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How To Thwart the High Priests In IT

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the your-red-stapler-is-not-safe dept.

Cellphones 417

GMGruman writes "You know the type: They want to control and restrict any technology in your office, maybe for job security, maybe as a power trip. As the 'consumerization of IT' phenomenon grows, such IT people are increasingly clashing with users, who bring in their own smartphones, use cloud apps, and work at home on their own equipment. These 'enemies' in IT are easy to identify, but there are subtler enemies within IT that also aim to prevent users from being self-sufficient in their technology use. That's bad for both users and IT, as it gets in the way of useful work for everyone. Here's what to look for in such hidden IT 'enemies,' and how to thwart their efforts to contain you."

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417 comments

Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419264)

While some people get the policies wrong, in general the idea of IT policies is a good one; the only way to support business policies is to allow for sensible IT policies to exist. If the IT policies don't serve the business policies, someone's not doing their job right, but that's not a problem with the idea of policies existing at all. If you want to "thwart" your IT people, you'd better have a damned good reason.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (5, Insightful)

BlakJak-ZL1VMF (256320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419282)

^ This. The IT dept's worst nightmare are employees who *think* they know better.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419394)

Actually it's the job of IT to support the employees who are designing the products that bring in the revenue. It isn't the role of IT to dictate what those employees can use.

We had an IT guy for a while who thought he was a dictator. He lasted about a week before we replaced him with a guy who realized his job was to make OUR jobs easier. He's quite good at it, too - he actually does make our jobs easier, which makes everyone more productive. If he was going to tell us, "Sorry, you can't use X or Y", he'd be out of here in a week too.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419476)

Actually it's the job of IT to support the employees who are designing the products that bring in the revenue.

Right and wrong. IT's job is more than just facilitating the ability for engineers to do their job (not all companies even have engineers). It's about corporate security, regulatory compliance, and SLA compliance.

A good IT department will make compromises between all of these things. The business needs to be flexible enough to allow engineers, salesmen, etc. to be agile so as to be competitive in the market, but not to the point of anarchy where an untested/uncertified smartphone gets lost and results in sensitive data going into the wrong hands due to the lack of remote management of said devices, resulting in regulatory fines or competitive disadvantage. Similarly, any sane IT department is going to have a supported platforms/devices list. You cannot provide an SLA to the business on a device you've never seen and done any interop testing with.

Sorry, it's obvious you don't understand the challenges of a real business.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (3, Interesting)

lakeland (218447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419678)

Well yes, but I think you're implicitly overestimating the typical cost of "resulting in regulatory fines or competitive disadvantage". When was the last time you heard of a company getting fined or giving data to a competitor as a result of a data leak from a lost piece of computer equipment? When was the last time you heard a salesman say they lose time to IT policies.

I personally have had two clients because it's easier for them to outsource the work than it is to get their IT enabling that work to be carried out internally. As you say it's all about compromises, but in my experience the way those compromises fall depends much more on the political clout of IT than on any intelligent assessment of the risk and benefit.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419840)

When was the last time you heard of a company getting fined or giving data to a competitor as a result of a data leak from a lost piece of computer equipment?

First of all, that was just a singular example of IT security. There are numerous other attack vectors that IT has to enumerate, assess, and control.

Second of all, the reason why you don't hear about it is, firstly, it's rarely a front page news story when $RANDOM_COMPANY loses a harddrive full of customer account information (unless it's a particularly large breach). Secondly, the actual fines (which are, for the most part, a recent legislative creation) are incentivizing companies to actually implement the proper IT policies such as device encryption and remote wipe / disable. So the problem is starting to be solved.

When was the last time you heard a salesman say they lose time to IT policies.

Not the first time I've heard "It's IT's fault" from underperformaing salesmen. I'm not going to say IT is always innocent, but I've been around long enough to seen the patterns.

I personally have had two clients because it's easier for them to outsource the work than it is to get their IT enabling that work to be carried out internally

Specific examples? I'm not saying you're lying, but I can't argue with vague generalities.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419708)

I'm inclined to agree. GP comes across as the kind of feckless twat who equates making everyone's job easier with doing everything they say and no questions asked.

I'll tell you whose job it doesn't make easier - the one who has to clean up the inevitable wreck that occurs when you take understanding the users (a good thing) a step too far and let them run the show.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (3, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419502)

Creating solid policies that protect the network and the company from intrusion of just plain failing should always come before Joe sixpack employee hooking his iPad to the network.

It will often take some time to make sure that adverse affects will occur, or to sure up infrastructure. But very few IT people are gods on high, they want to help.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (0)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419794)

And how do you support Joe QA and Joe Developer who NEED the iPad on the network to support $10k in revenue daily?

What's your policy there?

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419816)

Are Joe QA and Joe Developer doing substantially different jobs than they did two years ago before they had iPads? If yes, then there is a business need and IT will integrate them.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (5, Informative)

BlakJak-ZL1VMF (256320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419532)

Agree with the other response; you apparently have the wrong end of the straw.

The IT dept support the _company_, not individual employees. If you want a tool that the company hasn't provided you, the right channel to go through is via management and the procurement process. Then your required tool gets a proper introduction-to-service and your IT guy is appropriate trained and ready to support it, rather than just having it shoved in his lap because it's the new toy you've just decided you 'need'.

if it's a device that you need for business purposes, the business will provide it for you. (Or should, if it's a genuine need.)

The influx of personal smart devices into business is great; but if you expect to connect them to my corporate network, you best be prepared to see them integrate into my corporate network requirements around security and support. I've seen policies from 'sure, but you support it' through to 'absolutely not' and the support guy's job is to enforce that policy. No more, no less. Oh and by the way, support guy rarely dictates policy, most especially in larger companies.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

jrminter (1123885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419652)

if it's a device that you need for business purposes, the business will provide it for you. (Or should, if it's a genuine need.)

In an ideal world, yes. I really wish I worked in one. I work in an organization under "severe budget constraints" (unless you are senior management, then it looks pretty cushy to those of us in the trenches.) If we don't buy and use our own stuff, we have to limp along with "stone knives and bearskins" (thank you, Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek). Our choice is to work around IT or get hammered at performance review time for "not getting the job done."

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

BlakJak-ZL1VMF (256320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419768)

This old argument... I know exactly what you mean, but if your productivity is being hindered by 'stone knives and bearskins' then surely this is something that management simply get to live with? When Management cease to support the employee, surely the employee should become a 'timecard-worker'....

if your productivity is high, they're going to think all is well. Let your productivity slide and when they ask why, point out to them how they're screwing themselves over with their stone-age conventions?

Sucks I know, but otherwise you're shooting yourself in the foot.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419554)

actually, sometimes the best way to support these people is to say 'no.' in other cases, saying 'yes' creates problems down the line that you are blamed for, and these people don't want to hear how their demands caused them.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (4, Insightful)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419676)

I am so glad I don't work in system administration anymore. Tools like you really were a pest. My first job was system administration. The person I replaced was a really good administrator. If good administrator means that he was liked by the rest of the company. Ok, when I examined the server I discovered a rootkit, some unknown outside party had access to this company's servers for month, but hey, shit happens. This is only a small problem as long as the employees were able to surf their porn sites. I built a firewall, cleaned the servers and all computers in this company and generally closed a whole bunch of security holes. What happened? Did I get thanked? Bah, a few weeks later I had a very inconvnient talk with the boss. Sure, I was the BOFH and the mobbing started. Everything worked under the old administrator, why can I idiot not keep everything as convenient as my predecessor? For instance he never forced anybody to use scp instead of ftp to get their files. And really all websites worked. I quit after about three month. Don't know what happened. Perhaps they were able to get their old, good administrator back. At least for a while. Because what I know, is that this company does not exist anymore.

Nope... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419744)

Excuse the rant. Realistically, IT has a number of jobs:

1: Keep stuff running.
2: Keep stuff accessible by users.
3: Keep stuff secure. Yes, this can inconvenience someone, but better a teed off muckety-muck than a wholesale breach where all the goodies are stolen to an offshore firm.
4: Comply with regulations.

Do you know how many fscking regulations an IT department in a midsize company has to deal with? In a typical organization, you have to deal with Sarbanes-Oxley (either because your firm or one of your clients is publicly traded), HIPAA, FERPA, or many other laws? Then there are the stipulations put on a company by contracts, like PCI-DSS. Then there are things you sign with a client like vague crap like "all computers will have antivirus programs running on them". Yes, the bean counters sign that, but it really means that I have to license copies of McAfee for the multiple IBM Power Series 795s doing the back end database I/O just so that "t" is crossed, and "i" dotted. Yes, the chance of finding a virus on the AIX boxes is flat nil, but it keeps the customer happy.

If I'm in IT and cannot allow you to VPN in or use your precious iPhone to access Exchange mail without restrictive policies (like blocking the camera, long passwords for unlock, etc.), it isn't that I have a pogrom against your sorry ass, its because when you are at the bar drinking with your friends and you leave your phone unlocked (or even worse, jailbroken to get around Exchange policies, then left without a PIN) in the bathroom stall and report it lost, guess what department how has to report to the public about an unencrypted security breach as per California and other laws? Definitely not sales. Definitely not HR.

Also, users have a choice. Want local admin access to your desktop? All the critical company resources like Outlook will be on Citrix. This way, there is a definite barrier between a compromised workstation and the core functions of a company, such as the database with accounts payable, receivable, internal applications and lots else. Don't like that? A locked down policy where one doesn't get to choose even their screen saver is just two commands away.

Of course, on sensitive sections of the company like the finance department, the desktops are locked down 10 ways from Sunday, but there will be a Citrix application available on a remote server so you can do some personal Web usage and not risk completely tossing the company's salad if the Web browser gets breached, even if it is "just" that user account that gets nailed.

So, don't take it personal when an IT guy says no. We are not correctional officers who view you as inmates. In fact, we will bend over backwards to try to get not just what you need, but what you want. However, we won't bend over forwards.

Oh, and my OS bias? Whatever gives me the least amount of problems and keeps the pages/calls/texts off my cell. I've been in the business too long to give a crap about what Netcraft states.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419596)

As working in IT the simple way when someone comes with a new model smart phone or gadget is that we can sure provide information about server addresses and similar but the user will be on his own to make it work in practice.

Since devices comes new every week there's a challenge to keep up with everything new all the time.

It's not to be evil that IT departments doesn't support every potential device on earth - it's just to keep the nose over the water. Unfortunately some IT managers goes the obnoxious way of it by saying that everyone shall have a specific phone regardless of if it suits the task or not.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (1)

swright (202401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419288)

+1

Some policies are lame yes, and some in charge of them are stupid, but for the most part these 'enemies' are just trying to protect the bigger picture.

Probably the biggest part of this is security. All the things quoted in TFA are a nightmare to ensure are secure, and to support!

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419310)

it's not just a stupid post, it's a dumb shameless plug, look at the submitter and the article editor...

very, very lame.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419614)

How to thwart the Priests? If you want them to look the other way, just give 'em a pre-pubescent altar-boy. They'll allow your unapproved phone to access the corporate intranet and the boy will get a million-dollar settlement 18 years later. Then the priest will be moved to another parrish and some other lucky IT guy will have the opportunity to run the latest facebook app on the corporate intranet -- for a price, of course.

Everybody wins!

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419440)

In college, our home directories (using Linux) for the CS department were kept on NFS mounts. To distribute the load, the IT staff spread our home directories over numerous separate partitions, and to keep us within our allotted amount of space, so that we don't go, and fill up our accounts with junk (since we were using an old -- even for the time -- version of Slackware, "junk" could include Firefox, GNOME, and anything else that wasn't FVWM2.) the IT staff had turned on quotas.

If you think about it, there is one was to do all of this, that leaves a fairly large gaping security hole towards indefinite storage space. If you don't set everyone's quota to 0 on all the shares that do NOT contain their home directory, then you're giving the user unlimited quota space on that share. But how would they ever exploit something like that? I mean, it would require two students on two different shares to collude to have one of them setup a directory owned by the other in their own home directory, and thus all quotas on that partition would be meaningless. Why if setup properly, anyone could just soft-link this directory into their own home directory, and exploit all of the programs that the user has compiled and setup! The user/{rogue IT admin} could even make a script to make it easy as pie to import it, and even send out messages about updates, and upgrades!

Cut to months later, I had a usable GNOME installation, Firefox, and a recent version of OpenSSH that actually supported remote X support (I told you, this was a crazy old version of Slackware! Of course, out of concern for security of others, the "ssh" wasn't imported unless you had set the IMPORT_SSH environment variable to "1", so no claims of keylogging or whatnot) However during one unsuccessful build attempt, I seem to have filled up the partition, and left it in that state somehow, which resulted in the IT department finding out, which lead to them being very upset with me, and locking my account requiring me to come in and talk to them to unlock it.

On a positive note, I think they realized that they couldn't just use the same old slackware forever, and started upgrading the OS. The following year, we actually had GNOME and KDE available to us, and KDE by default, rather than FVWM2.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419470)

Thank you and I agree.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419488)

Hm. Well. Let's see. How about replacing all authentication with a smartcard system that is completely incompatible w/ anything but Windows on physical desktops.
Yes, that means it will break virtual servers in Windows, as well as the Mac and Linux desktops, not to mention people trying to access network resources on any other device.

Or. How about putting a deep packet inspecting firewall in, ostensibly to improve productivity by blocking every possible image and file host out there, as well as a page that might possibly have the word hack on it, but of course, since it blocks all the image hosts, it makes online documentation unreadable, and blocks as "hacking" simple things like the bash FAQ. Getting a site whitelisted is a multiday process involving paper forms and w/ good chance of getting ignored in the end. Not to mention it does deep inspection of zip files, and if they happen to be .deb, about 1 in 4 times decides it is a windows virus and blocks it, even if it is a signed, critical security update on an ubuntu server.

Or, how about setting network connection expiration to 5 minutes for security purposes, which caused random failure of app server to db communication.

Or how about blocking *all* utility accounts on the network, causing various services to suddenly stop working.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (5, Informative)

serverglitch (2534516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419562)

The submission appears to be by the same guy who wrote the article just trying to stir up attention with nonsense directed at a mostly tech community. Professional trolling from someone that wants more hits on his website.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419778)

There are natural conflicts because IT tradeoffs create losers and winners. Generally executives (and not just specifically IT executives) don't think through how to ameliorate the issues losers are going to have with the choices they made. That's the whole point of "getting to win-win" type strategies. People do have damn good reasons.

Re:Wow, what a stupid post (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419788)

I recall, many years ago, when big iron ruled the campus and we all had to make runs we punched into cards, we would submit the card stack and they would be checked for errors and if no errors, the priesthood would accept your stack and it would be run overnight and we would get the results in the morning, the IT dept would also charge the profs grants a large fee for their shares of IT time. Profs hated this. Then around 1978-1982 the profs started to buy MITS, Imsais, Sols, Apples and the first PCs so their grad stoonts would peck away and solve problems. and since a PC cost about $5000 and the grad stoonts were free (LOL) there was a huge wave of desertion by the profs of the IT depts. The IT dept was cut off from it's usual food supply, and they sought help from Admin. Profs were forbidden to buy computers with grant $$, so the profs bought them with their own wages. Then the profs were forbidden to bring their own computers onto campus. So the profs used terminals to send data via modem to home, or they sneakernetted the data. In time the IT depts lost this race.
Are they rising??

Sour Grapes (4, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419266)

Sounds like the article was written by a tool with no understanding of how enterprise IT works, and no grasp of what bringing alien, unknown systems into contact with critical infrastructure can lead to.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

pankkake (877909) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419352)

But I want to browse Facebook on my iPad!

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419588)

Sounds like the article was written by a shill in the employ of cloud providers

For every workplace asshole on a power trip there's somebody just doing their job. So long as IT staff are actively enforcing policy, the liable party when commercially sensitive or embarrassing information is leaked due to a compromise of a 3rd party cloud service is not them!

The article may as well be renamed "how to expose yourself to personal liability while making operators of greasy web services some coin".

Re:Sour Grapes (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419642)

Sounds like the article was written by a tool with no understanding of how enterprise IT works, and no grasp of what bringing alien, unknown systems into contact with critical infrastructure can lead to.

Yeah... then there's my job, where somebody recently pushed out a GPO update that was supposed to make internet explorer "more secure" by preventing downloads. It's been five days now, and our company is at a virtual standstill... it's costing tens of millions every day, probably more. Bonus: I work for a major health insurance provider in the US.

The problem is when you get people who just start adding restriction after restriction with no understanding of what it does not just to productivity and worker morale, but in some cases to the very applications they support.

It's like how they've encrypted my whole drive and then added 3 antivirus scanners to it, running constantly... and now they're planning on upgrading to Windows 7. The only reason the system works at all is because it has 4GB to run XP ... and a couple web browser windows. It chokes on anything more.

No, IT policy is often both foolish and stupid, and getting around it is the only way to get work done. Unless you don't care about that sort of thing, in which case, yeah... feel free to do nothing until they fire you and replace you with someone who does bypass the policies. IT has become like marketing that way -- sure, it's probably against policy, but if you want to make quota, you better ignore them too.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419694)

No, IT policy is often both foolish and stupid

And often, it is not. Sounds like you have idiot IT managers and practitioners.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419806)

it's costing tens of millions every day, probably more. Bonus: I work for a major health insurance provider in the US.

Tens of millions (of dollars?) lost every day? ORLY? I think you're lying out your ass, but please, go ahead and tell us the name of the company you work for. I'd love to short its stock before the news of this IT calamity becomes publicized. Reading its SEC filings and Annual Report to the shareholders should be a lot of fun.

Re:Sour Grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419812)

You might consider that IT also get asked to do "things" by management that rarely make sense in a given environment, in addition if you work in the health care industry you are probably subject to HIPAA, and if you use a laptop the drive should be encrypted the only other thing I want to know is how they got 3 different AV solutions running on a client, they usually don't get along.

On the bright side you have a job.

Build a business case. (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419830)

Yeah... then there's my job, where somebody recently pushed out a GPO update that was supposed to make internet explorer "more secure" by preventing downloads.

Yep. There are a lot of incompetent IT people out there.

The problem is that most of the non-IT people are even more incompetent at IT tasks.

And management is not very good at managing.

The problem is when you get people who just start adding restriction after restriction with no understanding of what it does not just to productivity and worker morale, but in some cases to the very applications they support.

The easy solution to this is to build a business case for whatever change you want and send it to your boss.

You boss then sends it up the ladder until it gets approved and IT makes whatever change you wanted.

It's all about money. It should be easy for you to show how you'd be more productive (in terms of $X) if you had item A at cost $B.

No, IT policy is often both foolish and stupid, and getting around it is the only way to get work done.

I have seen a lot of "foolish and stupid" IT policies. Which is why you need to communicate to the BUSINESS via the "business case" for the changes you want.

Unless you don't care about that sort of thing, in which case, yeah... feel free to do nothing until they fire you and replace you with someone who does bypass the policies.

IT should be IMPLEMENTING the policies that upper management has decided upon.

If you don't like those policies then convince upper management that you'd be more productive (in terms of $X) by writing a business case for the change(s).

As for being fired, who cares? It happens.
I'd rather go into my next interview saying that I was fired for enforcing the policies rather than saying that I was fired because the systems were cracked and all kinds of company / personal data was downloaded.

Re:Sour Grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419700)

whatever man, all i know is when IT rejects my application to install the wacom mouse drivers for the wacom tablet i bought myself, so i don't get RSI, i ophcrack the system and install it myself. If you be dicks people will find a way not to deal with you and thats worse than letting the occasional ipad or touch mouse driver in.

Just support yourself (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419274)

Don't care supporting home made IT solutions, just get the boss to buy it all for me so I know how to use it

Rarely read such a nonsense (2, Informative)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419280)

Nothing more to say.

IT Don't make the rules generally.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419294)

Management make the rules, if management say no iphones, and you then thwart them.... you've gone against management wishes.... which can be disastrous for a job you like.

Of course Iphones in this example was simply that.

When management has become mismanagement (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419654)

The article is about dealing with IT admins to whom management has punted the responsibility of making the rules. Such punting results in the IT department becoming a self-reinforcing institution interested more in preservation of its own power than in serving the company's needs. When research and development spends weeks waiting for procurement authorizations while payroll cuts checks to them to sit on their hands, management has become mismanagement.

Unbelievable. (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419304)

The whole point of restricting devices is to prevent any conflicts that block productivity, and that's from the network ops side. From the security side, devices are blocked to prevent extrusion attempts as well as to prevent vulnerabilities from being introduced.

It has nothing to do with power tripping; it has everything to do with making sure the network doesn't fall apart. It has everything to do with making sure no one breaks into the organization and runs away with trade secrets or, worse, PII.

Re:Unbelievable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419540)

The author of TFA sounds like one of the grunts who brings his games on the USB stick he found on the ground outside FOB Dumbass to the SIPRNet or drone-control station because, orders be damned, the officers just want to ruin his fun.

Overhead (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419312)

IT is overhead. It's a cost center. It generally does not generate revenue. Maintaining an infrastructure costs the company money. Every time you want to bring in your personal equipment, we have to figure out how to support it and that raises the company's overhead. Instead of making IT justify why we don't want to support your Widget Of The Day, why don't YOU justify to the company why you're increasing costs and then work to have that increase added to IT's budget so that we can actually afford to support your crap without having to divert funds away from things that the company has already approved?

Re:Overhead (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419384)

Which suggests a simple market based way if IT is run on a chargeback basis, set a fee for analysis of a new device to be charged to the first department whose user or users requests a device. Then figure out what to charge to support the device. This puts the decision on the users boss as to what to do and if the amounts are proper IT gets the resources to do what is needed. If multiple departments want a device divide the analysis charge between them.

NO IT needs a union (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419666)

so they don't take the blame and have power to say no to some stuff like who bring in their own smartphones and other stuff that people like a CEO think is some thing at home is cool and want it at office. Even if some thing that is for home use and does not fit well in enterprise use or people with there own PC's that you can't control stuff like AV software some may even say I have windows antivirus 2012 and I payed $50 for it so I am good.

Re:Overhead (0)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419434)

Every time you bring in your personal equipment for work means one LESS equipment to buy. In fact we all encourage people to bring their personal gadget to work so we don't have to provide them with one.

  The funds should go to hiring more people and reducing unemployment rate instead, which is a more positive PR move.

Re:Overhead (5, Insightful)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419566)

Except when your uber-important report or presentation or project or whatever is lost and when your laptop goes belly-up and you want to waste IT's time to try and recover it.

Yeah, the problem is these folks want all the freedom and none of the responsibility for maintaining their own gear.

How about when there is a lawsuit and all emails, IMs, etc., must be collected? Do you really want your personal laptop being inventoried for all of this? I think not. There is a good reason for a line between business and personal.

Change your funding model (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419762)

You have a problem because your funding model is broken.

Set up an IT shop where people can buy tickets which entitle them to support for standard computers as well as tickets which entitle them to support on the non standard latest widgets. Money comes out of their budget and goes to IT budget. Problem solved. They will have to justify to their own management why their widget is costing $2k per year to support vs $20 for an XTerm.

Same goes for network storage, backups, large email inboxes any resource. Let people pay, then the justification is their problem. No pay, no service. IT then only provides the services that the business needs and not those it doesn't, and those services automatically get the funding they need by the fact that they were purchased. Those people and departments which demand a lot of resources then automatically pay a lot of money and the services they need are properly funded.

Resource allocation on the IT side becomes trivial. People bought support for Widget X on the shop? You need people able to provide support, hey look, you got money too.

Re:Overhead (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419810)

IT policies and company policies can conflict and quite often do. Different people at different levels can issue different and conflict policies that employees have to work through.

(a) Boost sales 17% this quarter
(b) Meet company X's security guidelines

Don't sound like they conflict. But what if company Y is the most likely sales target and Y needs flexible and nimble structures to support them?

Responsibility Needs Authority (1)

larsl (30423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419314)

I'm all for this, so long as all concerned realize I'm no longer responsible for keeping everything working. Here's my pager, keep the paychecks coming!

Yea..but users don't make policy. (5, Insightful)

geekforhire (300937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419322)

I certainly understand that users want to use what is easy for them but they need to understand that they don't set policy. I listen to any reasonable requests and if they fit within our policy (or if it makes sense to change the policy to allow it) I will authorize their request. However, understand that I have been working in IT for over 20 years and know a thing or two that you probably don't. Its not a power trip, its my job, it is what they pay me to do. Employees need to understand that its not personal. If their request was denied I had a very good reason to do so. Get over it, move along.

Re:Yea..but users don't make policy. (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419838)

Except that your job and your policies can interfere with their job. By your logic they can break your policies, because it is their job and it what they get paid to do, its not personal; and you should get over it and move along.

Or maybe you need to try and figure out what unmet business need is driving the desire for a new device and meet the need so they don't even want the new device.

It's not just IT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419340)

Hi:
I'm a technical writer who has, on occasion, been up against an SME for whom nothing is right. My current fellow has five distinct levels of 'no.' It doesn't matter what the question is, he'll start with one of them and work his way through the list. None of our user or technical documentation can be done by anyone but him. (Don't worry, he checked with himself and he verified this.)

The reason is fear. He has a need to be the unimpeachable expert whose wisdom cannot be challenged. The result is user hostile documentation written to serve one function: to demonstrate how intelligent the author was. I swear he must have taken writing lessons from a Vogon.

The thing is, he knows his stuff but cannot abide actual teamwork. Ergo, he's fear driven.

Well, maybe you actually are wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419420)

Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe you are, in fact, wrong? Have you ever stopped to consider that you may be making stupid requests where "no" is the only reasonable answer? Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe the documentation you're producing isn't up to standard?

Business teamwork isn't about making everybody feel good. It's about getting the job done. Sometimes the job is in fact best done by one person who really knows his stuff. Often times this person will have to waste a lot of his time shooting down stupid requests and ideas from teammates who don't have their shit together.

As an end-user of software systems, I much prefer the documentation written by the expert. What you consider to be "hostile documentation" I consider to be explicit, detailed and factually-correct. In fact, I get far more pissed off when I read documentation that was clearly put together by somebody who wasn't an expert. Maybe it reads more like a novel, but it often isn't as helpful because such documentation is rife with factual errors.

Someone wasn't allowed to bring his toys to work.. (3, Funny)

gtirloni (1531285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419342)

Just saying.

Advice for the clear PVP noob (0)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419358)

The best way to beat Priests in Mana Drain, obviously. No mana, no spellcasting. No Psychic Scream spamming, and certainly no healing!

Welcome to Clueville, population: You (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419360)

Seriously? We don't want uncontrolled portable devices on our networks because we don't control them. We can't force-install AV software (if it even exists for your favorite no-name phone/player/tablet/whatever), we can't even do basic cleanup of them without your cooperation.

And that only describes them as a potential vector for attack. We also can't control who else has access to them, can't wipe remotely without your permission, can't keep you from leaving it, complete with the latest super-secret corporate strategy on it, in the bar at a random trade show.

Dislike of portables has nothing to do with controlling you, and everything to do with controlling and protecting what the company pays us to - Their IT infrastructure and digital IP.

Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (1)

0x63DE7DC154F4D039 (650989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419590)

In addition to lack of control unauthorized end user devices often put IT support in rule-bending, 'grey area' situations. End users grow accustom to using their own software and hardware - and when a 'mission critical' project or situation is jeopardized by that software or hardware failing the IT support staff could be ordered to get involved. In these hybrid environments a line does exist - but when faced with a situation where the company could lose money, face, etc., precedents of support are set. In my past years in a support desk with a 'company equipment and software only' policy I was called by executives to do everything from a home visit to install a printer to rewiring setting up and troubleshooting email on countless personal devices - each of which involves a bit of a learning curve and precious time and that time adds up quickly. I have not seen an IT director defend this line at all costs.

Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419686)

We can't force-install AV software (if it even exists for your favorite no-name phone/player/tablet/whatever)

If antivirus software doesn't exist for a particular platform, then that platform probably has no viruses to speak of either.

Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419822)

You are correct, but he platform might carry files/viruses that affect the other systems in the company.
Especially if they get inside the network.

Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (1)

geekprime (969454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419854)

Sadly, the that does not prevent them from being used as methods/carriers to get malicious software past the company firewall.

Also, any programmer could create a virus for any platform any day of the week, just because YOU or the AV company hasn't head of one dosen't mean that it does not exist.

Ignorance is NOT bliss, ignorance is danger that you aren't smart enough to recognize.

Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (2)

myrdos2 (989497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419814)

I develop software for a small company, and it sounds like you administer a large one... but when you say: "Dislike of portables has nothing to do with controlling you", I think you are lying. You would like to force me to install AV software (you can't, I develop in Linux), clean up my machine (whatever that means), wipe it without my permission, stop me from taking it with me, and generally have control over everything I do on the system.

I can imagine this making a certain amount of sense if computers connected to the work network had special privileges over external machines (they don't), or if we prevented remote login to our servers (we don't). Other than protecting me from my perceived incompetence, they only reason I could see for taking away control of my own machine is that you don't trust me not to run off with IP or company secrets. But I doubt you'd be able to accomplish that no matter what you do.

In short, it seems to be more about control than security. I'm not sure that up-time is an issue here either, since I can always put my laptop away and switch to the IT-administered PC on my desk if it should die.

Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419860)

In short, it seems to be more about control than security. I'm not sure that up-time is an issue here either, since I can always put my laptop away and switch to the IT-administered PC on my desk if it should die.

The office doesn't let unescorted strangers walk around the office does it?

But it should allow god knows what you have installed on your laptop free roam on the office networks?

Sure if it could join a segrated vlan that can't reach any corporate assets it would be safe enough; but then you'd moan it can't reach the intranet, the file servers, the network printers etc, etc, etc. And if all it can do is reach the internet... what do you need it for anyway? facebook, skype, msn messenger, and pokerstars.net? Leave that at home.

Completely brain-dead (4, Insightful)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419368)

It's the sort of stupid article you'd expect from an organization that is supposedly all about information technology, but is so backwards that they're endlessly pestering me to take a free subscription to their dead-tree edition. If their web site isn't even worth visiting for free articles, why would they think I want to spend the effort moving their magazine from my mailbox directly to the trash?

Imagine if these high priests worked at TJ Maxx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419378)

Yeah, they might have prevented hackers from installing malware on company servers and making off with credit card info for 45.7 million customers. But just think how much these arrogant SOB's would've slowed down the rate of application development and innovation going on there.

Excellent (-1)

chemindefer (707238) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419396)

This is one of the best articles I have ever read, and I don't even work for a corporation.

Re:Excellent (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419466)

It works for government and non-profit as well.

The simple way to eliminate IT roadblocks is like removing a node from a binary search tree: isolate and fire.

Re:Excellent (-1, Troll)

chemindefer (707238) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419782)

You are so right! However, the mods here, just like most IT nitwits, have no sense of humor whatsoever. Something about being around all those magnetic drives screws up their irony glands. Among other things.

Dear GMGruman... (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419402)

Dear GMGruman,

Go fuck yourself.

Yours sincerely,
Pretty much every sysadmin anywhere that's been tasked with providing IT services to keep a business running as productively and profitably as possible, in spite of people like yourself.

Re:Dear GMGruman... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419472)

I agree with this comment so much it hurts. Seriously the poster needs to get a clue as to how to run an effective network running critical services

So... How do you thwart the high priests of IT? (3)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419408)

The article starts by saying there are good IT people who help you and bad IT people who make things difficult. From there he just whines and whines about nothing. His only advice about "thwarting the high priests of IT" is to complain to the CIO. Of course everyone complains to the CIO about the tech staff, but he or she will apparently be dazzled by your insight that some IT workers are good and some are bad.

The only non-obvious thought in this article is referring to bad IT workers at the "High Priests of IT." However, it is only non-obvious because it is really stupid. And if you actually go around saying "the High Priests of IT" then you are a bigger dickhead than almost any IT guy ever met.

On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419436)

IT is often the "prevention of information services department". User figures out a better way to do something, IT blocks it. Prescribed methods of doing things don't work well; user goes around them, IT blocks or complains to management. User wants something done, IT demands business justification and signatures from at least two executive VPs. User does it himself, IT finds out and makes him stop.

Re:On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419504)

... and all the whiney IT types complain on Slashdot when the emperor's clothes are exposed.

I complain to the CEO. I recommend that IT be outsourced, off-shored, and eliminated as much as possible.

Re:On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (1)

geekforhire (300937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419582)

"User figures out a better way to do something"

Better for the user or for the company that issues their paycheck? If a user has a better method or device/software to get a job done its zero problem to allow it but quite often users don't see the big picture and that is understandable. They don't know the regulations we are legally required to operate under (at least in my industry) and don't always understand that while their method might make their job easier it also has consequences that they cant anticipate. Very often users know enough about technology to be dangerous and don't understand that being 'tech savvy' is not even close to being an expert. When I go to see the Dr I have ideas and questions about treatment but when he talks I listen...he is the expert and knows that he is talking about. IT should be the same. Of course, some IT folk are just a-holes and frankly should not hold the position, but assuming your IT staff is competent they should have full veto power over users ideas..but ealing with incompetent IT employees is a different conversation.

Re:On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419858)

No they shouldn't. IT should report into IT steering committees that are tasked with making sure IT meets corporate goals. Far too frequently IT departments don't fully understand the extra labor costs they are creating by not allowing technologies. IT departments don't get billed for lost productivity if they spend an extra 90 days doing a security study of a badly needed system. It might be cheaper net to do the security study in tandem with other parts of the project at 3, 4, 5x the cost to get the system out 75 days earlier.

Re:On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419674)

Users complain that they can't use another product that does the same ****ing thing a product, which the company already has setup and configured for everyone. Product they want to use is written in a way which in no way, shape, or form conforms to the security measures being taken by the enterprise. Users bitch because everyone of them thinks "they should have admin, too!". Desktop support is usually understaffed, and the *last* thing they have time for is opening up massive holes in security so that client machines need rebuilt constantly, or so that security breaches can be remedied.

These are usually the same users that, if they manage to snag local Admin rights, have a trashed desktop that needs replaced every 2-3 months.

Re:On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419764)

IT is often (and supposed to be) the "control of information services department". Sometimes controlling of the information services requires preventing or limiting user's access to it.

In regards to procedures such as requiring justification or signatures, I see even more stringent controls in personnel and accounting departments much of the time but people rarely bitch about that.

Re:On the money, whether BOFHs admit it or not (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419774)

IT is often the "prevention of information services department". User figures out a better way to do something, IT blocks it. [...] User does it himself, IT finds out and makes him stop.

No duh. Opening up your desktop firewall to the world and setting up your C drive as a share writable by Everyone is not a better way for your team to share data. Rooting your box doesn't make you l33t, it makes you a headache and potential legal problem. Go through proper channels, make your case logically. Worst case scenario, get your boss to talk to my boss.

Seriously? (1)

techracer (1415831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419454)

you are either less than 2 years at your first job out of college or you are a complete IDIOT! You clearly are hoping to start a flame war with the 85+% of the slashdot population that is IN IT.

Riboflavin (1)

SuicidalLabRat (804152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419462)

This from the "Smart User" blog. Well played, with the oxymoron. By virtue of the profoundly deep understanding of the environment he is redressing, I can only assume the author is a member of these United States congress :/

Stupid article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419478)

It neglects the most important aspect; security. At my place, you circumvent IT, you get fired. That's the level of information we are dealing with.

Job security, power trip, or good standards (3, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419490)

This was probably written by the dude who routinely roots his box (calls Dell to get the BIOS reset code, uses a bootcd, et voila) so that he can install PC anywhere because it's VITAL for his side business and he knows IT will say "no".

More than stupid (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419494)

It's already been covered how stupid it is to think a company only has IT policies as a power trip. But beyond that, do you really think it's appropriate to view your coworkers as "enemies" who need to be "thwarted"? It's bad enough that the "CRUSH KILL MAIM!" rhetoric has broken into politics, do we really need it in the workplace next?

What about those who insist on providing IT... (1)

citking (551907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419518)

...services but refuse to follow-through after the fact?

I am the network admin/server admin/helpdesk manager for a small online-based college (not private but part of a state system). Our department is moving to a new building in February or March so, of course, I wanted to order a single server to provide file, print, antivirus, WSUS, DHCP, and other necessary services for our office. We are well-positioned to grow in the next five years (which is our lease period for the new place) so a single server should be sufficient while allowing for additional capacity later on.

Of course, our central IT department insists that they will provide these services to us. Our new director is onboard with this (anything to save a few bucks I guess) despite my repeated warnings and lamentations of the lack of support and follow-through that central IT has always had. This is the same central IT who gives us 6 hours of notice before a 20 minute non-emergency web outage in the middle fo the week. This may not seem like much but when you are completely online-based AND registration is in full swing the outage is less than ideal. This is the same central IT that takes 4 hours to make a permission change on a share that only a few of us access (negating the need for change management). This is the very same central IT who lost an entire communications server because the backups were corrupt and they had it configured to run RAID 0 on two drives. And yes, this was a production server.

So earlier this week when I put in my request to have access for WSUS, DHCP, etc. with a month and a half of lead time for them to figure things out I was told that they have several high-priority projects that they are working on now and cannot do this until February 1st.

I am compiling a list of issues already but I am not looking forward to the stares and glances I'll get from my coworkers when the server goes down or "maintenance" is conducted without warning at 2:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. Our CIO can't manage to extract herself from a paper bag let alone an entire IT shop. The next few months are really going to be quite painful methinks.

I'm just sick and tired of the big IT departments that insist on providing services but no/slow support. All it is for them is a control issue and it drives me nuts. I think the last straw was when the tech ops director told my boss that "anyone in [citking's] position would ask for one just to have as a toy." This is why I sometimes hate my job.

Re:What about those who insist on providing IT... (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419680)

You could leave. The ultimate reality of this situation is that the BUSINESS thinks that the IT department they have fulfills their needs, not yours. If it doesn't fulfill your needs, go up the proper business channels explaining why they don't. If nobody listens or cares, then find another job. At this point it's the company's loss if you leave, not yours.

The article is crap (2)

dave562 (969951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419538)

The article is complete flamebait, and many other posters have pointed that out.

The solution to home brew IT and people wanting to use their own devices is simple. Setup Citrix VDI or something similar. The Citrix receiver runs on everything.. iBlah, Android, web browsers, etc. The "cutting edge, tech savvy users" can use their lame devices, and all of the application code and information stays safe on the corporate network.

To flip the author's logic back around him, he suggests that users using their own devices are making things easier on corporate IT. They are empowering themselves at their own cost. Good for them. Let them pay for their Citrix licenses and infrastructure costs. If they really want to "partner with IT" and be an "IT ally" (to use the idiotic author's verbiage) , they can go ahead and come up with some funding. Nothing makes friends like throwing money around.

Galen Gruman, you have trolled and I'm respoding (5, Informative)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419548)

All right, Mr Gruman you have trolled and since I'm one of your bad guys I'm going to respond and enlighten you:

They want control, and users who want to choose their technology tools are apostates to be crushed.

I have best practices that tell me to control these things that you want to let roam free. I also happen to have laws, and some of these laws have very large financial penalties or the possibility of jail time.

Mr Gruman, how many attorney generals have you had conversations with after someone went ahead and did what you wanted done? I'm willing to bet it's not as many as I have had and that you've never had to deal with the results of your company making the international news because someone decided to bypass IT.

When you come across an IT pro stupid enough to use the "toys" epithet, complain to your CIO. Send the IT person back and ask for someone who actually respects you. Marginalize and isolate these IT staffers before they do it to you.

Your insight into how to play dirty politics to get your "Toy" into the office shows your complete lack of an understanding of how the enterprise works. Is your department going to pay for the budget for the time needed to support your toys?

Instead, you hear the code phrases, involving "security," "governance," "compliance," "risk," and "efficiency." These code phrases (the middle three are often referred to as a group via the acronym "GCR") boil down to "if you do it, it will be bad; if we do it, it will be good."

These code phrases are code for things like "mutli-million dollar fines", "angry attorney generals", "class action lawsuits", "criminal negligence", "security clearance", "ethics", "privacy" and other such things.

You see this is what happens when some petty ass whiny twit such as yourself goes to the CIO and says I want my toy and the IT department won't let me have it. The CIO comes to the IT department and says, "why won't you let this twit have his toy" and we're going to come back with something like "federal law, accountability, public relations disaster".

You know what Mr Gruman, I have never, ever lost that argument. When you take into account that regulation is only increasing the odds that I might lose that argument drop even further.

Now Mr Gruman, instead you should try the tactic of saying "IT Department, I want to use this toy for business purposes and not just as a toy, can you please look too see if we can?". You might have a perfectly legitimate case, and it might be very reasonable to do what you want, but you have to ask so that we can see if we can do that without avoiding nasty code words.

Just remember my code words can and have cost companies many millions of dollars when someone blew them off and ignored the IT department.

Plumbers (0)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419558)

IT departments are plumbers: they provide the infrastructure for a utility. There is nothing wrong with being a plumber. It takes a lot of skill, experience, and smarts to be a good one. The only difference between IT and actual plumbers is that actual plumbers don't think they have a right to godlike control over everybody's bathtub.

Re:Plumbers (2)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419664)

I don't think IT guys want to control your bathtub. They are more like want to prevent you to bring in your private jacuzzi to the 10th floor, when there is already a regular bathtub. And you are the reckless guy who causes flood on the floors 1-9 despite the plumbers' advice.

Re:Plumbers (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419702)

An intelligent person, so not you, would have compared an IT department not with a plumber, but with a fire department. Of course, they are assholes too, which only want to spoil your fun and feel great by forbidding you to smoke in several places.

Re:Plumbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419818)

Actually there are 2 more differences:

-Good plumbers probably earn more

and

-Plumbers don't have Federal laws that give 6-figure fines and years of jail-time for ignoring them

I actually read the article... (5, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419572)

...but I stopped counting how many times the author recommended trying to cost people their jobs for actually doing them after the third time. I'd like to offer something more insightful in response, but I'm afraid I'm left with "What a smug asshole."

Better advice (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419586)

(This is my second comment to criticize this article. But I can't help it, because this article sucks.)

Okay, so he's saying that if IT doesn't you to do something they are bad "High Priest of IT", you should complain to the CIO.

His advice represents a horrible deficit of office political savvy. For example, hasn't it occurred to the author that policies are usually set by the CIO himself? So if the CIO is an asshole, he'll just agree with you that the person you are complaining about is bad and do nothing for you (since you already assigned blame elsewhere, he doesn't need to do anything for you). If he is decent, then he'll feel a need to defend his employee, so he is still less likely to do anything for you.

So wouldn't it be better to explain to the CIO what you want to do and why you want it, instead of complaining about an employee? This is more likely to get you what you want. And even if the CIO can't give you what you want he or she is more likely to find half-measure to appease you. This also means that IT will be more agreeable with you in future, because you aren't a whiny asshole.

iPad2s are toys, no matter how much folks whine (1, Interesting)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419626)

I know how to break into one in about five seconds. They're an enormous security risk, and I'm not an "enemy" because I don't think they belong on my network. If Apple wants to made a ruggedized iPad designed to hook safely into a domain based corporate network, then I'll consider that a business machine, but until they do, I'm going to call the iPad what is is - a toy. Period.

Re:iPad2s are toys, no matter how much folks whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419692)

Can't afford one, can you? I can tell from your WHINING.

IT vs. the Mac User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419658)

I answer calls for an ISP which recently realized that if you allow employees to go on Facebook and YouTube at work, yes they goof off a bit more, but they also are much more patient when trying to walk 80 year olds through turning their modems on and off, and putting up with them trying to use the To: field in Outlook Express as a URL bar (not that anyone over 30 knows that you can actually put something in the Address bar).

The ironic part though is that you can still tell that our IT guys have a blatant anti-Apple bias which is really irritating considering about forty percent of the people who work for the company have iPhones. When iCloud first launched I could go in and update my calendar in there with the one generated by the scheduling app the company uses, I could do it during my breaks or when waiting for customers modems to power on when I had nothing else to do. That way I always had my work time table with me, and it was on both my phone and on my MacBook at home. A few days later they disabled this so I had to go back to using exchange and Google Calendar (apparently Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs don't provide the same risks as iCloud?).

When I asked about the change I was told that it was due to traffic spikes (apparently sites automatically get blocked when users are using them. Go figure a whole bunch of people at work wanted to access their iOS device data on iCloud.com). When I asked my supervisor about it he told me that the network guys didn't want to reauthorize it because Photo Stream would hog bandwidth. That's right, we allow Facebook and Flickr and YouTube, but by golly people looking at condensed versions of their photos from their at most 8 MP camera phones are going to just crash the whole damned network!

And people in IT wonder why end users hate them.

Soooooo ignorant is this article.... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419720)

...and I am sure I don't have to explain to anyone here why.

I get the feeling that this article was written after Galen Gruman (the author if you didn't take a look at the article) brought in some "shiny new toy" couldn't connect to the network or some network resource and the expected IT to come rushing to his side to support a technology that they are not supposed to and don't have the time to and so they didn't. The enemy? Seriously now. I would suggest anyone and everyone here worth their salt in IT write a nice email to Galen Gruman explaining why he is the enemy. I cannot recall reading a more BS article in recent memory.

A better headline, and a funny story (3, Insightful)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419740)

A better headline might be: "Writer get pissed that IT guy called his new gadget a Toy."

While I'm sure he's got a good point that IT people should not talk down to other employees, he needs to hear a few horror stories to understand our concern about his new "toy".

I was brought in to trouble shoot a network that was completely down, idling over 100 workers. Naturally, the CEO called everyone who had any IT experience, so we had a crowd of upset and confused people. In short - it was a packet storm. What caused it was an employee bringing in his own device and connecting it to the network.

The employee wanted a wireless AP for his laptop, because he didn't like the Cat5 cable. The IT staff said "no", so he install his own Linksys. You see it coming - no encryption, default password, etc. Well, it was slower than the wired connection, so he figured he could get twice the bandwidth if he connected TWO Ethernet cables. The port he selected was connected to a different switch, and soon a packet storm erupted.

Yes, the IT manager made several mistakes, including buying non-managed switches. But the bottom line is the employee cost the company dearly for his "toy".

What's funny? The guy was bragging to his buddies about how smart he was, not knowing the IT manager, CEO and I were standing behind him. Fired on the spot he was.

Re:A better headline, and a funny story (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419864)

I would have hoped that any non trivial network (more than 2 or 3 switches) would have STP enabled for just this reason. STP is spanning tree protocol which is designed to stop this - it also means you can link your backbone switches via diverse routes so a single cable / switch failure wont stop you.

self-sufficient? (1)

wygit (696674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419776)

When I worked in IT, we never had a problem with ANY customer who wanted to be "self-sufficient".
What we had problems with were the people who wanted to use their own notebook, tablet, whatever, with their own software, but then wanted us to support it when they screwed it up.

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