Monday, December 21, 2009

The Unstoppable Force Called Users

A blog post from earlier this year, republished here for all to see:

The Unstoppable Force called Users

There is an unstoppable force at work (in enterprises) called users. Users are deciding how they want to use technology to solve problems and they are taking action. In a previous blog post, I discussed three CIOs who are beginning to adapt to this. Today, I will briefly discuss users.
Yesterday was a major day for Apple users all over the world: an updated OS Release called Snow Leopard. While there is news about this release (see Gartner First Take), what is more interesting is how users are dealing with these and other related technology issues.
In many companies around the world, bands of users are supporting each other regarding how they use their Macs at work. Besides the fact that many of these users feel so strongly that they purchased their own Mac, the real story is how they support each other through discussion forums, wikis and even short emails.
In the last 24 hours, the story that has surfaced with a few of my co-workers is how easy it was to connect their Snow Leopard enabled Macs to our Email Server (Microsoft Exchange) with no help from anyone within IT.
There are also even more examples of users who jumped the gun and migrated to Vista themselves and those users support each other. Now it is happening with Windows 7 as well. See a related blog post from Gartner Fellow David Mitchell Smith.
This is signaling a trend with users. Technology like computers, OSs and applications are becoming less complicated and users are no longer afraid (to take risks). Savvy CIOs are getting in front of this trend (the empowered user) and are adapting their workplace policies (giving up some control, but also, by being more flexible, gaining some back).
Macs may not overtake Windows in enterprises anytime soon, but the iPhone 3G and 3Gs have exploded into the enterprise, because of demand by users. As I stated to some of my former co-workers who use Macs,may the force be with you.

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