In IT Operations, the biggest challenge I see is the employees grasping to that box and they fear change. People usually think the keeper of the box is IT Management. This may be true is some cases but it is usually the employees who’s responsibility is to support this box. Change is the way they have neglected doing continued education and finding better ways to do the job. As a consultant we get called in from management to help, as they know they need change and they are ready to embrace it. When statements of work get ironed out with what deliverables they desire is to get their team on-board. It is a harsh reality but the biggest challenge is the team. If it is supporting Windows 7 now and not Windows XP, or having a new delivery method for their Operating System build / deployments, software delivery, in which now they have to learn new standards, or getting away from WSUS and start using System Center to manage their updates. As people get comfortable with the day to day and not realize how un-healthy and non-optimized their structure is. As Bill Gate’s said it best:
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
First mistake about System Center Configuration Manager (CM) it will not fix an un-healthy environment. In fact it will not be successful if it is the other way around. A challenge when going into any organization is letting them know in a convincing and well manner way their is a better way of doing this. When tackling an engagement for systems management the first thing to do is tackle Active Directory. You identify clients that have not logged into the domain for a set amount of time, and create a process to move those clients into a Organizational Unit (OU) that is not monitored by CM. After that identification is done then the process can go on managing the clients, via in-place refreshes, OS migration, software delivery, and software updates. Now with CM 2012 you have the ability to manage anti-virus with forefront integrated, and with the direct access coming around with PKI you will start seeing cloud distribution points. But there is plenty of information for you to read on the internet about the features. You will need to think outside of your Organization’s box and strive for optimization. You will not be successful and cause more work then it is necessary. Only you can strive to bring you IT Operations group to the next level and be that trend setter you organization.