IT Commandments: Ignore them at your own risk

Summary:Here's a stone tablet's worth of rules that no IT shop can afford to break.

IT Commandments
In February, when L'Unix blogger Paul Murphy handed down his IT commandment, Thou shalt not outsource mission critical functions, we thought to ourselves: There must be a stone tablet's worth of basic IT rules. We asked each of the experts in ZDNet's blogosphere to supply a commandment that IT executives dismiss at their own peril. So far, a dozen bloggers have delivered.

Some offer truisms -- obvious, yet too frequently ignored: Thou shalt not fear change, writes John Carroll. (ZDNet reader Anton Philidor suggests a corollary: Wait.) And Enterprise Web 2.0 blogger Dion Hinchcliffe cautions: Thou shalt put thy users first, above all else.

Others submitted challenges to IT traditions: Tom Foremksi commands that Thou shalt not condemn departments doing their own IT. There were also some doses of admin common sense: Thou shalt not use nonsecure protocols on thy network, reminds Marc Orchant.

With further ado... 

Our IT Commandments:
  1. Thou shalt not outsource mission critical functions
  2. Thou shalt not pretend
  3. Thou shalt honor and empower thy (Unix) sysadmins
  4. Thou shalt leave the ideology to someone else
  5. Thou shalt not confuse projects with planning
  6. Thou shalt not condemn departments doing their own IT
  7. Thou shalt put thy users first, above all else
  8. Thou shalt give something back to the community
  9. Thou shalt not use nonsecure protocols on thy network
  10. Thou shalt free thy content
  11. Thou shalt not ignore security risks when choosing platforms
  12. Thou shalt not fear change
  13. Thou shalt document all thy works
  14. Thou shalt loosely couple
  15. Added 4/14/04: Thou shalt not let thy web servers be hacked

Should these commandments be etched in stone? Tell us why -- or why not. Have we missed any IT rules that are broken only at great risk to the soul of your business? Add your own IT Commandments...

Topics: Outsourcing

About

David Grober has worked a variety of editorial roles in the technology media since 1982, when he joined the copy desk at IDG's Computer Business News. He served as managing editor for PC Week (now eWeek) and, later, Digital News. David made the leap from print to online publishing in 1994, when he joined Ziff-Net's Software Library. Sinc... Full Bio

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