In a perfect world, your network would suffer no downtime and be locked down tight. You'd be in perfect compliance with all government regulations, and your users would all be self-supporting. The cloud would take care of nearly all your infrastructure needs, and there wouldn't be a single device accessing the network you didn't first approve of and control.
Also: You'd finally get the respect and admiration you truly deserve.
Good luck with all that. The gap between your dreams and cold hard reality just gets wider every day. That doesn't mean you should give up, but it does mean you need to get real about what you can change and what you must accept.
Here are 10 things IT must learn to live with.
IT concession No. 1: The iPhone revolution is here to stay
More and more workplaces these days resemble a geeky party that's strictly BYOD (bring your own device). The problem? Many IT departments either never got an invitation or failed to RSVP.
May 2011 surveys by IDC and Unisys found that 95 percent of information workers used self-purchased technology at work -- or roughly twice as many as executives in those surveys estimated. IDC predicts use of employee-owned smartphones in the workplace will double by 2014.
Nathan Clevenger, chief software architect at mobile device management firm ITR Mobility and author of "iPad in the Enterprise" (Wiley, 2011), says the iPhone and iPad are the catalysts for the consumerization of IT. Tech departments can either enable them to be used securely or risk the consequences.
"Unless IT supports the devices and technologies users demand, the users will simply go around IT and use personal tech for business purposes," Clevenger says. "That is a much more dangerous situation from a security standpoint than supporting the consumer devices in the first place."
Tech departments need to steer a middle course between attempting (and failing) to keep consumer technology out of the workplace, and allowing unfettered access to the network from any device, notes Raffi Tchakmakjian, vice president of product management at Trellia, a cloud-based mobile device management provider.