Does your users have the keys?

Most IT departments lock down computers and resources. This helps reduce costs through fewer support calls and prevent abuse. But sometimes, locking down resources can have the opposite impact.

Personal example from the lodging industry
My family and I have rented a ski cabin for the holidays. The cabin was well located right on the slopes and the view was amazing. And we were lucky enough that it snowed quite a bit, including on Christmas Day. Enough that I needed to shovel away the entrance of the cabin. But there were no shovels. I gave a quick call to the landlord, asking if he had any shovels and where he kept them. His response was that he did have some, but they were locked away in the storage locker.

Obviously, that was useless for me. Yes, the resource was available (the shovel), but I wasn't able to use it and the owner was too far away to do anything about it. I had to shovel a path using my daughter's crazy carpet.

Resources are useless as they are unavailable
For users, having the resources, but not having access to it is worst than useless, it is frustrating. It is a cause of dissatisfaction. Nothing is worse than seeing that the one item, software or service I need is available but not accessible due to bureaucracy.

Smart service departments distinguish what really needs to be locked down. Why would someone bother to lock down a software that the organization has a corporate licence for?

Resources need to be accessible
And if a resource is locked down, who has the key? Emergencies happen at all times of day and nights. Having the key available only between 8 to 4, monday through friday may not be enough anymore. Users need to know how to get access to critical resources if they need them and who to contact.

Take-aways

   * Not everything needs to be locked down
   * If we lock something down, we need to be available with the key

Posted on May 23, 2014 and filed under blog.