There’s a really interesting piece in CIO Magazine at the moment about what they call the “Shadow IT Department” – users who are highly technologically literate, and who then want the same rang of services on their work PC that they have at home. Some may just be nice gizmos – like having a nice screensaver, or ITunes to listen to at work; but increasingly, people are finding tips and tricks at home that they want to use at work, as they make them much more productive. Sound familiar, anyone?? I’m not about to reveal what we do at MPOW, but if I went back to high lock-down on our PCs, I’d probably go completely mad. Our high-lockdown doesn’t even allow right mouse-clicks in the windows environment!!

I agree there’s a tension between the needs of the organisation to keep the IT under control, keep the network functioning, and the support calls manageable. But with SOEs in the past, we seem to have gone for the lowest common denominator. I really like the suggestions in this document – it places the emphasis on what users need to do their work, rather than what tools IT find it easiest to manage.  Sue Rockliff’s comment (below) on her hospital deciding not to support PDAs is a case in point.  If the Department is purchasing software for them, shouldn’t it flow that they should be supported by IT Departments throughout the system??  Mind you, I think we have the same problem here.

I thought it was just me, but I’m intruiged to see that this issue is becoming more widespread, and beyond libraries. I know that it’s one of the top comments / topics for discussion whenever L2.0 is mentioned, and that the fact that many tools are freeware and web-based has given us a lot of flexibility. But in a Web 2.0 world, what can we reasonably expect from our IT Departments?