Mike Schaffner on Marketing IT

Mike Schaffner posted two great blog posts about Marketing IT….or rather the Un-Marketing of IT.

Mike starts the topic with this comment (which I wholeheartedly agree with):

IT seems to be the only area of an organization that I can think of that actively discourages people from using its “product” even if they use it properly. Tobacco, liquor and gambling all have warnings to discourage use, but even they don’t seem to take it as far as IT. I don’t imagine any of us ever thought of IT as a “vice.” Some examples:

  • We promote the use of e-mail but then limit the amount of inbox storage or the size of files that can be attached to e-mails.
  • We tout the Internet as a data goldmine and then we block people from visiting so-called non-business sites. Sometimes it is human resources pushing this, but sometimes it is IT.
  • We provide people with a PC as a tool to make their job easier but lock it down so they can’t add programs or even choose their own wallpaper.
  • We warn people of the dire consequences of not using the application properly, threatening them with legal action every time they use the application or start their PC.

Mike started a survey and reported on the results in his “Survey Results” post. The results overwhelmingly backup Mike’s argument that IT has done a tremendous job of Un-Marketing itself.  I’ll not share the results here but you should jump over and review them…they are enlightening.

The basic argument that Mike is making is the same one that every person who isn’t in IT makes everyday.  People wonder why the restrictions are in place and many go so far as to think they exist solely for IT to gain power.  In most cases, this is completely wrong…the restrictions exist for some reason…but they’ve never been outlined for the users.

Take a look at Mike’s articles…great stuff (as always).

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