Years ago, when the Treo 650 was the hottest thing, my job was to provision, port, and train users on the device. It wasn’t long before I was answering questions about things like programming it to call voice mail and entering passwords with a single button. I came to know the every tiny feature. I was so often pulled away from other work to offer ad hoc support, I held a lunch to share answers and discoveries. I was no Treo fanboy, (I don’t think anyone was) but I became the Treo answer man. Every question added to my body of knowledge.
Today, as employees buy their own devices and bring them to the enterprise, they want to know the best features for both personal and professional use. For example, the RIM Playbook would seem like the perfect device for the enterprise because RIM is enterprise. But the average user wouldn’t know it won’t ship with native apps like a calendar or email. Instead they’d bridge to their existing Blackberry. Who would support that? Who would set up that bridge? Would it be IT if they didn’t provision it?
This kind of thing may be creating a new position in IT, something similar to mine with the Treo. It would be filled by power users who have every gadget, read every gadget blog, and can go into stinging detail about why iPad owners should wait to upgrade. The person might come from the IT, or it could be an accountant who just loves gadgets. It could be full or part time depending on the size of the company.
Wherever they come from, they’re bound to be popular.
Is your company allowing more employees to bring their own tech? Tell us by posting a comment below.