Define… Long Day.

Piece of advice to all System Administrators…

If your network uses external IM, shut it off NOW.

Disregard the risks of sending business information over the Internet through a 3rd party system.

Disregard the positive effect it will have on productivity by removing an opportunity for distraction.

Just think of that one person in the company who will give you no end of shit for shutting it off without considering that email and telephone are simply TOO SLOW for THEM.

Surprisingly enough, 99% of my users had no complaints.  That 1% though, good grief. 

Shut it off now so they don’t get spoiled by it.  I managed to get our internal IM working on Linux, alleviating the stated issue – but just the same, nothing good can come from AOL IM at work.  It’s a distraction and a security risk, Internal IM is fine – just make sure it works for EVERYONE – that way when someone DOES complain they have no leg to stand on.

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3 Responses to Define… Long Day.

  1. Derek says:

    Gonna have to disagree with you there….

    I honestly cannot count the number of times per week that I tap outside resources to ask them questions, bounce ideas off of them, etc., etc., all via AIM. I can’t get all my contacts balkanized so that they sign onto my “protected corporate IM network”, they’re going to use what they already use. 3/4 of these people I don’t have phone numbers for, nor would I expect to have them…

    For “white-collar” folks, AIM is a godsend. For hourly CSR grunts? Yeah, I’ll agree with you (and I locked it down at many a former place, implementing Jabber-based solutions) … but for those people who demonstrated “value-add” to the organization from it, we definitely allowed it.

  2. Marlin says:

    I completely agree with you, as I will use it to call for help plenty of times during the week. The thing is that neither you or I are regular users, or even white collar users. We’re the sweaty bastards digging through the wiring closet in between solving problems usually caused by leeway.

    Case in point – I also disabled outbound SSH to 3rd party networks… Within 5 minutes I had a user complaining that they could no longer contact their outside system. For you or I, it’s a tool. For other people, it’s a security risk.

    In the event a ‘white collar’ comes to me and says that they need it for outside contacts, I’ll consider it just for them – otherwise if all they need it for is internal communication – there’s no point in keeping that door open.

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