The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 12 – Sources of Quality

2 thoughts on “The Sweettt Podcast – Episode 12 – Sources of Quality”

  1. I just finished listening to the latest podcast and was struck by a couple of things:

    First:
    I think there is a conflict between the desire to have the employees use whatever tools are at hand to accomplish their job and the fact that many of those tools (especially the public “social networking” ones) are *designed* to subvert the user’s trust.

    It seems to me that even if the employer and the employee have a good trust relationship, there is no reason to *assume* that the relationship extends to the trust network established by the other party. In general this is not a problem because we are individualy “in control” of our own trust networks and can decide who sees what. However, much of the new technology subverts this trust [and must do so because of the way the service is funded] to collect and distribute information to unknown 3rd parties [i.e., advertisers].

    If I were an employer, my rationale for managing the tools my employees use to do their job would be a risk analysis of trusting, not the employee, but the 3rd parties that the employee has (possibly unkowingly) included in his trust network. I can;t recall specific examples, but I’m sure I recall incidents in the past of companies being embarassed/compromised by information made public by social networking tools.

    I think that there needs to be some work done on the tools and technology that employees use to maintain their networks so that they *can* be used in a business context without fear of inadvertent compromise of the employee/employer trust relationship. [Maybe a pay-for-service model that provides enhanced privacy controls over the “free” version?]

    Second:
    I think that the “lock-down” of the employee’s computing device [i.e., PC] to some employer standard is driven more by a desire to protect the employee population at large rather than a control motivation.

    The problem with letting people configure their own IT resources is that most devices are, in fact, too complex for most employees to manage correctly. There is, unfortunately, a disconnect between the simplicity of use presented by the manufacturer of the device and the actual underlying complexity. Add to this the fact that in a networked environment a device that is improperly maintained can end up compromising many many more devices when it is connected to the employers network.

    The employee who manages his own PC needs to realize [training?] that if his device is compromised, he may be responsible for the compromise of his co-workers devices as well. If everyone involved has a clear understanding of the risks I think it’s fine, but it’s *not* just a case of “I’ll look after my own PC, and if it breaks (or is maliciously broken) it’s only my problem.”. One compromised device and compromise an entire organization in the connected environment that we all work in.

    I guess my general feeling is that I’m in favour of building a strong employee/employer trust relationship, but that trust needs to be based on ability. Not all employees have [nor should we expect them to have] the ability to manage an IT device or the complex privacy rules of a service that actively seeks to extract private information from them. Perhaps there needs to be some sort of “test period” where the employee can demonstrate his ability and earn the employer’s trust?

    be seeing you … Don

    P.S., I really enjoyed the podcast … very thought provoking.

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