Bring Your Own PC

And by PC, I’m talking generically (possibly even including smartphones), not specifially Wintel devices.

But there’s something I’m missing. I’m just reading a Gartner paper (aimed at one relatively new, well known device in particular) that basically says “just go with the flow, allow people to use whatever, you’ll have to at some point” (I’ve read similar material from Citrix and so on).

The thing is; I’m employed to manage intrastructure, not to set up arbitrary multiple systems so there can be a technological free for all. I might be seeming a bit luddite here, but the more knee-jerk we are to as regards new devices (and it is new devices, not new technology; the new raft of touch-screen tablets appearing aren’t new, they’re just refinements of relatively old technology- touch screens have been around a long time) the more likelihood there is of: theft, loss, data synchronicity problems, inability to back up key documents… and so on and so on.

If I think back to my final year (my dissertation was on the use of ICT in distance learning) it always boiled down to why use technology? What does technology x bring over paper? Or the classroom? All of a sudden this justification has gone. We are now simply consuming technology for the sake of it- it is now the end, not the means to an end. We have to use this thing because…well… er… it’s important. Does it really bring any benefits? (Or worse- is it actually a step backwards, as has happened recently; some devices either connect badly or not at all to our email system?).

As an early edition of the “Illustrated Computer Dictionary For Dummies” explained, this is all just smoke and mirrors (and possibly bells and whistles). Having always-on email delivered constantly, 24*7 to device x hasn’t made the majority of people more efficient, just more always-at-work (but of course this is the clever bit- people don’t feel like they’re working so while it’s actually degrading their life, they’re happy with it and the employer gets more time for free).


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