14 Reasons To Fire Your IT Staff
Is your Windows pro team just dead weight in your company? Find out with these red flags.
- By Greg Shields
Don't get me wrong -- I've always been a champion of the Windows IT pro. I mean, I'm one myself.
But complacency is the enemy of progress, and too often IT pros with a modicum of "secret knowledge" hold their employers hostage to it. They cite slippery reasons for security, best practices, laissez-faire and hand-waving in order to prevent useful changes from happening.
Sometimes your IT pros don't have the company's interests at heart. As a result, technology gets prioritized over business goals, and everyone loses.
The good IT pros embrace what's smart in what's new; the bad ones compare it to what's old. See if any of these 14 red flags exist in your ranks.
- A lobbyist for a Windows 8 Start button. Progress means sometimes evolving the UI. If an IT pro can't handle a new Start button, how is he handling your other technologies?
- An administrator cites security as a reason for not implementing DirectAccess. Yesteryear's VPN required complex choreography for a basic Layer 2 connection.
DirectAccess is always-on and bidirectional. "Every laptop always under management" isn't insecure -- it's exceptionally secure.
- An admin is still installing applications manually. Technologies that automate software installations are two decades old. Enough said.
- Your Exchange e-mail goes down. Exchange these days offers multiple, overlapping high availability (HA) technologies. If your admin lacks experience to implement them, a cloud service can -- and can potentially do so at a lower cost.
- Requests spend more time in committee than getting provisioned. Change Control Boards (CCBs) are IT's best effort yet in impeding business requests in the name of coordination.
- An administrator offers virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions without understanding Remote Desktop Services (RDS). RDS is a cheaper, denser, simpler version of VDI that's also nearly two decades old. RDS doesn't work for every application -- but it does work for most.
- An admin hasn't explored a single cloud service. Good cloud services are an organic evolution of on-premises IT.
- An admin foregoes monitoring because "it's too noisy." Devoid of monitoring, Gartner's IT Management Process Maturity Model labels an IT organization as "chaotic." Tools like System Center Operations Manager aren't trivially easy, but they've become fundamentally necessary.
- An administrator is still creating user accounts instead of leaving that to HR. Active Directory Users and Computers is the Windows world's least-efficient solution for creating user accounts, particularly with System Center Orchestrator and other workflow solutions. It only takes a little up-front automation effort to pay long-term efficiency dividends.
- Your backups fail. Backups sometimes fail, but not knowing they have is professional suicide. Intelligent backup technologies have evolved substantially in recent years. A catastrophic loss today is justifiable evidence of negligence.
- An admin's Active Directory team hoards Group Policy. Repeat after me: Group Policy has nothing to do with Active Directory. In fact, Group Policies do more for desktop management than anything else. Keeping these technologies from those who benefit most signals fiefdom-building over cooperation.
- An admin stares, clueless, at Invoke-Command. Years have passed since Windows PowerShell became a must-know skill in Windows management. Today, one must grok Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell remoting to be considered a whole Windows IT person.
- Users still configure applications. Users should come to work to use applications, not configure them.
- An admin hands you this column and starts explaining.
It kills me to throw my fellow IT pros under the bus, but some aren't pulling their weight. In egregious cases, some are actively stopping forward progress. I hear these stories everywhere I present.
And to you, the "everything works just fine" IT professional, your days are numbered. It's not the cloud that'll have you losing your job. It's you.
Greg Shields is a senior partner and principal technologist with Concentrated Technology. He also serves as a contributing editor and columnist for TechNet Magazine and Redmond magazine, and is a highly sought-after and top-ranked speaker for live and recorded events. Greg can be found at numerous IT conferences such as TechEd, MMS and VMworld, among others, and has served as conference chair for 1105 Media’s TechMentor Conference since 2005. Greg has been a multiple recipient of both the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and VMware vExpert award.