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David Lee King

Great little article on bad IT practices



Go read the whole article at techrepublic… but here are two of their “10 dirty little secrets” about the IT department:

3. Veteran IT professionals are often the biggest roadblock to implementing new technologies

A lot of companies could implement more cutting edge stuff than they do. There are plenty of times when upgrading or replacing software or infrastructure can potentially save money and/or increase productivity and profitability. However, it’s often the case that one of the largest roadblocks to migrating to new technologies is not budget constraints or management objections; it’s the veteran techies in the IT department. Once they have something up and running, they are reluctant to change it. This can be a good thing because their jobs depend on keeping the infrastructure stable, but they also use that as an excuse to not spend the time to learn new things or stretch themselves in new directions. They get lazy, complacent, and self-satisfied.

2. Some IT professionals deploy technologies that do more to consolidate their own power than to help the business

Another subtle but blameworthy thing that some IT professionals do is select and implement technologies based on how well those technologies make the business dependent on the IT pros to run them, rather than which ones are truly best for the business itself. For example, IT pros might select a solution that requires specialized skills to maintain instead of a more turnkey solution. Or an IT manager might have more of a Linux/UNIX background and so chooses a Linux-based solution over a Windows solution, even though the Windows solution is a better business decision (or, vice versa, a Windows admin might bypass a Linux-based appliance, for example). There are often excuses and justifications given for this type of behavior, but most of them are disingenuous.

Ouch! I’ve seen library IT departments that do everything on this list. Heck, I’ve worked in them! Do your IT departments have any of these tendencies? If so, what’s your plan to stop them from happening?

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  • Jon Gorman

    This color seems really hard for me to read, I don’t know about others. To make it worse, it’s in the feed as well, which I’d rather have the quote/extract indicated in some other way.

  • Jon Gorman

    This color seems really hard for me to read, I don’t know about others. To make it worse, it’s in the feed as well, which I’d rather have the quote/extract indicated in some other way.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    Jon – thanks for speaking up! I have changed the color back to black and just left the quote in italics.

    While there, I also cleaned up the odd formatting that happened when I copy/pasted.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    Jon – thanks for speaking up! I have changed the color back to black and just left the quote in italics.

    While there, I also cleaned up the odd formatting that happened when I copy/pasted.

  • http://librarianwoes.wordpress.com/ Woeful

    IT Departments also have valid concerns about the institution-wide uniformity, of the solutions implemented, the security of those solutions, and what I call the volatility of the solutions (how they get along with the rest of the software/network). Subsequently, many IT Departments take an, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix” it attitude regarding system stability (even critical updates).

    Often times, working for municipal government with its funding crisis, union restrictions, legal paralysis, and the glacial pace of getting anything done at all, a stable system is preferential to the chaos of experimentation. That said, I wish they let us experiment a bit more where I work. Experimentation breeds new, and innovative ideas. So what if the solution doesn’t work well? If this should happen, just revert back to what you were doing and no harm was done… At least you tried.

  • http://librarianwoes.wordpress.com/ Woeful

    IT Departments also have valid concerns about the institution-wide uniformity, of the solutions implemented, the security of those solutions, and what I call the volatility of the solutions (how they get along with the rest of the software/network). Subsequently, many IT Departments take an, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix” it attitude regarding system stability (even critical updates).

    Often times, working for municipal government with its funding crisis, union restrictions, legal paralysis, and the glacial pace of getting anything done at all, a stable system is preferential to the chaos of experimentation. That said, I wish they let us experiment a bit more where I work. Experimentation breeds new, and innovative ideas. So what if the solution doesn’t work well? If this should happen, just revert back to what you were doing and no harm was done… At least you tried.

  • IT Guy

    Funny, how most of the time in my experience (especially at the library I work for) it’s the “veteran librarians” that refuse to accept let alone embrace new technology.

    And… it’s the librarians that always seem to come up with ways to keep technology out because they’re worried about it taking over their job.

    While I realize there’s an image of every profession there is – and the IT image is sometimes accurate – the Web 2.0-IM-Virtual Reference-Google Lovin’ library people out there need to realize that in most cases, it’s not the IT department holding things back.

  • IT Guy

    Funny, how most of the time in my experience (especially at the library I work for) it’s the “veteran librarians” that refuse to accept let alone embrace new technology.

    And… it’s the librarians that always seem to come up with ways to keep technology out because they’re worried about it taking over their job.

    While I realize there’s an image of every profession there is – and the IT image is sometimes accurate – the Web 2.0-IM-Virtual Reference-Google Lovin’ library people out there need to realize that in most cases, it’s not the IT department holding things back.

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