Here is a hilarious and insightful post on the blog Wings Over Iraq written by a Black Hawk pilot in Iraq, the post is title Why I'm Switching to Gmail for all my work needs. Whichever side of Cloud debate you are on, its worth your time to read this:
His description of the twenty canned choices is quite funny to read - I would not have expected to see a top 20 list of movies for soldiers in 2010 to include Pretty Woman, Bridges of Madison County, The Bucket List, McClintock, etc - its a KBA anti-pattern.
The same is true for the Army’s e-mail service, Army Knowledge Online. In order for a service member to access their paltry 100MB inbox, he or she must either stick their military ID card into the computer and enter a personal identification number, or they must enter a password followed by multiple personal security questions. Smartphone access is still in its infancy.
I’m no luddite, but I’m more inclined to use Gmail than AKO—the login process is simple, I have gigabytes of storage space, and I can send and receive real-time e-mail on my Blackberry. Not to mention I don't have to put up with personal security questions like these. Just witness some of the honest-to-God preprogrammed personal security questions from Army Knowledge Online, along with the twenty "canned" choices.
The deeper issue is this is the other side of the coin of what Gary McGraw and Jim Routh called Lifestyle Hacking. Its easy to blame the user, but at the same time the organization must take a sober look at whether their tools, technologies and process are enabling the mission to be accomplished. Do the tradeoffs of the illusion of IT control deliver better stuff to your users than allowing them to bring their computer to work (or in this case bring their cloud to work)?
There's a great part of a Tom Barnett talk where he describes how our echo boomers in the military, 19 to 25, over in Iraq taught each other how to do Counter Insurgency work, over the Internet in chat rooms. The military big wigs said you can't do that, "Al Qaeda could be listening!" They said, "Well, Jesus, they already know this stuff. *We* are the ones with the knowledge gap!"