Same Old Song and Dance
I’ve been in the IT industry for over 20 years now and I’ve noticed a few things over the years. The first is that IT has historically been at the helm for all technology decision making – you know what kind of PCs and apps people get to use – that sort of thing. In fact, if you go back far enough in time, computers were only accessible by experts who produced reports, automated repetitive tasks, and provided decision support for the business. The introduction of the PC began to change all of that, and everyday office workers were empowered with corporate issued PCs but make no mistake – IT was still in charge of everything about that experience – from the device you used, to the apps you could access and even when and where you could access those resources. For the most part, this is the world that most of us still live in today. We are granted permission to access precious IT resources only when and if our IT departments deem it appropriate. IT even has a name for the people they provide these services to – they call them “users”. I can only think of one other industry where the consumers of a product or service are referred to as “users” and it is not a very flattering comparison.
There’s a New Kid in Town
Well there is a tidal wave of change coming for IT and there is no stopping it. This change is being fueled by a perfect storm comprised of new people entering the workforce and a plethora of new devices like the iPad that people are bringing to the workplace whether IT blesses them or not. This new generation of workers, often called the “Y Generation”, were born digital. They’ve invented an entire language to describe their virtual experience. They were Googling, Tweeting and Friending before they got out of elementary school and as for the internet … it is like air to them – it is free, ubiquitous, and absolutely essential to their very existence.
Tablets, Slates and Smartphones, Oh My!!!
To compound matters, devices like the iPad that I am typing this blog on, are a perfect companion to the virtual workstyles and lifestyles these digital natives enjoy. As a result, these folks can’t imagine a world where their digital choices are limited to a select number of devices or work locations … and it’s not just the young people … just ask any IT manager at a hospital or law firm where the surgeons and lawyers have taken matters into their own hands – proudly sporting their shiny new iPads and demanding network and application access instantly.
Dr. No, meet Dilbert
So for all of the reasons cited above, this idea of bringing your own device or BYO is really gaining steam with people all over the world in every conceivable type of business. Unfortunately, it appears that many IT departments like things just the way they are. They have been saying “no” to every request for so long that many have forgotten how to say yes. At Citrix, we’ve been watching this scene play out time and time again, so we thought we could have a bit of fun and perhaps change a few minds out there in IT-land along the way. That is why we contracted with Scott Adams, the famed author of the popular Dilbert comic strip. Perhaps no character better personifies the day to day challenges of folks in IT better than Dilbert. Just take a look at our new animated strip by visiting the BYOC site or click on the thumbnail image below to see if you can relate.
For our part, we are really excited about all of these changes. Citrix has been a pioneer in the BYO phenomenon and our technologies are well suited to addressing real-world IT challenges with adapting to this brave new world. In fact, with a Citrix Receiver purpose-built for every conceivable new device and platform, the possibilities are endless and even better – IT finally gets to say yes! We really hope you enjoy our continuing series with Dilbert, but even more importantly, we hope we can help IT pros and the people they serve with products that support the freedom to choose – to choose the best device for the task at hand, the best place to get their work done, and even the best apps for collaborating and sharing their work with others. We call this idea “People-Centric computing” because it puts people at the center of their own IT decision making and frees IT to work on more strategic things like governance, compliance and decision support for the business. We believe that now is the time to hand over the reins to the people in your business – to boldly go where few IT departments have gone before, and embrace the virtual world that is surrounding us. Just say yes!