When Corporations Follow Communications Companies …

If you’ve been in the photojournalism business long enough, you probably worked somewhere that required you to supply all your own gear. Cameras, lenses, filters, monopods and bags – we shelled out tens of thousands of dollars that, effectively, subsidized our newspapers and magazines.

Many publications saw the light at the turn of the century and, as they moved away from film and into digital imaging, started supplying all the gear necessary to do our jobs. You know, like they did for every other employee. (Can you imagine, during an interview, telling a prospective press guy he has to show up on day one with unit four for a Goss Metroliner?)

But according to a New York Times piece, the outsourcing of equipment needed to do jobs is spreading to the corporate world. More and more employees want to use the tools they have bought for personal use at work and, instead of supplying them, companies are … letting them. Letting them use their own smartphones and tablets. The employees are happy because they get to use the tools they like and the companies are happy because, well, they don’t have to buy this stuff anymore.

Or support it.

Which means, when it breaks, the employee has to use personal time to haul it to a repair center instead of handing it off to the IT department.

We may not be the brightest folks over here in the journalism realm, but if your corporation is outsourcing IT stuff to you? You’re in trouble.

Just sayin’.

Mark E. Johnson

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