Magazine article Talent Development

When IT Pulls the Security Card, Pull Your Obscurity Card

Magazine article Talent Development

When IT Pulls the Security Card, Pull Your Obscurity Card

Article excerpt

Does your IT department keep iPads, Facebook, virtual worlds, mobile applications, games, YouTube, and other learning resources away from employees? Do you sometimes get the impression that you're working for the IT department, instead of IT working for you?

Do your IT leaders seem more concerned with keeping information from seeping out of the organization than with keeping useful information from coming in? If the answer is yes, then you're not alone.

Sadly, few IT leaders are willing to empower employees or give up their own control. After all, these are the same leaders who didn't want employees to be on the web or have their own email in the 1990s. They didn't want people to instant message each other a few years later. These technology tools were dismissed as mere toys.

But these "toys" have quickly become robust business applications, and more: Twitter and Facebook were forces for social change that helped to topple dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia. Yet, plenty of IT departments act like dictators themselves with their futile efforts to stop social media and mobile apps from entering the workplace, clamp down on information whenever there's unrest in the organization, and hold on to power at any price.

The next time your IT leaders try to kill access to Facebook or Twitter, halt a virtual world event or podcast program, or disrupt a learning game or iPad learning app implementation, don't let them intimidate you. If they pull the "security card," call their bluff and pull the "obscurity card. …

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