IT Department says: Choose your own laptop and phone

I worked for years in corporate IT departments. In my last job in this role, I was consulted on mobile carriers/phones because of my work on this site and others and my experience with a variety of different platforms. Corporate IT departments desire consistency because these hard working departments don’t have bandwidth to support dozens of machine types and all the problems that arise from differing platforms.

This is why IT departments typically demand that you use X laptop and Y mobile phone (typically a BlackBerry) and nothing else. However, there is a shift occurring.

Many IT departments are loosening requirements and allowing for more flexibility in machine choices. Especially now that iPads and iPhones are being used by many professionals, which can easily be configured to utilize Microsoft Exchange email accounts.

According to NY Times, 48% of information workers buy smartphones for work without considering what IT actually supports.

Why?  Because Microsoft Exchange is so ubiquitous now that just about any phone platform supports it, so consumers who happen to be professionals who want to connect to corporate email don’t have to care any more.

Going beyond mobile phones, more IT departments are succumbing in other ways too. Consumer friendly apps such as Skype, which were once forbidden on corporate machines, are finding a way onto desktops.

Also, Bring Your Own Device policies are in becoming more commonplace, where office workers are given stipends to buy whatever laptop they want. This is a delight to companies such as Apple that are seeing increased sales, especially with laptops, which were rarely seen in corporate America a few years ago.

[Photo credit: tartanpodcast]