"Nontechnology executives don't know enough about IT to make a large purchase decision," he adds. "If a senior executive circumvents the procurement process, that purchase order has to have a signature on it before the supplier will ship it. If anything goes wrong with that technology, the executive would be accountable and traceable. That's like kryptonite to those guys."
Dirty IT secret No. 5: You're getting the short end of the customer support stick
That technician is just another script kiddie
Stop us if this sounds familiar: You're on the phone with a support technician halfway around the globe, but you get the distinct impression they know less than you do and are just reading from a script. Guess what? They probably are.
"IT support is a cheap commodity," says Tim Singleton, president of Strive Technology Consulting, a boutique support firm catering to small and midsized businesses. "Tools that do most of it for you are free, and computers require less knowledge now than they used to. Your neighbor's daughter or the tech-savvy guy in accounting can probably fix your computer as well as any IT company."
But some say that assessment is too broad. While that may be true for the simplest problems, it's not true for more complex ones, notes Aramis Alvarez, SVP of services and support at Bomgar, which makes remote IT support solutions for enterprises.
"The problem with calling IT support a 'cheap commodity' is that not every problem is created equal," says Alvarez. "Some basic issues can be diagnosed by any tech-savvy person, but difficult ones, such as viruses, cannot. Your neighbor's daughter may be armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous, but she could end up destroying the data on your computer."
Then you may end up paying much more later to clean up the mess, adds Joe Silverman, CEO of New York Computer Help -- which often happens when companies cut corners by shortchanging or overburdening internal IT support.
"We have gone to many NYC offices and apartments to see the leftover tracks of a shoddy computer repair or IT job from another company, family member, or friend who acted as the go-to IT guy," he says. "The guy in accounting who sometimes takes care of computer issues is most likely too busy and too inexperienced to fix a failed hard drive, motherboard, or power supply. If the network or server crashes, do you want to really depend on your accounting guy to get the job done, or a senior network engineer with 20 years of experience?"
Dirty IT secret No. 6: We know a lot more about you than you think
Going all in on data collection
Think the NSA has you under surveillance? They're punks compared to consumer marketing companies and data brokers.
One of the biggest offenders are casinos, says J.T. Mathis, a former casino database manager and author of a self-published expose about his experience titled, "I Deal to Plunder: A Ride Through the Boom Town." When you enter a casino, you're gambling with more than just money -- you're risking your most personal data. Mathis estimates that his former employer's marketing database contained the names of more than 100,000 active and inactive gamblers.