February 04, 2013, 11:54 AM — When life is too much, roll with it, baby Don't stop and lose your touch, oh no, baby Hard times knocking on your door I'll tell them you ain't there no more Get on through it, roll with it, baby Luck'll come and then slip away, Yu've gotta move, bring it back to stay
You just roll with it, baby Come on and just roll with it, baby You and me, roll with it, baby Hang on and just roll with it, baby
--— Steve Winwood, "Roll With It, Baby," Virgin Records,1988
Over the last couple of years a huge buzz has been building around the consumerization of IT, workers using their own PCs, smartphones, tablets and phablets at work, a movement that also goes by the name Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
There are all sorts of advantages to BYOD. First, it is more or less inevitable that staff get sucked in to a lifestyle that winds up forcing personal time to merge with a 24/7 connection to work. It is as if they were standing next to a corporate black hole of inescapable servitude. Go corporation.
In this environment, woe betide the mid-level manager who isn't ready to handle the latest customer crisis in Namibia at 2 in the morning even if she spent the previous evening partying like it was 1999.
Kids got a soccer game? No problem, you can call in to the team meeting from the stands. Got a dental appointment? You can still be part of the corporate machine on your way there and your way back (even if your mouth is numb and you can't stop dribbling).
Second, the onus for having equipment that works is on the user. Their smartphone breaks? No problem. IT's only involvement will probably be to tell the user to contact the cell service provider and place an insurance claim. Home PC bites the dust? Nope, NOP (Not Our Problem!). Go to Fry's and flex that plastic, baby!
And guess what? If it's your own toy, er, tool, you are going to want to have the latest and greatest. Think IT will go out of their way to get you a brand new iPad 4 when an iPad 2 will do the job just fine? Hell no! So, IT can count on a user base that will upgrade faster than IT could afford to if the corporation actually owned the equipment. Everybody wins!