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When to Just Say ‘No’ to an IT Request

“Just say no,” was once a popular slogan for various purposes, and some would say that IT should adopt a similar slogan when it comes to receiving untenable business requests. Although no self-respecting IT leader wants to pass up opportunities to impress the business end (and to not be viewed as a roadblock), it sometimes really is best to just say “No.” In an article for The Enterprisers Project, Minda Zetlin recommends denying requests if…

The Request is a Threat to Security

A real threat to security, not just one that makes you or your staff uncomfortable, is one that has you called into work during the wee hours of the morning to handle a high-level data breach. That’s one project you ought to deny.

The Technology Just Doesn’t Fit

There are times when a piece of functionality is so critical to the objectives of the business that IT must go forth and create a marvel of complexity and customization just to make it work. Yet most of the time this just isn’t the case. IT should be ready to halt any efforts at integrating “headache” applications without good cause.

There aren’t Enough Resources

Human resources are something your department needs at a scale and quantity appropriate for a given request. Otherwise those human resources are going to burn out:

…don’t take on more work than your department can do within a reasonable schedule. Constantly pushing your reports into “death march” mode is bad for their health, your retention, and the quality of their work.

It Doesn’t Help the Business

Sure it’s IT’s job to serve the business. But if you’re a CIO who knows what’s tenable from the business end, what better way to prove your value than by calling out a weak proposal on the spot?

Read the original article at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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