When the IT boss won't invest in tools that empower workers and boost their productivity, is it time to raise your voice?
When mobile tools are treated as 'executive jewelry' available only to corner office-types, doesn't that inequality create "We are the 99%" discontent among the rest of the employees?
Politics is beyond the realm of UberMobile. This blog isn't meant to support, denigrate or trivialize the Occupy movement.
But there are some parallels between the Occupy movement and what's happening - or not happening, as the case may be - inside companies today.
As always, the future is here, but it's not evenly distributed, as cyberpunk author William Gibson wrote.
Resistance remains stiff in many quarters against new technologies despite being cheaper, more empowering, and likely to produce hard dollar benefits.
I'll bring up mobility because that's what I know. Some CIOs are charging head-first into mobility. Like Onyeka Nchege, CIO of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, who deployed hundreds of iPads to employees and encouraged them to install Angry Birds and other fun apps. His theory was that by letting them see the fun side of the iPad, they would get attached. And that it would result in lower breakage and loss rates than the ruggedized tablets Coca-Cola previously used. Nchege's theory proved correct.
Or take Oliver Bussmann, CIO of my parent company, SAP. He's deployed 11,000 iPads and 5,000 iPhones, runs an analytics data warehouse that crunches terabytes of data to return answers to iPad-using executives in a matter of seconds, and is building his own enterprise-compliant alternative to DropBox and iCloud.
But too many other CIOs remain stuck in a 'command-and-control' mode. Change is bad. Suggestions for new technologies from knowledge workers and field workers who know best what would would empower them get an emphatic "NO!" response if they don't fit neatly into the existing master plan.
Little do they realize that the era of technocrats getting to dictate what software and hardware that employees must use is coming to an end.
The burgeoning 'Bring Your Own Device' is an expression of workers' demands to be freed from the productivity-dulling manacles of the desktop PC. It's also the recognition of IT departments that they need to start getting on the right side of this Transformation.
Are you unsure whether your company is on the right side of the Mobile Transformation? Check out www.MobilityManifesto.com to take a 5-minute quiz to see if your company is a Mobile Laggard, Rookie, Dreamer – or Leader. You can compare your results against other companies, and then comment (see below):
You can also send your company's results to your boss or CIO! Anonymously, of course...
While you are at MobilityManifesto.com, get a copy of the new book, Mobility Manifesto: Transforming the Enterprise. Published by Sybase, an SAP Company, I was the editor.
Expect a mix of snarky observations about mobility-starved workers mixed in with business strategy and actionable IT tactics. All with a minimum of shilling for Sybase and SAP products.
You could even send a copy of the book or e-book to your boss or CIO. It's easier than pitching a tent in front of his or her office, and may turn out to be just as effective.