IT Manager to prevent the iPhone’s greatest risk.

There’s an interesting piece on eWeek regarding the clash of cultures between iPhone supporters and more traditional IT departments. Some of it is FUD, some of it valid, and most of it we’ve heard before.

Still, occasionally some IT guy will spout something so inane that it almost makes you wonder how they got their job in the first place.

In the eWeek article we have Robert Mesler, a Columbus, Ohio-based IT manager. According to the article:

“[Robert] sent in a 1,200-word screed on Apple in the enterprise and beyond.”

The “and beyond” seems to indicate that Robert does not like Apple on any level, not just in his professional capacity. The article does not publish the entire “screed,” but it provides a couple of quotes, and that’s enough.

Robert makes it plane he’s no fan of Apple, and apparently can also speak for all his peers:

“He said when an “Apple person” gloats about this or that feature or capability or superiority over Windows, “it makes any IT admin’s blood curdle.””

An ‘Apple person?’ Robert, didn’t you get the anti-Apple memo? Currently accepted derogatory names are ‘Apple fanboi’ (traditional spelling ‘fanboy’ is allowed, but discouraged), ‘Apple sycophant’, ‘Apple worshiper’, ‘Apple zealot’, or making any reference to kissing a certain part of Steve Jobs’ anatomy.

Now for the money quote. The iPhone’s greatest risk. A risk from which Robert will boldly save his corporation:

“When all is said and done, the iPhone’s greatest risk is that it provides the people who can afford it (generally the higher-paid, more influential and important people) a great way to waste time. The highest risk to any corporate environment is loss of productivity as your bosses run from office to office, sharing pictures and watching a video of little Bobby’s turn at bat at last night’s Little League game”

(*crickets*)

Yeah, I was a little underwhelmed, too.

First, it’s not their fault little Bobby hit a triple while your kid struck out and committed an error in the ninth.

Second, the complaint of watching videos and photos is just ludicrous. They can already “run from office to office” doing this with any 5G iPod. Has productivity been plummeting since that device was introduced nearly two years ago? I blasted this ridiculous argument in another article of mine: “Meanwhile, cell phone makers (including smartphones) have fallen all over themselves to get music and videos on their devices. If businesses don’t want employees playing music and watching videos, then they won’t have any devices to choose from!”

Finally, Robert, we’ve never met, and yet I know you. I’ve known you for many, many years:

  • You were the one ensconced in a DOS fortress railing against a GUI you didn’t care to understand, didn’t want to learn and didn’t want to implement.
  • You were the one who saw lost productivity in the Solitaire, Mine Sweeper, etc. games on Windows 3.1 and uninstalled them.
  • You were the one who saw lost productivity if people had sound cards in their PCs. No one needs sound, they’ll just play with the alert sounds anyway. (And let’s not even discuss color screens, ‘K?)
  • You were the one who saw no need for workgroup file sharing you didn’t care to understand, didn’t want to learn and didn’t want to implement.
  • You were the one who never cared that the ‘P’ in PC stood for personal, so we were locked out of our desktop settings, timeout values, screensavers, wallpaper, etc.
  • You were the one who saw lost productivity with Instant Messaging, people would just spend all day chatting among themselves. IM clients were not allowed. (On a side note, you weren’t that crazy about email at first either.)
  • You nearly had a stroke at the lost productivity you saw with the Internet. People will just read sites all day long, or stream radio, sporting events or maybe even videos to their desktops. Horrors!
  • And now, with the iPhone, of course you see… lost productivity. And rail against a device you don’t care to understand, don’t want to learn and don’t want to implement.

Why is it those entrusted with technology are sometimes the least likely to warm up to it? Maybe you hate learning something new. Fair enough. Lots of us do. But in your case isn’t it part of your job to keep abreast of these things? Not just Microsoft-published bulletins, but the industry in general. The iPhone, and other unnamed technologies and devices in the future, will move forward despite the “risks” you see.

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2 thoughts on “IT Manager to prevent the iPhone’s greatest risk.

  1. There are two types of people in IT… Americans and American’ts. This guy is clearly the latter.

  2. Brilliant article. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    As an IT Manager for a company that uses Macs exclusively, based in Columbus, OH, I am truly embarrassed for this guy. He is exactly why I hated working in a Windows environment previously: no manner of demonstration could convince any other IT person that Macs were more secure and more productive. They just don’t get it. What’s worse, these IT folk have the opinion that what they say goes. Wrong! They will bite their tongues when the CEO buys an iPhone and they have to support it. Good for them. They need a wake up call. The MSFT-only mentality is slowly eroding. They just haven’t figured that out yet.

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