Warning: Lots of rambling, wondering, pondering and thinking follows, based on my own experiences and observations. This is by no means influenced by the keynotes address delivered or related by MMS in anyway whatsoever.
Today’s keynotes dealt with the commoditization of IT, and how to manage a wide range of devices using mostly ConfigMgr. While I know very little about ConfigMgr, this is an exciting topic and something I have been thinking about for a while. Most of our users now use multiple devices to consume both personal and work-related data – anything from ultraportable devices like netbooks and tables to smart phones right down to gaming consoles. And it is actually something I have been thinking about for a while – not necessarily managing those devices, but rather ensuring that the systems behind deliver a consistent service to users regardless of platform. It also comes back to the mind-set change I wrote about yesterday.
I seem to encounter two different people on a daily basis – those who are connected, and those who aren’t. And those who aren’t often make negative comments about those who are, and often, those who are connected are not technical staff, but rather information workers. I find this incredibly interesting, as one would expect technical staff to be more connected, or have more of a need to be connected than pure information workers – but then, potentially because information workers consume rather than manage, they are more inclined to be connected all the time.
I am not saying that there aren’t techies who are connected. Quite the contrary – many of my peers are very connected, as connected as I am or even more so. And I get the feeling that the techies who aren’t connected have disconnected themselves because they have become disillusioned with technology after years and years of fire-fighting, and working in IT has become a job rather than chasing a passion.
However, I firmly believe that, as an IT Professional, we need to consume these services to understand our users. It is also important that we, at all times, deliver the same level of service that we would ourselves expect from a service provider. To paraphrase, ask not what our users can do for us, but what we can do for our users. Because, ultimately, as much as we dislike the thought, without the users there is no need for IT.
So, if you, as a techie (or IT Pro, as some may call us) are not using social media such as Facebook or Twitter in some way or another, and you have no interest in connecting with others using technology, you may not be an IT Pro, but purely a salary worker that happens to find themselves in a technical line of work. And yes, there is a difference. And I am not sure for how much longer there will be space for technical salary workers within the IT Industry.
Resistance is futile.