In the enterprise, asset management is one of the key lifecycle business practices. Achieving high practice levels clearly impacts cost, risk, service level and overall optimization. With the consumerization of IT, has the importance of asset management been diminished?
As we all hear every day, IT is being consumerized. BYOC continues to be driven, mobility is taking center stage, user segmentation is main stream, management tools are more mature than ever- so why do we still see lower adoption of self service in the enterprise? The overall TCO and lifecycle costs to deploy seem to be remaining constant, so let’s explore what might be going on.
Intelligent manageability on a chip is an exciting topic that really does capture the imagination. The recent webcast just delivered dives into many of the new features for 2011. With more and more consumerization of client computing, the chip may be one of the common denominators.
Given all of the traction with social networking, it is not surprising that the question comes up continually in business conversations- should my business embrace social networking? This is not an easy question to answer and respond to. I will do my best to present both sides of this argument.
First as always, the disclaimer. The opinions and thoughts represented on this blog are mine and do not represent those of my employer.
The value of social networking cannot be understated. In this flat, globalized world today , news and social value is clearly a part of our communicating to our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and our counterparts everywhere. The fact that this blog is part of that fabric should suggest my personal feelings. On the pro side of the equation are the very valuable content that social media initiates. It is important to note that content is in the eye of the beholder. What may be relevant and important content to me, may be of considerably less importance to you. If my blog, for instance, included my personal interests of baseball and diet (for example) the value may decline in terms of why the blog has a value to you as a reader and participant. However, for many, there obviously is an interest in day to day observations and activities. Social networking is now a substantial part of the relationship that people retain, it has value.
The news media represents one of the segments where the value proposition is well defined. Securing news and opinion from all points of view are now challenging mainstream media outlets. The mainstream media has also embraced social networking, so the playing field becomes much narrower. In my opinion, this trend will continue with minimal abatement.
With all of the ubiquitous networking and available content, should your business embrace social media?
Like all positions in lifecycle management, there is no clear right or wrong answers, only conscious and unconscious decisions. Social media falls in this category. The hypothetical approach may be the most useful. If you are a business, and considering social networks, the first quesiton is - what is the purpose? Is it to link manager to manager, manager to employee, employee to employee, customer to employee... the point is that the string may be endless. The social network discussion is much like the BYOC discussion- is this a business or personal application?
If the business owns the PC (as an example) and embraces social networking, who owns the content? What happens if an employee states an opinion (without a disclaimer), someone relies on it, and it proves to be an issue. Who is legally responsible?
What happens if Employee A states something unfavorable about Employee B, and Employee B sues. I am not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination, but I can certainly see issues in this space.
If a business embraces social networking, are we enabling the technology and the related dialog that will naturally accompany it, and therefore are we somehow responsible? Clearly with social networking in a business environment, there needs to be training and criteria to be certain. Even with such rigorous training, is liability mitigated? I don't know.
For me, it always goes back to the basic dialog that we have in business- what is the benefit to the business itself. To count, the benefits need to be measureable and quantifiable, otherwise it will remain subjective. Depending upon your business and the industry that you are in, the risk for intellectual property, consumer information, and other liability needs to be a consideration in adopting social networking in your business. Once this line of communication is opened, it will prove to be a challenge to revert back if there are issues.
Interestingly, the core issue is one that we in IT have been challenged for years- are these business PC's or personal PC's. Social networking is a cross over issue, everyone is using it and directly or indirectly your business will be impacted. Whether someone enters a posting during business hours, reading or creating content, texting, or multi-tasking we need a governance model and guidelines to deal with this. Ignoring social networking is not a plan. As I have stated before, not fully in jest, is that if we in IT do not provide a plan , the end users will provide one for us that we will have to support.
I would be as always interested in your perspectives.
By the way, I am glad baseball season has started (go Red Sox) and I just ate a sausage pizza for dinner.