26 February 2011

New position-new technology culture

I'm really excited to be working in the College of Extended Studies at SDSU. It's a future-oriented learning organization that's not going to go obsolete but rather thrive as public funding diminishes and people seek out credible and quality training and learning opportunities.

CES feels different already. It's more business-like than the culture of my job on the state side of SDSU. The courses and curriculum we produce generate revenue, which in turns supports what we do. I like that bottom line, because I like being effective and efficient. What could put a kink in that is the technology-culture. Everyone (but me) has a PC and the IT peeps keep them all locked down behind a Novell system. Haven't worked on one of those but for a few months in 2004 and will hope I don't have to again.

When the workstation IT guy asked my "why" I needed to use the Mac side of the Boot Camped IMac in my office, I felt the fur on my back stand on end.  Luckily, I brought my laptop over from my old position and can use the wireless to do the work I need to do, which includes downloading software and having admin privs to my machine. That's apparently not allowed on CES machines connected to their Novell system, shared drive and intranet.

Bleh. No really.

We're meeting on Monday to sort this out, but I've been advised to choose my battles and not push on the issue of having admin privs on the networked machine. I'll take that advice, but seeing as I'm planning on being around for a while, I'll see how this all pans out over the years. IT departments should not be controlling user-experiences, particularly as they relate to work-flow, productivity and employee motivation.

Instead, IT should be collaborating with an organization's units to provide the best possible service they can to it "customers". That's the users like me, isn't it?