirements and risks were relatively low.