In my presentations I often make the point that a huge challenge facing organizations is that the consumer revolution in technology has created all sorts of challenges for those who wish to exert control on the use and stewardship of information. When folks rebel, I usually ask 2 questions.
1 -- How many of you have policies in place to control access and use of information that prohibit the use of external personal file and document sharing systems?
2 -- How many of you use DropBox or YouSendIt?
Usually about the same number of hands go up.
My point is twofold: 1) We need to be realistic about what we REALLY need to control in this new consumer-driven environment, and where we can let go; and 2) If IT doesn't find a way to give employees what they need to do their jobs -- technology as good as they have at home -- employees who need to get their jobs done will figure out a way to end run our own policies and procedures. I usually refer to this -- I think my friend Barry Lurie actually first mentioned it in a meeting years ago -- as "The Business Always Trumps IT" syndrome.
An example just today. We are doing a mortage refinance. Those who will remember some of my earlier travails documented in this blog with a bank who will remain nameless will ask "Why, John?" But that's another story.
The loan we were seeking needed to be locked today. The loan officer was trying to send me a zipped and encrypted PDF to confirm this. The file wouldn't unzip on my machine. We speculated that maybe this had something to do with our recent conversion to Office 365. I speculated somewhat frivolously that maybe this was some sort of Acrobat retribution for my refusal to respond in a timely fashion to the almost daily requests that I update my software. I asked her to send it to my Gmail account. Same deal. She then resaved the PDF without encryption. Seemed like it was going to work, but when she tried to send it via email through the firewall, it was blocked.
Finally, she had a brainstorm. She printed the document. She scanned it. She emailed it to me. I printed it. I signed it. I scanned it. I sent it back. Voila. Rate locked. She was happy. The customer was happy. Living on the edge.
It ain't right, but getting business done will always find a way to trump the need for control.
Might be of interest...How to Conduct a Social Business Assessment.