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back to article Cloud no cure for IT department haters

It's a seeming truism that everyone hates IT. Indeed, while IT departments have long looked to open source as a way to skirt the formal purchasing and legal processes that slow down software acquisition, marketing and other departments now look to the cloud/SaaS as a way to evade IT for much the same reason. But if IT is such a …

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Smoke & Mirrors time then?

What you can't see (ie in the cloud) can't go wrong then?

If people think that moving 'stuff' into the cloud will correct any of the crazy decisions made my generations of PHB's then they are smoking something very illegal.

I did like the quip about salesforce though. A lot of smike and mirrors that promises a lot but delivers very little. All the integration problems with your mix of disparate systems will still be there.

There is so much hype around these days. IMHO, this cloud thingy is a passing fad. Someone has to manage the stuff in the cloud you know it does not happen by magic.

If you want a history lesson just look at the late 1970's equivalent of the cloud, 'The Last One'.

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Anonymous Coward

hmm

I've heard of this hate for IT but I've never really seen it, except for a short while when we dealt with uneducated sales droids, and that was generally because we'd blocked facebook or they'd filled their PC with shit. I find that marketing and sales are far more hated as they tend to be ----ing stupid and loud and annoying and generally good for nothing but snorting cocaine and being loud (yeah they also sell things which is great - but as people they're horrible).

People probably hate helpdesks and technical support front lines, but then the world is full of stupid problems that wind the little people up. But most people barely understand that application developers, systems administrators, network administrators, security people, DBAs, and the rest even exist. Poor old frontline tends to get it in the rear for the rest of us. Users don't like new things, they also hate security.

If users had their way there'd be no passwords on anything, no access controls, they could have utorrent on their desktop and limewire whilst watching streaming movies and reading facebook while occasionally browsing the salaries of all the other employees and installing viruses on the fileserver.

However the notion of Cloud is fantastic, however that's cloud without the marketing wrapped around it, all cloud is is thinking about resources as pools instead of stacks.

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FAIL

IT hater here

<rant>

I work in a development team (A business intelligence team that does extras) and as far as I am concerned the structure of our IT department is incredibly flawed.

Examples as why I dislike IT.

Despite having confirmed funding for a new server (MS SQL and Web server) it has so far taken 2 years and we still haven't actually got a server. The price has fluctuated by more than 400% (both up and down) and the last 3 "You will have it by this date" have been postponed/cancelled due to IT's failure to be able to actually have available hardware (or availability on a virtual server).

It is almost impossible to talk to anyone who knows anything remotely technical. The helpdesk staff are a joke (outsourced) and all tickets must be raised by them. Tickets have a tendency of being closed due to lack of information despite you telling the helpdesk staff the correct information. No attempt to find the information is made.

In the last 3 years almost any contacts I know of inside IT have left, taking with them a large quantity of knowledge that IT has not replaced.

Procurement has to go through IT. This is incredibly slow and has a good chance of being cancelled for no reason.

When asked for quotes on work they charge £5K just to think about it. The last quote I heard for a call logging application that retrieved information from our billing system was a £250k!

</rant>

This company's IT is worse but not by a huge amount than my previous companies IT department. But what they both have in common is that part/all of the IT is outsourced to IBM.

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Go

"... business intelligence ... "

... is an oxymoron akin to "military intelligence" and "government intelligence".

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Hmmm

What you have there is a shambles, not an IT department.

If you want good IT then hire two people - one who is a technical whizz with a proven track record and one who gets on with the technical whizz but has business sense and can talk to management. Then give them what they need - mostly budget, staff, a strategic voice, and free pizza.

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Sort of

I see it as developer jobs change (we're moving our ERP to an Oracle cloud solution) but that's it.

You still need directory servers, desktops, fileservers, DNS, DHCP, remote access, email - plus all associated security, management and network infrastructure.

Will probably mean less DBAs, but more project managers and developers.

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Meh

Doesnt have to be like that.

I left a large firm a few years back after being an IT Manager for several of them. I was known for getting stuff sorted, reducing noise and generally having a good relationship with my customers.

Working with them was far more fun than against and actually meeting them and seeing how they worked payed major dividends. I rarely got any hassle and work was really smooth. I hated the IT bunker mentality and avoided it at all costs. Let them know you are a decent bloke rather than an arsehole essentially.

I then tried to get a similar role in other companies. Same story over and over. I would tell the grey little middle aged senior IT director how I worked (i.e. with the customer rather than against) and how well it worked. But I could tell it terrified them as thats how they should be working and he couldnt have me putting the wind up his lazy bunch of IT managers.

Suffice to say I'm now self-employed.

Why did I leave my long terms role? I was told that as there was no IT budget left I would have to sit and say "No!" to all the folks I looked after. No fun I thought and I fancied taking a risk.

When I go back to the job hunting lark I'll just try to appear an average arsehole that doesnt appear to be a threat to anyone and happy to let others take credit. Seems thats what firms like these days.

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IT manager in customer understanding shocker :)

There is no silver bullet. Making things work takes work. There are good IT departments and bad IT departments. Good IT departments are normally lead by managers who actually talk to their customers and understand the business. IT is there to enable the business to make money.

Business needs IT to be a strategic differentiator. If that's not the case it will be out sourced. The role of IT is changing from running the infrastructure to owning the service. the reason that all those Gray haired middle managers were scared was that they know their days are numbered.

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FAIL

I know how you feel!

I have even been hired just to be fired.

This IT firm needed a scapegoat and just being there less than 3 days they found out it would be best if they put all blame on me and then they give me a small bonus for taking the blame and nobody else gets fired. What a lousy way to do business and nothing was my fault as I didn't even do anythign technical yet as I was so brand spanking new.

Thats one reason why I tell people not to work for bah.

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Coat

Here's the answer...

IT rates are on the rise because after the other departments make their move to the cloud and make a right, royal, complete hash of it, the IT staff that have to sort the mess out, are then more highly valued.

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Anonymous Coward

Let me clarrify...

There are departments who, no matter how open IT's door is, will go ahead and do things off their own back without reference to anyone.

The result is that they never find out about compatability issues with existing services until it is too late. There are technical questions which should be asked of the supplier which they, obviously, won't know to ask. The net result is money wasted and a load of backs put up a few more degrees.

A chunk of the hatred for IT that I have encountered over my humble career is because they know that the common sense that IT brings to the table, could actually stand in the way of their dreams. This is in complete disregard that they're dreams wouldn't actually be delivered anyway. They just want to spend the money, enjoy the ride and hope that IT will deal with the slag heap when it gets delivered to our door.

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Sorry but...

You speak as if all that's been migrated to "the cloud" has had a great effect on IT.

The fact is... the cloud has not been adopted enough to have a real significant impact on IT in general, especially at the SMB level...

As usual, your "cloud" article is just hype.

I hope you guys get paied well to hype it so much.

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So what you're saying is

that you didn't read the article, but wanted to blow off steam a little anyway.

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IT Angle

No, actually...

I did read it... and this part "In sum, the cloud isn't shrinking the IT department. Rather, the cloud is changing IT, forcing it to offer higher value." prompted my comment.

Front what I've seen so far... the cloud hasn't actually done anything yet to "the IT department" in general.

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Different Planet?

In a couple of decades of IT management, I never felt hated.

Of course, the pressure could be intense when things went wrong, but mostly, the IT department was very much part of the company team.

Think of a premise: spout.

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cloud = more IT

Cloud services are a new business offering, the natural successor to the "utility computing" model of the early noughties. But where utility computing employed special hardware, cloud runs on the same gear as non-cloud.

Cloud is the right solution for some customers some of the time. But at the back end, it's hard to see where savings will be made. The cloud does not change the hardware or the business of supporting it. Leveraged labour savings have already been made, ever since the advent of outsourcing 15 years ago, and are not increased by the cloud.

Cloud offerings are a handy addition to IT. As a service package, the cloud may even open up some new markets. But at the back end it is just more of the same hardware and software. More IT, not less.

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"Cloud" = same old 'trust big company'

Not so long ago, we had the old "nobody got fired for buying IBM". IT departments would hand their budgets to Big Blue and be grateful for being allowed to use a clunky mainframe, until departments went around them and bought in more flexible stuff for a fraction of the cost. You could get a dumb terminal and a tiny sliver of mainframe time, or a PC to do the same job faster and more cheaply. Eventually, out went the deadweight iron, and the IT department switched to managing the PCs.

Now we have them throwing lots of money at Novell and StorageTek-Sun-Oracle, to pile all of our data (well, all the email, most of our home directories, payroll, website...) into an enormous shiny SAN, which is dog slow and costs a bomb but can't poss - whoops, what does that red light mean, and why isn't any data going in or out? 12 hour outage until the designers (in California!) connected in remotely to fix whatever had failed inside their kit. Meanwhile, we pay £20 per Gb internally for dog-slow Netware shares with multi-month lead times - or pay a fraction of that to an off-site provider to have service in minutes with more frequent backups we can restore from instantly without paying extra.

I've always regarded our lousy email system's auto-correction of 'helpdesk' to 'helpless' as a Freudian slip. Everything has to go through them - even things far beyond their competence. Tracking, I can understand, but routing it all through the "have you try switch off, on again?" temps is just obstructionism.

"1A-E-07 is patched to the wrong VLAN, is on ..., should be on ..."

"What's a VLAN?"

"Never mind, just pass it to (name) or (name), they'll know what it means."

Increasingly, instead of having servers to babysit, I expect the central IT department will be managing the user accounts in a Google Apps instance or similar. Just like the switch to PCs, we'll be getting far more functionality for the money, with far less admin overhead - and just like that switch, first they'll be ignorant of it, then afraid of it and fight it, and finally accept it's the right way to do it after all, but of course everything needs to be controlled by them. They'll add lots of overhead and uniformity, some of which will be useful, and pretend it was all their idea in the first place.

Much like the government, I suppose, I wish they would do a lot less a lot more cheaply and reliably, while those scared of taking responsibility will want it to attempt everything because at least they won't be blamed for the mess.

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Happy

Cloud & Mainframe

Isn't it funny how much "cloud" computing corresponds to getting "a tiny sliver of mainframe time"?

Really stupid how we've come from centralised (mainframe) to decentralised (PC's and mini-computers) and are now going back to centralised (cloud)...

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