Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reasons why the iPad rocks-#3 it annoys IT departments

Oh yes, tip up to work with your iPad, see the envious glances from your colleagues who all want a go, even the boss thinks it's the future and wants one, hell, she even promotes you there and then. Nip down to the basement to speak to corporate IT about hooking it up to the wireless network though and oh boy!

"What on Earth did you buy one of those for?"
"Sorry, can't hook that up the network, doesn't support .......protocol"
"Can't do any real work on those thought, can you?"
"They're rubbish, I'm waiting for the Windows Slates to be released"

And so on.

So what is it with IT, why don't they like iPads? Well, they would like you to think it is because they have such a high level of understanding of technology and they just understand these things and want to pass their wisdom. They don't want you wasting your money on an iToy when, in a few months time, lots of lovely Windows 7 slates will hit the Market rendering the iPad obsolete and you will feel like an idiot. The truth, however, is somewhat darker. Knowledge is power, for years, IT managers not only held the purse strings, they also held the knowledge and therefore the power. They knew how to fix Windows when it went wrong (note:Macs never really made it mainstream in office environments and creative industry IT managers are a tad more enlightened than your average MSCE tech) and boy did they make you pay for this knowledge. They make you work the way they want, want to access the Internet? Any browser as long as it's IE. Software? You can have Office, anything else, lots of sucking through teeth and long techno babble filled reasons as to why you either (a) can't run it on the system (b) you could technically run it but the security isn't up to much or (c) you can run it, but it's going to cost you! They could say anything, the average person didn't understand so just nodded their heads in agreement, then wandered off ever so slightly disappointed. The iPad changes all of this, you don't even need to hook it up the network as you can get a 3G enabled device so you are truly free. Hence we a need a few pearls of wisdom to sway you from your purchase or make you feel stupid if you've already bought one.

So, a quick translation from IT tech speak to English:

1. "That thing is so gimped, you can't do any proper work on it" - it can't run MS Office so that big spreadsheet of registry error codes I have won't work on it or I don't understand anything but Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP so don't even bother.

2. "Wireless security isn't up to much so I can't put it on the network" - I don't understand the OS so couldn't hook it up if I wanted, which I don't. Also, I've never updated the security profile on the access points so the encryption from the mid 1990's that we use isn't supported.

3. "It's rubbish, it doesn't have a stylus" - I have fat fingers so wouldn't be able to use it.

4. "Apple lock you in to their way of working, I want freedom to do what I want on a device I've bought" - Apple make sure its idiot proof, they check and approve apps so malicious code is more difficult (but not impossible) to introduce to an IOS device. It's also really easy to use and the app store makes buying and installing software a simple one click process. As a result, my services are not really needed, boo-hoo!

5. "I would wait until the next generation of Windows 7 slates appear, they can do loads more than that toy" - I don't understand anything except Windows, I realise that it's a bit limiting for an IT expert to admit that so I will try to hide the fact by rubbishing other OS's. Hopefully no one will realise Windows slates have been on the market for 10 years and have hardly set the world alight. I would have brought mine in to show you but the lid snapped off and anyway, the battery only lasts like an hour and it weighs more than my car.

6. "Browsing the Internet is rubbish, no Flash support" - I can't play games, watch videos or listen to music on the Internet.

OK, I don't want to get into an argument about Flash, battery life and processor hogging. Instead, lets look at internet use, I have had an iPad for 6 months and haven't really felt limited by the lack of Flash. But then, when I work, I don't play games, watch videos or play music. Point 1 states you can't do any real work but we've already debunked that myth so what these people really mean is I can't play games etc. I would love a job where I got in, opened up a big spreadsheet then spent the rest of the day playing Pac-man online or watching WWE videos. Sweet!

7. "Can't use that on our network, security isn't up to scratch" - my certificate in Windows server 2003 didn't cover IOS so I wouldn't know where to start.

Now, on this last point I realise that security should be taken seriously, however, I also know that you are only as secure as the dumbest person in your workforce and that all manner of security measures can be overcome by stupidity. Witness the number of printed address lists left in bars (or indeed, prototype iPhones) or laptops (running Windows, so ultra secure as far as IT are concerned) left on the back seat of a car or on a train! And don't even get me started on Wiki leaks! The most secure IT system in the world (probably, I don't really know) circumvented by necessity (flaky network links on the frontline), slack security (not checking the Lady Gaga disc was in fact just that) and mental deficiency on the part of the perpetrator. And for what? The world now knows that the US military think Prince Andrew is a bit of an idiot (along with 65 million Brits, probably include PA and his Mum and Dad)!

8. "You could have bought a Toshiba Companionada 3000 N31D for half the price of that, it would have Windows XP Semi-Professional Student or Intern edition And is a proper laptop with a 10Ghz Intel Celeron processor, 15 Gb of RAM and 25 USB ports. You could edit spreadsheets on it no problem"- damn, I wasted £200 on this stupid Toshiba (with a dumb name) thats got a 10 year old chip in it and so much crapware installed it wont even load up my big spreadsheet of Windows DLL's and their associated applications. It's also really heavy, takes 3 days to boot up due to the 2 anti virus scanners I have running and the battery blows!

No, the iPad rocks because it annoys the IT department. More so than an iPhone or iPod Touch as that big screen means you can get work done on it. Real work, just the way you want to do it, not dictated to my a man (or women) working in the basement. Welcome to knowledge, welcome to power, welcome to the future.

The iPod rocks!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Brett R said...

Ha! You've put into words everything I was thinking about my institutions IT dept. I'm just about to have another full on assault with them about getting my iPad hooked up, and I won't rest until there's bodies strewn about the cubicles with mangled Windows Server boxes in tiny pieces alongside!

RandomNoiseGenerator said...

Hey, if it means a few Windows servers get trashed along the way, that can only be a good thing. We are currently looking at a new ICT system and guess what the "experts" have chosen! I sometimes wonder how they got into ICT, surely rocks and chisels are a much better solution, after all, it's what everyone uses, there are no compatibility issues and security is second to non! Good luck getting the iPad hooked up and thanks for the comment.

Rob said...

Wow you people work at some pretty negative places with some serious hate - this is not war! I manage IT for an independent school - we run a windows environment (historical – not to piss Mac users off) and have done so for nearly 20 years - it is a successful program however you want to look at it. Provided you have an account with us you can connect anything you want to our wireless for internet access - we struggle to get iOS machines on the network for network drive access and printing, but we have devoted significant resources to trying to make things work for everyone. Perhaps you should connect with your IT folk a bit more – maybe show them what you’re doing and they might be able to show you something cool and they may get a clue as to why you’re excited by your iPad/iPhone/iTouch/whatever - it doesn't sound like much fun working with aggressive people who wish hate on infrastructure whether it's Windows or Mac.

RandomNoiseGenerator said...

Honest Rob, I really have tried working with ICT support. Maybe I shouldn't have made my comment about trashed Windows servers being a good thing (not exactly an objective comment in hindsight) but all I ever get is why did you buy that or you cant use that because. I coukd possibly understand in an enterprise setting but schools are supposed to teach for the future, not the past. Mobile devices are the future, at least for consumers and we should be embracing them. It is interesting that you say you work in a private school,maybe you have more freedom and don't get ICT foisted on you from high. My experience of the state sector is more depressing. I worked on procurement for BSF and we where given all sorts of promises only to be told later on that we couldn't have what we wanted, it was Windows only. Anyway, you sound like an enlightened manager so apologies if I insulted you, keep up te good work.