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Locking down client workstations

By jjmarch ·
We are trying to implement a policy in my workplace for locking down w2k/xp machines. It was deemed to restrictive by upper management. They want to be able to have rights to install programs. I'm trying to gather a list of programs that would cause potential problems with networking and/or system performance. Ex. AOL, Kazaa, etc... If anyone can post the names of some programs they've had problems with in the past it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance

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Wrong Tactic

by Oldefar In reply to Locking down client works ...

I think the reason senior management shot down the policy was because of prestige, time, and money. You are trying to convince them with knowledge and so are likely doomed to fail.

Prestige - when IT trys to set policy, they appear to be saying that the rest of the company (including senior management, division heads, and department managers) are too stupid to figure out what tools they need to do their job. This is behind most of the fights over IT initiatives.

Time - most business leaders feel they need to act, not wait on some other department, on issues that impact their objectives. There is a real concern that working through IT will add too much time to whatever they are trying to accomplish.

Money - time quickly becomes money in the business leader's mind. A delay in going to market means a loss of revenue that can never be recovered. It can also mean a loss of market position, a critical factor to success. Look at Cisco and Microsoft - neither with the best products but successful because of their market leadership.

Try a different approach.

Drop the argument over who makes the decisions. Leave their prestige in tact, emphasise it, and you will win allies. Go to them for help in choosing a best strategy instead of giving them a best strategy and they will respond based on logic rather than emotion.

Assume that you cannot lock down the workstations for sound business reasons. Now what do you need to deal with this environment? Look for an insurance policy to protect the company from fines and penalties if it is caught with unlicensed software. Since this is a real risk with users being able to load their own software, such a policy is prudent. Get a couple of quotes. With this, consider the need of adding a position of software auditor whose sole function is to perform regular audits on all workstations and ensure everything is properly licensed. You should also look at a policy to protect the company from porn or other offensive material in the workplace as well as liability for illegal activity. Consider the impact of new spam legislation, and the potential for liability if your company becomes an unwitting host of an attack on the Internet.

Users adding software will impact performance of their workstations. Add a program to clean up the registry on every machine on a scheduled basis. Identify both the time and software costs for this. Make this a legitimate program - consider how to do this most efficiently.

Consider the IT budget. In all fairness, IT should support a standard suite of hardware and software. User loaded applications that create problems should be at their department's cost. However, if it is a good application you should have a program to quickly move it from unique to part of the standard suite.

Network performance may be impacted by user installed applications. Baseline the standard suite of applications, and add the capability to monitor new demands. If you can bill for use by department, no one can complain. In particular, look at your WAN utilization since this is a recurring cost and adding capacity adds to your company fixed costs.

Remember, IT is a support organization. The items above are support to the business objectives and requirements of the company. Once they feel they are in control, they will likely push for lower cost alternatives LIKE LOCKING DOWN THE WORKSTATIONS! Everyone wins!

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