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Setting IT User Policies That Work

Anup Varier July 26, 2012
Setting IT User Policies That Work
Trends like enterprise mobility, bring-your-own-device and cloud computing are knocking on IT's doors and CIOs are having a hard time deciding whether to welcome them in or be the rude host and turn them away.

The wave of new age technologies that are invading the enterprise has spurred the debate on who sets IT user policy and how organizations can control it. Richard H. Thaler, a Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, in his paper- "Test, Adapt, Learn: Developing Public Policy with Randomised Controlled Trials" cites two principles that help policy makers create good policies that work for normal people:
- If you want to encourage some activity, make it easy.
- You can't make evidence-based policy decisions without evidence.

"These are exactly the principles that CIOs should apply when making decisions and rolling out a workforce technology, be it a social business and collaboration strategy, hardware refresh, tablet deployment, teleworking strategy, desktop virtualization program, or any other technology program that touches a lot of employees," writes Ted Schadler, Vice President, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research in his blog.

Be it full-fledged enterprise mobility or accessing corporate e-mal over the phone, there needs to be a specific set of rules and guidelines incorporated in the user policy that defines who gets to do what, when and where. The conversation titled ' Who Sets IT User Policy? A CIO Power Panel Discussion' at the Computerworld IT Roadmap event held across the three cities of Bangalore Mumbai and Delhi threw up multiple points of view on the ownership of the policies, the implementers and how to gain maximum compliance.

While creating an effective IT user policy falls under the domain of IT, Sudhir Reddy, CIO, MindTree believes that it is not the sole responsibility of IT. "While a large portion of the responsibility rests on the shoulder of IT, policy building is a very collaborative and consultative effort," he says.

Sunil Mehta, Sr. VP & Area Systems Director- Central Asia, JWT concurs, "User policies cannot be developed by IT in isolation and will have to be a consultative process with the departments involved. IT cannot the big daddy of the organization and dictate terms for everything".

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