Recently, my team and I searched for a way to connect ourselves and a dozen or so vendors - designers, agencies, printers and consultants. Something like Dropbox or Google Drive. "No go" said IT. Not secure enough.
What alternative(s) were we offered? SharePoint of course, assuming that my modest little corner of the empire would fund the expense (ranging anywhere from a few tens of thousands to the low six figures.) I countered with a fast "No thanks. At that price point, I'd have to sell a kidney or something."
But without knowing it at the time, IT's response was a blessing in disguise.
Now I'm (quietly) using iDoneThis (free) to track projects and team and vendor accomplishments, IdeaScale (free) to generate engagement around innovative ideas and strategies, Evernote (free) to organize snippets of information, and Delicious (free) to create and share my very own knowledge base about important issues and trends.
Notice anything? Well, yes, I'm using FREE versions of all four. I bet that got your attention. But more than that, none took more than 10 minutes to set up and less time to learn. I didn't waste months with RFPs, pilot projects or controlled roll-outs. A short discussion, decide, do it.
Decide this morning, implement this afternoon. Repeat.
Could someone hack me? Sure, but I don't traffic in PHI and I doubt my cryptic project summaries, creative work plans and budget discussions would be of much interest to anybody. Heck, sometimes even MY eyes glaze over!
Maybe hearing "NO" from IT is the best answer you can get. Maybe it means, TIME TO THINK DIFFERENT, as the man once said.