Why we love decentralized IT

This bank tracks deposits and loans with a widely used and well-supported application, and it has always worked fine, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"The administration of the application is under the Deposit Operations department, not IT," fish says. "This is a very stable package, but it began to throw errors. That was very unusual, so it was further investigated.

"For this application, whenever we're notified of a patch or update's availability, it is put in a log. This is done so a listing can be viewed and to ensure we have all of the patches downloaded.

"The person in charge of the department is not a technical person, but can read a manual. The process was to look at the available patches, select the ones that have not been downloaded yet, and download these. Once this is done, the system would in theory be secure.

"Turns out she didn't do this. She would look at the potential updates and select which ones she wanted to do. Why those? Who knows! She didn't understand how the system and its pieces work together, or that by not applying all the patches there could be an itsy-bitsy issue or two.

"Also, there were no backups done prior to partially installing the patches. And if the system went down, there would be an RGE (resume generating event).

"And the IT group was kept entirely in the dark about this..."

Don't keep Sharky in the dark. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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