Understanding the differences between the System Administrator and the Power User is essential to successful technology integration.
I've heard the complaints over the years about the evil power mongers known as sysadmins. I've read many articles complaining about company IT departments that unfairly lock down workstations so users can't install software. The articles are often written by disgruntled power users wondering why they have the latest and greatest applications at home, but work for companies that force employees to use clunky programs.
This series on technology management helps business professionals to better understand technology management in a business network. It also hopes to give the average network user an appreciation of the reasons behind the decisions made in managing the business computer network.
The Systems Administrator
On a small to mid size network there may be little, if any, distinction between a systems administrator and a network administrator. The tasks may all be the responsibility of a single post. As the size of the network grows, the distinction between the areas will become more well defined.
Some people are constantly worried about making the right technology decision. They are always looking for the right time to buy technology, and for them, now is never the right time. They worry that price drops are just around the corner. They worry that new technology will make their new tools obsolete too soon.
Technology is a fast paced business, price drops are always around the corner, and new tools that make your purchase obsolete are inevitable. Don't let fear of making a bad decision slow you down, or prevent you from making a decision.
Refusal to accept basic assumptions
Everything we do is assuming something, like when we drive, we assume the car coming at us won't swerve and crash into us, your monitor you are looking at won't explode in your face, the food you eat isn't poisoned, the person next to you in Wal-Mart won't stab you. Everything we do starts with a basic assumption.
The world is full of experts that self proclaim themselves as masters in some area of technology simply because they use a buzzword to describe some technology product or feature. But there also comes a point in time when you need to seek out someone you can trust, someone who understands your needs and your situation.
Our goal in writing the "Beyond Great Ideas and Good Intentions" series of business lessons and lectures was to look at the mindset that creates success. In the process of identifying challenges in information technology success it is equally important to take a look at the attitudes that cause negative results and the perceptions of failure.
I was closely following a major system upgrade in an online forum where end users were voicing their frustrations over a project that was bringing workflow to a standstill. The end users saw an application that was "just working fine" before the upgrade. With the upgrade underway end users were screaming about a technology support department that was not keeping up with resolving problems.