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Are you a friend of Harry?

I am.

A 'friend of Harry' is wonderfully outlined by Lloyd Davis over at Perfect Path blog and I have a sneaking suspicion it is the attitude of "bypass it" that is at the heart of most IT Departments fear of the Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 malarkey.

If we (normal, everyday 'users' of computer systems) start to get access to stuff that isn't hosted internally, isn't locked down to one vendor and isn't dependent upon a single user login* then we (the 'user') can suddenly start to "bypass" everything.

We can bypass the controls IT Departments have placed upon:
  • WHAT applications can be used
  • WHEN applications can be used
  • WHAT the connections ("information flow") between applications are
  • WHO controls access to the applications and the information
For some businesses (I thinking "government" here, in it's widest term) the lack of control of the information flow is probably the scariest. This is a valid business fear/risk and I don't advocate freedom for all in a Harry type way just for the sake of it - closed areas a la Che's original metaphor (espoused at the e-Govt2.0 Barcamp) are probably the approach I'd recommend.

So, friend of Harry, you're probably being seen by your IT Department in the same light as Harry himself was - a renegade to be hunted down, caught and stopped at all costs.

Harry's of the world unite!

* not having a single login is, of course, both a boon and a pain - it's a boon because I get to choose my 'personality' for each service (I'm crazy music boy at one site, serious Enterprise 2.0 at another). It's a pain because I have to remember all my logins ... icky.