Those JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) attendees present for this session enjoyed a journey through Tumblr's experience of rolling out the Casper Suite at an Internet startup that deeply embraces creativity and individual expression. Andrew Montgomery highlighted the cultural and technical implications of introducing the Casper Suite to a group of people that have every right to question “corporate” answers to challenging problems.
Culture at Tumblr
Tumblr encourages its employees to be creative, teach something to their colleagues, and express their individualism. With this level of freedom at Tumblr, there were concerns that bringing in an Apple device management solution to manage the organization’s Macs would significantly hinder creativity and individualism by “controlling” everyone’s devices.
This was the challenge for the IT staff that wanted to bring in the Casper Suite. They had to take care of the normal IT tasks such as inventory, deployment, and security, all without hindering the culture.
As Montgomery described it, Tumblr does not have “users” they have “colleagues”. Their IT staff’s default position is to trust their staff and share the departments goals and visions to “build trust, especially between teams.”
Breaking perceived management notions
With the assumption that IT was slowly but surely take away the responsibilities and capabilities, employees felt that they may be losing control over their destiny at work. IT was playing too large of a part to let them do their job.
To break this old adage, Tumblr’s IT staff realized they needed to listen to employee's concerns, tell a new story, and change their vocabulary. “When we stopped using and focusing on the word ‘management', we stopped focusing on the task of management,” said Montgomery.
He also said that a key to buy-in from managers and employees was being transparent with them. “We told them what they’ll be able to do, things we’ll be able to do, and things we won’t be able to do.”
Once the entire company was onboard, their IT staff was able to rollout their entire fleet of Mac computers in three weeks.
Being more than just IT
“It’s time tor IT to admit that they have a substantial impact on the culture of an organization” said Montgomery. He encouraged the audience to give their employees the opportunity to express themselves and take more of an ownership over their device. He says you’ll be amazed by the results.