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Granting all users (or "a select few"??) administrative rights on their own computer systems??
Sorry if this is a re-hash of a very old subject, but – most of our users do NOT have administrative rights on their computers. A select few (outside of our centralized IT organization) have what are termed “Z accounts” that are separate user accounts that are issued to individuals that essentially provide them with admin rights on their local systems, but – we’ve been trying to keep these to a minimum. However – now that we are getting more and more update notifications for Adobe, Java, etc – the end user population is demanding more and more access to their systems so that they can do their own updates. Up until now – we have held that we (the IT organization) would assist with any updates or software installations – and do so either at the desktop, or remotely through our Service Desk. We do a lot of remote support via RDP and/or PCAnywhere and/or Altiris Deployment Solution.
We’re keenly aware of the potential risks that this presents, but – we’re being told that we have to pursue this direction – in some manner. From a support perspective, the prevailing belief system is that when we relinquish admin rights to the end users, the field tech workload will swing from “installing updates and software” to “repairing and re-imaging systems”…….but, if that’s the direction we’re told to go, we’ll do so without argument…..(personally – I’m not opposed to it at all…..it’s more the “support policy” that concerns me…..;-)
But, the bottom line is – we have to allow users (either in general, or in a controlled group?), to install their own software – install their own patches (ie, Adobe, Java, etc.).
My question is: How do other colleges manage this? Do you give user’s admin rights as a matter of course?.....or do you have a means of controlling this? Do you continue to lock down the desktop such that most/all users do not have admin rights?.....or do you allow them to configure their own systems themselves, at their own risk?
Without sounding too callous, I *came* from an environment where users *did* have admin rights on their own systems – and for the most part, life was uneventful *except* for the instances where a user would get themselves so twisted up that when they did call for tech support – we basically told them that the 90% solution was to simply re-image their system for them. Data backups were their responsibility – we’d re-image the OS and baseline software – install whatever additional software they could produce proof of licensing for – and re-pointed them to their network data stores……and that was about it. Again – it worked fairly well in a “Fed sector” environment, but I’m not sure how well it would fly in a higher ed environment….??
Sorry this is so long-winded, but – curious to hear how everyone else handles this kind of situation…..
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