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I get involved in conversations that have this undertone uncomfortably often.
My most recent involved mail quotas. The admin (of an M$ Exchange server) was adamant about having a 75MB mail quota. Folks in good places in the organization to get funding had indicated that we could get enough to easily make everyone's quota 1000MB, but the admin just didn't like that. In this case, as is too often true, what should be a pure policy/technical issue turns in to a philosophical/religious one. If the business leadership has a business case and the funding to do something and it doesn't contradict the general IT direction, we should do it.
Now, of course, there's a line there between letting folks do what they want with their money and letting them do stupid things with their money. I had a case recently where a public IT shop was all ready to move to Lotus Domino from a small POP server. On the day before the equipment was to be delivered, one person at the public shop got wind of it and (because of their position) killed it. They had had a poor experience 10 years ago with Domino 4 on an iSeries - which was almost certainly caused by poor administrative choices, not even by Domino itself. In one day they doubled the short term cost (probably tripled the long term cost) of the project and went from a projected cluster which would have given them 100% uptime to a non-clustered solution with zero redundancy. And the IT staff just rolled over and went along with it.
We should play balanced role in this, but in most cases it seems to me we're much too limiting and let bias play way to big a role in what should be a pretty logical decision train. IT should always strive to help/make a business grow, never limit it because we're uncomfortable with change or with putting up a fight.

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Craig Wiseman April 13th, 2007 09:50:00 AM

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