Web 2.0 Orders Chaos For IT Pros

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People who hold positions as end users on corporate networks have been creating havoc for their IT departments, as they seek out and implement Web 2.0 sites without the expressed permission of the corporate tech bureaucracy.

Marketing VP Nick Cavalancia of ScriptLogic cited the issue of demand for personalization versus the prescribed standardization of corporate desktops as the reason why workers and IT staffers would be at odds over the use of the numerous web services that have emerged over the past couple of years.

We talked with Cavalancia about Web 2.0, and its disruptive influence in the workplace. A web application written by a couple of people in a dorm room doesn’t have the same pedigree as a major publisher’s latest box of software, and that frightens IT and their beloved status quo.

Companies need stability in their network and computing environments. No one disputes this, but that has translated in places to a blanket refusal to permit employees to pursue solutions that could make them at best more productive, at worst more positive about the workplace.

Restrictive practices “simply are not catering to the needs of users,” Cavalancia said. And when IT errs on the side of being more open, they tend to do so by leaving users over-privileged when it comes to rights on their PCs.

It comes down to a control issue, and in many companies the firm wants the control. IT serves as the clutching fist and the voice that says ‘no’. When it comes to Web 2.0 services, where people can and want to customize everything that touches where they interact, that fist may as well try grasping sand.

The problems between the two sides come down to communication, which is where most conflicts stem from anyway. The rank and file can argue about how something new and widgety does wonders for their workflow, but if upper management isn’t backing them, the IT department probably opts to come down hard on these disrupters.

That leaves the big question: how do you convince those over IT’s head that a Web 2.0 site really benefits the company? It’s a case by case question, but the answer always should show an improvement to revenue opportunities, or a quantifiable cost savings.

Executives may or may not be technology heroes when it comes to understanding how a web page can refresh content within itself without reloading, but they do comprehend money. Efforts that the enthusiastic Web 2.0 tech adopter can make to show the top decision makers this should alleviate the strife between the workers and the IT department.

Web 2.0 Orders Chaos For IT Pros
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