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Let Your Yes Be Yes

by on June 22, 2016

Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Mathew 5:37

At Gotham, we sell a lot of products and consulting to a lot of customers (thankfully). We get to see many of them succeed and we’ve unfortunately seen some fail. We try to share that experience to make our customers as successful as possible. Sometimes we even write blogs so that random strangers can potentially be more successful. That’s just the kind of people we are. 🙂

It’s always difficult to see a project fail. Now if the technology is fundamentally flawed, that’s a relatively easy thing, we just stop selling it. But what if it’s not the technology, what if it’s the nature of the customer organization that makes the project fail?

Let’s say we sell a client virtual desktops. To be successful, we need to get all of the applications published on the virtual desktops. So, we take the client’s list of applications and put them on the virtual desktops. Upon deploying the desktops, we discover that our list was incomplete. The users need more applications, different applications. It seems that the IT department wasn’t actually aware of all the applications in use. This is a terrible situation. The project is in jeopardy. And worse, we’ve embarrassed the client by uncovering this problem.

Whitelisting technologies often lead us down a similar road.

I want projects to be successful. I want to make my clients look good, not bad. I know, silly, right?

So, over the years, I’ve tended do a lot of un-selling when it comes to whitelisting. “Are you sure you know every application? How sure? What about updates, do they all come through one place?” It goes on that way for about 15 minutes until I’m in a full blown Jack Nicholson impersonation screaming “You want Whitelisting!?! You can’t handle Whitelisting!!”

And for that, kind reader, I would like to atone. Not everything easy is good. Not everything hard is bad. At the core of this is our control as IT practitioners. We need to control the application portfolio. Maybe you’re as old as I am and recall installing a firewall for the first time at an organization. Putting a new firewall in place has some trepidation as you certainly will block something you didn’t know existed. This is not a good reason to skip firewalls all together in your environment.

We need whitelisting like we need firewalls. We need to get in front of the application offerings and stay there. Ignorance is not bliss. Not knowing is not an option. It’s our ‘Yes’ or our ‘No’ to give. Let’s take that back.

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