Managing Your Employee’s Technology: Loose or Strict

As your business grows from one employee and consultants, to 5 employees to 3 branch offices, having technology standards is important. If 3 employees are using Word, 4 more employees are using OpenOffice and yet another employee uses pen and paper, the overall efficiency of your office will suffer.
Supporting users on these (well not pen and paper) various platforms is challenging, as you have a variety of implementations and can’t easily replicate problems or quickly move a user to an identical backup computer.
Google, a very progressive thinking company is quite liberal in what software and hardware its employees can use and the WSJ writes Unlike many IT departments that try to control the technology their workers use, Mr. Merrill’s group lets Google employees download software on their own, choose between several types of computers and operating systems, and use internal software built by the company’s engineers. Lately, he has also spent time evangelizing to outside clients about Google’s own enterprise-software products — such as Google Apps, an enterprise version of Google’s Web-based services including email, word processing and a calendar.
Work with a technology expert to develop the right technology and guideline for your business.
Criteria for technology guidelines:

Criteria for how these guidelines will develop includes:

  • Type of employees
  • Growth plan for your business
  • Industry you are in
  • Types of customers you serve
  • In-house technology expertise

These are just a few criteria, but I’m sure there’s other points that could be added. Tell us your experience in managing employee technology.
Keep in mind, managing is not a bad word, but its like freedom or peaceful living – you have to give up some rights (or things you might want to do) in order to gain other rights.

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One thought on “Managing Your Employee’s Technology: Loose or Strict

  1. Michelle Riggen-Ransom

    Thanks for the post. Our virtual company is a big fan of Google products. We also use a variety of other web/hosted applications (including our own contact organizer, BatchBook), which make information-sharing and collaboration easier as we grow.
    Our president Pamela O’Hara recently wrote a “Blue Paper” about this topic. I hope your readers will find it useful: it’s a great overview of an important subject:

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