In many companies, the IT dept are seen as the geeky blokes who come and fix your PC when it breaks, and maybe, those who monitor your emails and snaffle all your best gossip and naughty links. . .
But isn't there a possibility that someone, somewhere, could make the decision to allow them to lead the changes needed in companies that haven't been web aware?
Consider this. . . almost all the great internet brand names come, somewhere along the line, from fairly technical, or at least web savvy people being involved. From Microsoft through to Myspace, Picasa or Wikipedia, there was, at some point, a geek in a fairly prominent position in the company to make the technical side happen, and convey the enthusiasm of a new peer-to-peer TV service like Joost, for example.
In most ‘traditional’ companies, tech words are part of business lingo speak, and to be derided. Meanwhile anyone who can actually log into a site is seen as a tech geek.
Part of this is down to the fact that for most people, their PC is a locked down typewriter. Your email is monitored, downloads are blocked, and sites are banned. And this stops anyone with a vague interest in learning more from actually being able to do anything, unless they can afford a PC of their own, and want to devote their spare time to it. Meanwhile the IT people are seen as a barrier to innovation, and spend their time apologizing for the fact you can't download a new patch to save time, effort, and money in your day job. . .
So why not actually look to change? Why not encourage any appropriate person in the company to download new software, register to new sites, and actually experience the point of having a net connection in the first place? Even if it's simply using an IM client to chat, it means somewhere is getting more knowledge about the possibilities out there, and might end up selling advertising, or come up with an entirely new variation. ?
The only reasons I can see are the fears that everyone would spend all day mucking around (unlikely. . .in my opinion the novelty soon wears off. And most people probably wouldn't be fussed, limiting the interest to those most suited for experimentation and learning), and the threat of internet trojans, viruses, and other malware. But surely it's better to have an IT dept that is completely up-to-date and taking on those threats and beating them, rather than trying to simply avoid encountering problems. After all, every new business idea comes from identifying and tackling challenges and risks, and that's what stops every man and his dog from having an idea like Google, or Ebay. And then IT will even be seen as a force for good.
And as an example of this irony, I'm lucky enough to have greater access on my PC currently. Yet I need to get an IT engineer to let me run an anti-virus scan. . . Genius.