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IT Administrator Abuses

Shawn AndersonShawn Anderson

A recent slashdot article on IT Administrator abuse might more appropriately be titled IT Administrator Biases. It brings up an excellent point which highlights the known fact that, generally speaking, IT departments are horrible at eating their own dogfood.

The example in the article points to the blocking of forums or discussion groups, but leaving wide open the access for Digg, Fark, and Slashdot. 

My experience points to management deference. They either don’t understand or don’t want to understand the nuances of IT life. They will often accept point blank what their IT guys say. In a way this is beneficial. Afterall, most companies don’t make money from their IT departments. 

While it could generate bad will among the rank and file within a company I think little is likely to change.

It goes much deeper than website blocking. IT admins will commonly install software on their systems that has not passed internal security checks or is not documented or even (gasp) licensed. 

I recall running a software inventory scan for a client only to find several sys admins who had sniffer applications installed. To say that ‘it’ hit the fan would be an understatement. 

All in all it will build a stronger environment if the IT department eats the same dogfood, but then again, how would we get anything done if that were the case?

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