Some IT doofuses continue to fear Apple’s revolutionary iPad

“In 2010, scaredy-cat IT and security folks wrung their hands over users bringing in their own smartphones and tablets,” Galen Gruman reports for InfoWorld. “In early 2011, they wrung their hands over how to control the applications on those devices. Now they’re wringing their hands over data leakage from those devices, prompting security vendors to offer mobile DLP (data loss prevention) tools,” Gruman reports. “Zenprise is the first, but you can bet more will follow. (Have you heard of any iPad- or iPhone-related data breaches? I didn’t think so.)”

Gruman writes, “I have to give these folks credit: They’re persistent in finding ways to say no to modern technology and the realities of today’s ‘consumerized IT,’ or at least to look for new ways to bind it up in hopes maybe it’ll strangle to death. (Good luck with that.) Of course, it’s the iPad that seems to stoke these folks’ fears the most — ironically, because it can connect to business systems and actually work with much business data, so people want and use it.”

Gruman writes, “I see another agenda behind much of these claims over security concerns. I notice, for example, that companies citing fears over sensitive data emailed to an iPad or of users having unapproved apps on an Android tablet don’t have the same concern over data emailed to computers or over the fact that they happily let employees work after hours from home computers full of personal apps. There’s a double standard that reeks of a hidden agenda to block the shift to employee-driven technology or to assert new levels of self-justified control in a perverse land grab for relevance or job security.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In our experience, the number one prerequisite for holding a job as an IT doofus is the ability to execute “perverse land grabs for relevance or job security.” That’s why they wedded their hapless companies to less-productive, less-reliable Windows PCs over Macintosh in the first place. That they continue to try to block out Apple’s iPad is hardly surprising. The good news is that they are being replaced by new blood as you read this, so IT-retarded/Microsoft-handicapped businesses are exiting, or about to exit, the dark ages and get a lot more productive!

41 Comments

  1. The way I look at it, the people who work in IT should be the first to embrace and adopt nascent technology since they’re at the forefront of technology at their company. But the reality is IT loves Microsoft because it gives them a reason for living. If everyone in the company migrated to Apple what would the IT people do?

    But these dinosaurs are being toppled one by one because people want to work with what makes them productive not what IT deems is acceptable. We’re given a stipend to choose our own technology and apart from a few Windows diehards, quite a number of people I know are willing to step into the Mac universe. I suspect this will become more prevalent when recent graduates who have known nothing but Macs all their lives join the workforce. The MS monopoly will teeter and topple if enterprise abandons Windows in a big way.

    1. that’s a brilliant insight in the first paragraph.
      If IT guys (who probably have the same preponderance to dickness as the muggles) could recast themselves as research pioneers testing the latest and greatest innovations in order to find and embrace technology that pushes their company forward, well then, what a better job to be in!

      Instead they seem to be cast as the troll guards in the dungeons of moribund but understood software.

      This is an unfair generalisation, but perception is reality.

      Contrast this:

      Hey guys, we’re trying out [technology X] the most cutting edge magic unicorn we’ve found, like this morning, so we can get into your hands ASAP.

      With:

      No, you can’t use that, it’s against IT policy to use them new round wheels. Square ones are the approved installation.

      1. I remember a meeting with an IT Director a few years ago. Over a beer, he told me, “I know better what people need [to do their jobs], than what they think they need. But I can’t tell them that.” My first thought was that he didn’t have a clue what I did. My second thought was amazement at the arrogance and hubris. Now I just call it “IT disease.” It’s rampant…

        1. i had the same thing back in the day.
          I agree, and wish it wasn’t so.
          My point is that IT guys should realise they are doing a disservice to themselves if they cast themselves as arrogant dicks when they could easily take a higher ground,

          Sadly, the comfort of jargon riddled balderdash is an easy and lazy position.

          I am ambivalent about this. Maybe I have been lucky in not having to put up with small minded traffic warden mentality.

    2. Yep IT should be the first to adopt new tech. Absolutely.

      IT should be blazing the path and teaching users how to be more productive.

      There is no reason for this “its us against them” mentalility that some IT departments have towards users. Its counter productive and does nothing to improve the work environment of anyone.

    3. I am an IT guy, in fact, I am an IT Security guy. I happen to love Apple and embrace the technology very much. I would love nothing more than to see my company move towards using these great technologies. That said I do take issue to the speed an pace at which employees (Consumerization) are trying to force these companies into adopting said technology. Apple, Android, or whatever they all need time to bake and mature to a level that is supportable and securable for corporate America. I do agree that there are lots of people much my senior that oppose these devices, just to do so. Again I love all my Apple devices, but I hate the ignorance and pressure that society is putting on companies to adopt them. So what if there hasn’t been a breach related to these devices…. YET. It will happen, and when it does everyone will come screaming with torch in had wanting answers as to how this could have ever happened.

      1. It took us close to a year to go through a pilot program, risk analysis and final security certification. We did both the iphone and ipad at the same time.

        Considering we pulled this off in a year when we are upgrading over 200,000 workstations and laptops with windows 7 I couldn’t be happier with the results.

    4. Not necessarily, depends on the business. MOST enterprise IT are there to keep things running with minimum disruption to the core business. The systems are but tools to assist the larger mission. Anything disruptive, that requires training the end users or upgrade downtime has the potential to affect productivity and more importantly profit.

      Yes they should always be evaluating new tech, just not rolling it out or supporting it until it is fully baked, vetted, tested and appropriate plans made to roll it out and train end users.

      1. Actually, ‘octopi’ is *not* an acceptable plural – ‘octopus’ comes from Greek, where the plural is ‘octopodes.’ ‘Octopi’ is a weird back-formation by people who don’t know Latin or Greek to any extent but want to look educated.

        1. in greek that would be true, but when octopus was adopted into latin, like a lot of greek words, it was added to the 4th declension, where the nominative plural is the same as the singular, so from a latin point of view octopus is singular and plural.

  2. I’m not sure I could work for a company that did not at least evaluate new computing devices like the iPad and iPhone before writing them off. Luckily I don’t work for a place like that, we support the iPhone and the iPad. We also support the mac.

    I can totally understand not allowing employee owned equipment on the company intranet. We do that where I work. We had to do it as one moron nearly cost us a ton of money when he walked out of the building with sensitive data on his ‘personal laptop’ and it was then stolen out of his car as he ate lunch… cause you know… a laptop sitting on the seat of a convertible isn’t tempting to anyone…

    If a company will not allow personal computers/iphones/ipads or whatever and the employees are asking for them, then really it is the job of IT to go out there and do the work to make the devices available from within the company. That is what we did.

    IT is there to serve business and not the other way around.

    Oh and MDN please… where did this myth start about companies moving to Windows over the mac for job security?

    That is the biggest joke I’ve ever heard. Let me tell you why the mac lost in IT years ago…. IT FRAKIN’ SUCKED BALLS FOR ENTERPRISE COMPUTING….. no multiuser… rickety old cooperative multitasking with no protected memory. Apple had their @sses handed to them fair and square on that one.. it was no conspiracy.

    Thank god OS X came along… what a night and day difference.

    At work we are 2200 ipads and counting, employees can now order iPads and iPhones in the internal system and the company will pay for it.

    I like where I work. 🙂

    1. like all tired and lazy clichés this job security meme is both offensive and now a bit stinky.

      It’s the macmac equivalent of pceenies accusing mac users of being members of a cult. A weak generalisation based in prejudice.

      Well said, sir!

    2. “where did this myth start about companies moving to Windows over the mac for job security?”

      Windows the most unstable, insecure, bug-ridden, productivity-killing operating system in history.

      If the IT department insists that it must be used, then you can bet your ass it’s all about their own job security.

      There are honest mechanics, and then there are mechanics who insist you should get a Ford Pinto because they’re the greatest most reliable cars ever and compared to them, everything else is a lemon. Most IT departments are like the latter kind of mechanic.

      It’s to these MDN refers.

      1. I was in IT when the mass exodus happened, which started in the mid 90s when Windows 95 hit. Win95 was not there by any means but it was still a better choice than the Mac for the vast majority of companies.

        Once NT 4 hit, and then Active Directory, it was all over but the crying. The mac was massively outclassed in many aspects and functions needed by enterprise business.

        We were tossing them out by the truck loads, there was just no good or sane business reason to keep using them for us.

        Anyone in corp IT still clinging to macs during that time period was exactly what you are describing… that is all they knew.

        I remember telling a guy at work that we’d probably buy Apple hardware again when they got their act together and produced something good again. I had no idea it would be a 10 or 11 year wait when I said that.

        Lets hope they never go through a dark period like that again. I rather like their computers.

        1. The fall of the Mac happened in the 90’s, agreed.

          But why was Win95 better? I was part-time IT in the 90’s and I didn’t see anything that Win95 offered that Mac didn’t. Mac System 7 had better networking, and could do anything better than Win95 could. I think you are confusing IT concerns (server management) with end user concerns. For end users the Mac has always been better, there was the need for improved server services, but I fail to see how that was a deal breaker. There were solutions to the issues out there, they just weren’t packaged in one company as a “solution” like Microsoft did. The Microsoft monoculture buy-in of corporate IT is the major reason I saw for standardizing on windows. It had little to do with what was better.

          My location was one half windows users and one half Mac users when I started, as a part-time IT person I rarely got calls for help from the Mac users, but calls for help from windows users was a daily occurrence. The Mac’s were doing email, printing, accessing server shares, and everything else that the PC’s were doing. I fail to see how they were lacking. And what good did Active directory do for companies? I fail to see any benefits to the company and only headaches. There were/are other directory servers, why was Active Directory so good? Please explain. I posit that it wasn’t, but it created a ecosystem that required the use of windows. IT was duped into promoting an ecosystem that perpetuated itself. Lack of security, need security servers, etc. etc.

          1. The transition started with Windows 95 and really kicked into gear during the NT4 to Windows 2000 time frame where I was working.

            I left out the elephant in the room though, and the biggest driver, which was not Windows itself and it still isn’t, it was office.

            Once office 97 hit things really kicked into gear. I attribute that to the back end of Office. Welding VBA into every office application, exposing nearly all program features via an OLE/COM interface so data could be moved between apps, automation performed and data pulled from multiple data sources was one of the few brilliant moves MS made.

            Excel has literally dominated the data analysis realm because of this.

            Sure there were other ‘suites’ that did similar things first, but MS did it better than anyone and still to this day I cannot find an office suite that beats it.

            There were other Directory Services out there also, we used Sun NIS for a few years but Active Directory was integrated with Windows server and once you matched that with an SMS server it was a hard combo to beat.

            Active Directory does not make much sense until you hit a certain threshold of machines in my experience. Small shops and it can be more work than its worth.

            Once you move into the realm of several hundred, or thousands of machines and Active Directory with SMS is absolutely awesome. If you lay out your domain tree in a sane manner it is very manageable.

            Someone moves to a different area of the company? Just drop their account into a different OU. Done.

            Need to audit every machine on the network and determine how many installs of a given app and patch are installed, or you need to track software licenses? Just query SMS and get a report back with the data.

            With AD and SMS you can control nearly every aspect of Windows without ever physically seeing the machine. There was nothing like it on the mac back then.

            Security was also a big concern. My work involves a lot of government stuff so I may well live in a different planet than most IT shops. Access control on the mac at the time was more of a hack using a bunch of software you had to track down and then hope you could make it work. With Windows NT you had multiuser and permissions built right into the OS.

            It did not help that Apple itself was so mismanaged back in those days. I mean for some of our IT guys it was a decision as simple as “Well those guys are unresponsive we have no clue WTF they are going to deliver so buh bye”. I also remember it being argued in a meeting that the money we spent on some Apple AUX systems was a complete waste because Apple did little to support or grow the platform. We replaced those with Sun Sparc systems running Solaris within 2 years.

            All that is water is under the bridge though and its very different today.

            With OS X , I can join a mac to the windows domain and using a combo of Bash scripts and Apple Remote Desktop we have achieved damn near parity with windows in our environment from an asset management and security auditing standpoint for our needs.

            We can push patches, audit installed software or various other variables.

            I like it because it has freed us from worrying about being tied to a single vendor like MS. We have more choices and leverage when it comes time to renew licensing and the feedback I get is that our users are happier having a choice and knowing we will support them vs. being forced to use ‘THE COMPANY STANDARD’ regardless of their needs.

            We now offer the iPad and iPhone to users also. Its been too soon to tell, but I suspect we’ll see a steep drop off in our Blackberry users at some point in the future.

    3. Umm yeh…but then all memes are only half truths and it’s the half
      truths about Macs that are – in my experience, still used by some traditional IT types to marginalise new tech in general and Macs in particular. In other words, it works both ways – to stabalise workload and exclude complications. The larger the company, the deeper the entrenchment and the more likely half-truths will be used to maintain system stability(oh the pain!!) and keep management at arms length. Job security does come into it, it’s only natural.
      I was part of a team installing Xserve and Xsan solutions for media enteprise demands. We worked in the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel, Holland, Norway and South Africa. Only in Holland did we encounter a friendly interest in our Mac systems; everywhere else we had to fight for space, decent power supplies, our true budget allocations and every small item needed to get the job done…even the coffee machine. Plugs were pulled, leads were cut, vents were blocked, stuff was nicked and FUD was spread….we were definitely a threat and were often told so. When it came to onsite system integration, we often felt we were asking for a slice of the moon. Random protocols were invented, redundant ones were resurrected – anything to make the Mac look bad. And the one thing you could never say, was that we could do it with our eyes closed and didn’t need shadowing. The attitude was that we ‘needed’ their permission, so we had to play nice.
      It certainly had the stench of ‘job security’ about it.
      Apple killing the Xserve was a big blow to the company but we now do our own custom hardware to do the same job – at greater cost however.

  3. As Merlin Mann once said, “you don’t let the guy holding the brush, decide how many elephants you have in your parade.”

    The tail has been wagging the dog for far too long.

    1. no, not having that. Yes there is some inertia, but it’s usually well founded. For instance, Lion killed a bunch of stuff for our design dept. Found out by Mac IT guy well ahead of time. This was proper diligence. And at no time was he thought of as a brake on productivity. Instead, he’s on the developer programme getting seeds ahead of the game and testing on the network.

      He would be the first one to roll out the new newness, but he’s great at his job and applies a considered approach.

      1. If you even have a Mac IT guy then your IT department isn’t a typical bunch of scaredy-cat luddite doofuses clinging desperately to job security, and this whole article doesn’t apply to them.

        It’s not saying all IT departments are bad, dude.

  4. IT dorks care only two things: Protecting their jobs and maintaining the status quo. For many of them, Apple products represent a threat on both counts. Unfortunately, the people these numbskulls work for don’t have a clue about technical issues and are therefore at the mercy of their incompetent and/or dishonest IT employees.

  5. Ya IT is stupid, you guys are all smart, yet you bitches will be crying to them to fix your computer because you’re too dumb to take an interest in something you use everyday.

  6. As more people buy computers that actually work, the guys who support crappy technology will be less important. Makes sense.

    What sucks is these guys have been pushing crappy Wintel computers for the last 30 years (built in job security).

    Ouch.

  7. Who is the doofus? IT is where people that love technical stuff get to do technical stuff it’s where the “fleet mechanics” are. Don’t ask them to deliver benefits, they only know three words: technology, support and. Microsoft. Do you see design, service, CRM, customer, innovation in any of those words? IT is the biggest and often least productive money suck in business today managed by backward looking wonks trying to prove they were right all this time rather than finding the right thing at the right price with the right people at the right time for the right client. Hrumph!

  8. Man some serious hate going on for IT.

    So rather than everyone of you making the same tired meme assertion, how about you all give us three examples of what happened at your job to give you these strong opinions.

    Or are you all just parrots?

    1. Possibly the most pointless comment yet. The very fact that a second-rate solution (Windoze) is preferred by most big companies says it all. Whether the Mac OS was inadequate for the needs of business back in the Dark Ages is irrelevant. Apple’s hardware and software is vastly superior to today’s Windoze, yet few companies ever make the switch. Why is that? Take three guesses! Big business is so obsessed with protecting every penny of profit that they don’t see the forest through the trees. They are so afraid of losing a minute’s productivity to switch to a better, more cost-effective solution that they willingly pay through the nose to support their existing system. Now that’s blind stupidity.

      1. Try again, plenty of vertical market software solutions that companies have been using that are not on the OS X. Plenty of custom, in house developed apps in house developed in VB. Dude laid it out for you earlier in the comments.

        I’m a mac IT guy, but I know Windows, Linux, Solaris, and know from experience that Apple isn’t always the best solution. Blind brand loyalty isn’t a solution. Replacing thousands of working computers with macs involves a huge capital outlay, now if you have to re-write your in house apps, replace your software, and your IT staff, what’s the incentive to business again? What’s the ROI on your plan?

        They are making their way in, companies are buying more and more Apple gear, it simply not realistic that they are all going to jump in with both feet and hope it goes well. I still do not get your vitriol, Do you work for an org that doesn’t allow them at all

        1. No, Apple isn’t always the best solution… but Windoze is??? All you’re doing is justifying the effects of inertia. Windoze (or Linux or Solaris) is in place, so why should we spend money to change? Nevermind that the yearly costper machine is higher. Nevermind that system downtime is greater. Nevermind anything as long as we can keep coasting along with what we’ve got and what we know. Say whatever you want, the inherent resistance to change in the corporate world is indisputable. The fear of Apple and OS X (as the harbingers of change) is indisputable. I know a successful business owner who is jumping through countless hoops on a regular basis in order to keep running his company using FileMaker Pro version 3, which is now sixteen years old. Does this make any sense, regardless of the cost of upgrading his software and rewriting his database? Most companies think like dinosaurs. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

          Have a nice day!

          1. You are making pretty broad generalizations and assertions. Ever here the term, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. If windows, linux, amiga, whatever works for them, why do they need to change it? Just because a TCO study was published, doesn’t make it true in every instance. Yes, there are times when Windows is the best solution. There could be a myriad of reasons why, but these cases DO exist. The cost per machine argument is also VERY arguable. I know organizations with Windows Server farms running Citrix, Wyse terminals on the desks. Uptime is 100%, workers are productive. The machines do exactly what the business needs. Virtualization/hyper-visors in the MS server realm keep things purring along nicely. They do not need $1200 workstations, the $300 terminals work great.

            My point is that solutions are solutions, and the technology isn’t the only factor. Cost plays a role. No Microsoft isn’t the greatest solution, they do have a tremendous amount of mature, vertically oriented software solutions in place. Furthermore, properly managed it can and does work exceptionally well.

            Changing for the sake of change is not a solution. Personally, I HATE working on windows machines/servers, but they fill a role. I get paid to know them too, so I do.

            I find it interesting that you rail on businesses saving money or protecting profit, yet in the same breath advocate the desire for them to cut IT personals jobs?

            Back to the topic at hand, ipads in the enterprise. Two things Apple really needs to do:

            1. Remote Control – Profile management isn’t enough. A remote desktop type solution is in order. Executives, other traveling employees, and training applications call for this.

            2. Multi User environment/Multiple desktops – The ability to share them in teams would be nice, as well as the ability to set different environments, like home and work. Using them to give a business presso and push notifications for things like sports scores, games, etc popping up in the middle is inappropriate.

            1. You know what? For me, the real bottom line is that whoever is satisfied with Windoze deserves Windoze and should by all means use it.

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