Arguing against restrictive IT policies on programmers / techies
I'm wondering how to handle a discussion I'm going to have a at work and would like some suggestions.
The place I work has been a nice place to work. Management lets us know what needs to be done, then gets out of the way and lets us get it done. The new CTO is changing that, though. He's implementing a bunch of new controls and he doesn't seem to mind much if his new rules get in the way, making the work slow, inefficient, and aggravating.
One of the new rules is that employees can't run any software that's not pre-approved by the IT department. That's to reduce a) security risks from people running dumb software and b) licensing issues, because some programs that are free for personal use are not free for business use. I can understand that. However, for low priority issues the IT department can take two weeks to respond. If I have some unformatted XML, for example, and I need to run a pretty printer on it in order to be able to understand and edit it, I don't have two weeks to wait for approval to run an XML formatter. When I need to do cross-browser testing, waiting ten days for approval to install Chrome just won't work.
As developers, we're not going to be installing silly browser bars, greeting card makers, and other "win an iphone" junk. We're also more than capable of checking to see if a program is free or not, so for developers, at least, I don't think the new rules make any sense. Not when balanced against the lost efficiency and morale.
This afternoon we have a meeting with the CTO (head of IT) to discuss our concerns. What would you say to try to sway the CTO? A big part of the problem is how slow approvals will be, and since that problem is 100% his fault as head of IT, I suspect he'll deny that they are so slow. If his IT department responded quickly to requests so I could approval to run an XML editor within a few minutes, that would be okay, though annoying. The truth is they can take weeks to make a one-line configuration fix, so I wouldn't be surprised if approving a software utility took months. How can I approach it that might get him to back off the policy, rather than defendning his department and pretending they'll be responsive?