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Taming Information TechnologyLessons from Studies of System Administrators$
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Eser Kandogan, Paul Maglio, Eben Haber, and John Bailey

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374124.001.0001

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Practices and Innovation

Practices and Innovation

(p.87) 4 Practices and Innovation
Taming Information Technology

Eser Kandogan

Paul P. Maglio

Eben M. Haber

John Bailey

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on standard practices for accomplishing tasks through the story of database administrators Christine and Mike. They considered data loss the worst possible disaster, so their group developed a number of practices to avoid this, including keeping a central repository of step-by-step instruction documents for important operations, rehearsing all significant changes on a series of increasingly realistic test systems, and working side-by-side at the most critical moments to ensure a second pair of eyes oversaw those steps. The second story describes Patrick, a capacity planner who used standards developed in his organization as a starting point for allocating IT resources, but who relied mainly on experience. Overall, the chapter examines innovation in practices and methods, how such innovation is applied to new problems, and how it evolves.

Keywords:   innovation, evolution, standardization, IT work practices, database administration, capacity planning

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