MSP Answers

MSP Answers

31.3.2012 Article 29


Technicians have a choice: Deliver what users want or be happy in the unemployment queue

Most IT technicians don’t worry too much about unemployment figures or the risk of being unemployed. There are logical reasons for that – the latest figures from the US show 4.068 million people are employed in information technology and the tech unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is significantly lower than the national average unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

Although these figures are impressive, the numbers still indicate 160,690 tech employees out of a job. That is one long queue of IT professionals.

I attended a conference last week aimed at IT professionals in the local government sector. If ever there was a reason for the 160,690 IT professionals to be out of a job, I saw first-hand evidence of it at this conference.

As with many conferences at the moment, there was a presentation on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). I have spoken in this column before about BYOD and what an MSP must do to enable an organisation to work as efficiently as possible.

When the BYOD speaker finished his session and invited questions, the room seemed to separate into two groups faster than a barbeque separates into males and females. Several people in the room asked questions related to the easiest way to allow employees to BYOD and the best ways to encourage this amongst their employees. You could almost cut the air with a knife as the tension built. Finally one of the IT techs had a chance. The first question from this group was from a gentleman who was the IT Manager for a local government organisation that had about 300 workstations. He said that they simply had a policy that banned BYOD and it made it much easier to manage their IT network. A small cheer went up across the room from the various IT professionals in the room.

He was absolutely right. No BYOD equals an easier network to manage. The IT professionals followed with some more questions and statements about the silliness of all this BYOD rubbish and the cheers grew louder each time. The IT professionals were letting their feelings be known. They had a job to do. They needed to provide a secure and safe network for their organisation and none of these silly whims from users were going to get in the way of this.

Finally the speaker had a chance to be heard again. He asked if the IT professionals in the room would be happier if they could just say no forever more to BYOD. The cheer almost lifted the roof. He then told the room that there are long lines of incredibly happy IT professionals standing in unemployment queues. If they were so determined to be happy, continue with the attitude and chanting of “We’ve all got our IT degree; we say no to BYOD” and keep chanting all the way out the door and into the unemployment queue.

The point was well made. IT professionals don’t have jobs to make their lives easier. They don’t work to just please themselves. In an ideal world, an IT professional has but one purpose – to make the organisation they serve more efficient through the use of technology. If that means providing options for users to work the way THEY want to work then so be it.

For the IT professionals who just can’t accept that BYOD is here to stay – and will continue to grow – get out of the profession. Go and work somewhere where things will stay the same forever. If you have staff complaining about the BYOD concept with some of your MSP clients, try to remind them who ultimately pays the wages.

If you take the attitude that BYOD is here and will grow, I am sure that IT professionals will find better and more efficient ways to deal with the concept.

Tell me if you are seeing a huge demand in BYOD at md@smallbusinessrules.com.