Isn’t it nice being on the same page as your coworkers? Your work flows between you like a well-oiled machine and things just seem to go right. Realistically, you always have some hiccup along the way, though. For some, that includes being asked to set a new password every month. Why do you have to do that, but Jan in accounting doesn’t? And Pete’s computer – is it still running 98? Okay, that may be an extreme example, but the reality is that keeping everyone together in the IT world can be tricky. In order to overcome it, IT professionals generally make uniform those pesky settings using what’s known as Group Policy.
Group Policy is a sort of blanket term for different aspects of profiles on a network. Group Policy can control restart times, password reset notifications, even the time displayed in the toolbar.
“Wow, sounds great! How do I start?!” - No one ever
What does this really mean for an organization? Well, it’s a streamlining process. What it offers is a way to make sure that all users on a given system adhere to some rule set within the domain of computer function (no pun intended). Think somewhere between gentleman’s agreement and Big Brother. It’s a great way to establish best practices – that way Jan’s password can’t be JanRules123, and no one has to come into the office to the surprise of Windows updates (group policy can force these updates after-hours rather than your computer springing them on you when it’s least convenient).
What does it take? It does require a network of computers all connected to a server, through which user accounts are created and accessed. If you sign into a server now, you have the requisite setup.