All your IT base is ours

Using the experiences of Arizona State University information technology chief Adrian Sannier, who has embraced web-based software in his organization, the Economist describes how consumer technologies are invading the corporate computing and communications enterprise.

Sannier is ahead of his time because most IT bosses,especially at large organisations, tend to be sceptical of consumer technologies and often ban them outright. Employees, in return, tend to ignore their IT departments. Many young people, for instance, use services such as Skype to send instant messages or make free calls while in the office. FaceTime, a Californian firm that specialises in making such consumer applications safe for companies, found in a recent survey that more than half of employees in their 20s and 30s admitted to installing such software over the objections of IT staff.

The article brought to mind some Pew data, now a couple years old, which described the attitude of teens toward communications technology. I've never forgotten this puckish comment from one participant: "email is for old people."

At the risk of being viewed as old, let me offer one correction. Surreptitious communication over the objection of superiors sounds to me like an insurrection, not an invasion. It's a rebellion in pursuit of life, liberty, data.