David Moschella of ComputerWorld has some timely points to make about IT and their interactions with the rest of the company - and it's going to require a lot of adaptation on the part of IT:
Do the employees in your organization ever complain that they have better technology at home than in the office? Do you require them to access corporate systems via a dedicated PC as opposed to any Internet-connected browser? Do they ever use their personal Internet e-mail accounts for business and laugh at the limitations of Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes? Do they sometimes shake their heads wondering why, if they can set up a wireless LAN at home in a few hours, corporate IT says wireless systems in the office are too complex and risky?
That's one issue for IT shops - the glass walls are gone, and the end users are getting to be experienced enough to know when they hear BS back from IT. Just about everyone I know has a story that fits into that paragraph. The problem is that the end user community is setting up their own (wired and wireless lans), dealing with things like GMail, and working with video and audio applications. Formerly patient users are now able to ask "why not?" far more convincingly than before:
The ramifications of this are now becoming clear. IT departments have become accustomed to treating employees like children who must be told what they can and cannot do. But many employees want to be treated like consumers, given choice and flexibility in their use of IT. If they are going to work at home and lug around dual-use work/personal devices, these devices will have to meet their personal standards, not just for functionality but increasingly for style and fashion as well. Requiring every employee to accept the same generic IT capabilities will become almost as absurd as requiring that every employee drive the same car.
That's what IT departments are facing - and the ones that want to succeed are going to become more flexible towards the user community. The ones that don't are going to cost their companies money.