Dear Bob ...
The worst has happened.
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Not really. Calling a request to support the marketing director's new toy (an iPad, of course) isn't the worst that can happen. And it could be worse, too -- unlike the COO, she isn't a table-pounder.
On the other hand, we've been hit with a succession of budget cuts over the past few years, so taking on more isn't at the top of my list of favorite things to do.
I'm not even asking for advice. I've been reading your advice long enough that I know what to do (don't say yes or no -- instead, explain what it will take).
I'm just venting. Don't these folks understand that when they cut my staff and then cut it again, eventually something has to give?
Dear Steamed ...
You think it's bad now? You'd better hope the rumoured Microsoft Courier never shows up!
I know you didn't ask for advice, and you have the right idea. At least, I hope so -- I've given that piece of advice enough times by now.
There's another dimension to the question, though, and it's worth a mention: Is your marketing director asking for support as IT understands the term or as your average consumer understands the term?
When something like this comes up, we in IT tend to err on the side of both perfectionism and task expansion. We think in terms of full integration, bulletproofing, regression testing with standard desktop builds, application development, inclusion in the Configuration Management Database, and probably a few other niceties as well.
Your marketing director probably means she wants to get onto the company network, get her emails mirrored to it, install Apple's synchronization software on her laptop, survey the company intranet, and go through the firewall for general-purpose Web browsing -- in other words, more or less what she did for herself on her home PC.
"Support" can be a fairly lightweight affair, especially if you've already set up your VLAN as a mostly walled-off Wi-Fi environment for contractors to use when they work on site, as a lot of companies have decided to do.