Information technology professionals often view things as an absolute choice between right and wrong, black and white and so on.
IT standards are like about anything else…there are no absolutes. Gray areas do exist where exceptions to standards inevitably rise. An engineer may want to purchase a software program IT hasn’t approved of or a company vice president may want some special cell phone or laptop.
While we love our standards, most other people in the organization are not familiar with them – much like we’re probably not too familiar with human resources or purchasing standards.
Standards are a good thing and necessary but in of themselves, they do not resolve anything. If they did, there would be no need for managers to dissect each argument for or against. Simply saying no and hiding behind the published standards will do nothing but create animosity at your company.
IT standards are developed to help make the company more efficient and productive…notable goals indeed.
Recognize there are some situations that an exception to the published standards is valid and find ways to work around it. When developing IT standards, determine which ones absolutely must be followed and which ones are less important that have some flexibility.
In the end, remember that standards are a means to an end, not the end itself.
Learn more about IT standards and the importance of being open minded when dealing with them in this Forbes magazine article.