Let the IT manager who is without sin cast the first stone.
OK, we're still waiting.
Odds are, you've committed some venal sins at work -- if not mortal ones. Whether it's falling prey to gadget lust, hoarding information, avoiding necessary but onerous chores, coveting thy neighbor's budget, venting anger all over your staff, or letting ego get in the way of the job, we're all guilty of something.
Not surprisingly, most of our transgressions find their foundation in the classics: lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, envy, wrath, and pride. With apologies to Dante Alighieri, here are the seven deadliest sins IT managers can commit.
(The identities of the sinners have been obscured to protect the guilty. Read and learn from their wicked ways.)
Read. Repent. Repeat. Then go forth and rectify.
IT sin No. 1: Lust for new technology
There are many kinds of lust in the IT universe -- lust for power, for position, even (gulp) the physical kind. But believe it or not, the most damaging unbridled desire in the IT workplace might just be gadget lust.
The most common expression of lust in IT is the endless pursuit of new technology for the sole purpose of having new technology, notes James J. DeLuccia, author of IT Compliance and Controls.
"IT managers mistakenly seek out the latest processors and hardware to 'keep with the times' when, in most cases, the present technology is functioning just fine," he notes.
To illustrate, DeLuccia tells the tale of a consumer-goods manufacturer in the Northeast. Things were going well -- operations were running smoothly, service-level agreements were being met, clients were happy. Nonetheless, the company's IT managers were infatuated with new technology and elected to perform a full upgrade to a new Oracle database and Xenon processors.
As with many IT endeavors undertaken in lust for the new, the first thing that happened was that the software the company used to connect to its database didn't support the new version of Oracle. Moreover, the software vendor itself was no longer in business. So, as a result of the upgrade, the company's primary service applications no longer worked.
Worse, the new hardware drew too much power, and the datacenter's electrical and UPS systems weren't up to the task. The result? Power outages. And when you're in the manufacturing business and your conveyor belts stop running, you're dead in the water.
Add to this bill all the long-term costs for hardware and maintenance, infrastructure upgrades, software licenses, energy costs, and training new Oracle DBAs.
"Now they're in a really long spending cycle for something that was completely unnecessary," adds DeLuccia. "If you're going after new technology, it has to be really practical and necessary to the business. Lusting after technology for the sake of desire is a costly sin."
IT sin No. 2: Information gluttony
Not as expensive as lust but more common is the sin of hoarding information. Too often, this unwillingness to share one's expertise is mistakenly believed to be the path to job security.