Re: If you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more @AC
"if a company goes down the route of alternative service provider, it is essential that they keep some IT expertise"
Yes, that's vital and easy to miss - of course, those experts need to be able to communicate the issues properly, and meet the users' needs rather than their own. Consultants/salesdrones can easily push a solution that meets their own needs rather than the users' - whether they're external suppliers pushing a product, or internal ones with an agenda.
Do those "standard laptops" actually do the job adequately? Especially when they're a year or two old, but being pushed by the IT management because they're less effort to support than more modern kit? Does that configuration actually suit the sales reps, the graphics people and the software developers? When the users have different needs, you need to accept that a single answer probably won't fit: either you're short-changing the developers with some ultra-portable that can only handle email and PowerPoint, or wasting money and weighing the salesdrones down with overpowered machines for their needs.
"I agree that IT departments are an endangered species, and not because they do anything wrong, but because they're not saying what the non-technical managers think they should be hearing. Too often, influential managers in companies are more prepared to listen to the salespeople trying to sell snake-oil rather than their own IT people."
Agreed, in part - but perhaps it's not just because those managers want to hear the wrong thing. Look at this article: full of what the author wants and what suits his needs. Yes, giving everyone the same laptop makes his life easier - but does it suit the users? Maybe their needs would actually be better met by greater flexibility. (Particularly in a software company, of course: there are quite a few obscure bugs I've been able to investigate much more easily by having varied hardware and platforms. Yes, it makes support very slightly harder - but of course we need to support external users on different configurations anyway!)
Remote-wipe can be handy too, when a device or its user goes AWOL - but what happens when your Exchange admin goes rogue or gets fired, or the server itself gets compromised? A whole lot of extra collateral damage that way. Has the author never had a server compromised, or a sysadmin go rogue to some extent? (10 years on, do you *really* know who all those Domain Admin members are and why they're there? All those privileged scripts doing who-knows-what? A colleague's been looking at all that lately ... it really isn't simple, in a large setup.)