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posted by janrinok on Saturday August 06 2022, @02:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'd-like-an-ice-cream-machine-please dept.

An Anonymous Coward writes the following story:

I’ve long believed companies should offer workers a choice in the technology they use in the office and when working remote. Doing so lets employees use what they feel is the best choice of devices for their work, it can help attract and retain staff, it lessens the likelihood workers will go rogue and source their own technology (aka shadow IT), and it establishes a positive relationship between IT and the rest of an organization.

Companies like IBM and SAP have documented their experiences in moving to an employee-choice model and have declared it a success. But does that mean it would work for every company? And how do you decide which way to go?

The most important question in developing (or expanding) an employee-choice model is determining how much choice to allow. Offer too little and you risk undermining the effort's benefits. Offer too much and you risk a level of tech anarchy that can be as problematic as unfettered shadow IT. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Every organization has unique culture, requirements/expectations, and management capabilities. An approach that works in a marketing firm would differ from a healthcare provider, and a government agency would need a different approach than a startup.

Options also vary depending on the devices employees use — desktop computing and mobile often require differing approaches, particularly for companies that employ a BYOD program for smartphones.

Most employee-choice programs focus on desktops and laptops. The default choice is typically basic: do you want a Windows PC or a Mac? Most often, the choice only extends to the platform, not specific models (or in the case of PCs, a specific manufacturer). Keeping the focus on just two platforms eases administrative overhead and technical support requirements. It also allows companies to leverage volume purchases from one partner in order to receive bulk discounts.

Have you been allowed to choose your own technology and equipment at work? What were the choices offered to you and what restrictions were placed upon them?

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Saturday August 06 2022, @07:52PM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday August 06 2022, @07:52PM (#1265340)

    I've had this discussion with non-developers/tinkerers/hackers, and they tend to complain about the choices offered. If you consider something like, say, JIRA which has a solid REST API, you can provide the default web interface, but you could also allow read-only API access, no questions asked, and read-write capability upon request. So if you want options, you have them ... as long as you put in the work to:

    • customize things the way you want, or
    • convince someone to customize things the way you want in exchange for baked goods or sexual favors [], or
    • front the resources to cover budget/manpower/scheduling to support those customizations into the future

    If you say you want something, but that IT should front the budget/manpower/scheduling for it, that's taking away resources from them being able to deliver/support the non-customized versions of things that most people are using. If IT is overbudgeted (ok, I spit out my tea on that one) then sure, they can add responsibilities or tweaks, but otherwise, it seems kind of ridiculous to push the envelope while destabilizing the center.

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