Defining Software Standards
Large organizations typically support hundreds — sometimes thousands — of different software applications and versions of software applications, including operating systems, across the organization. Many organizations can reduce their client computing costs by implementing core software standards — particularly for organization-wide functions such as e-mail, word processing, and spreadsheets — and retiring obsolete and unnecessary software.
To develop your client application standards, address the following questions regarding operating systems, generic commercial applications such as word processing software, and line-of-business applications that have been developed internally to perform tasks such as client management or order fulfillment:
What software is mandatory for your organization?
What software is required for a particular job or business unit?
What software is optional for the organization, business units, or workers who perform a particular type of job?
How often do software requirements at your organization change?
Who determines which software is used — throughout the organization and in specific workgroups?
How is software customized?
How is software distributed?
How is software configured?
How do you install new client software?
How do you upgrade existing software?
How do you pilot or evaluate new software?
At the same time, decide which software to deploy with Windows 2000 — and how to deploy them. Software that is not installed along with the operating system can be made available to users on an as-needed basis.
Basic users might require a standardized configuration of the operating system and the minimum number of corporate-standard applications, such as e-mail and word processing, along with the specific applications they need to do their job (for example, an order entry application). However, basic users would not be permitted to install optional applications, and more complex application features, such as pivot tables in spreadsheet applications, can be disabled.
Advanced users frequently require advanced operating system features such as the ability to create personal network shares. They also commonly require additional optional applications and features, which they can install as needed. However, you can still prevent them from installing unapproved applications.
After you have decided which applications are mandatory and which are optional, review "Applying Change and Configuration Management," "Automating Client Installation and Upgrade," and "Using Systems Management Server to Deploy Windows 2000" in this book to determine how to install and manage these applications.