Re: Trevor Pott
I think he makes many valid points but they're only one side of the issue. I agree that as techies we can be a little too eager to opt for the solution that gives us more toys to play with, and to lose sight of the business side of the equation. Building the best all singing all dancing solution that incorporates every element of failover, expansion and redundancy from a MS whitepaper might sound great, but spending £50k+ on a solution that might save the company £1k per year just isn't worth it. And while we might try to deny it, us techies are just as keen to build our own little empires as any other part of the business.
But on the flip side, guys like this and others in management need to treat IT as a key element in finding the appropriate solution, not simply the implementers of whatever management decide is the best way to go based on little or no actual knowledge. Sometimes management may have the right answer, but if they don't include IT in the decision they'll never know if there might have been a better, cheaper and quicker solution available that they weren't aware of.
In my experience almost all solutions that have come from IT controlling the direction are anything but random, it's where management change their minds, update the spec mid project, and fail to give an overview of the long term direction being taken that the approach becomes random, as IT has to scramble to pry different systems alongside each other.
Too often I think management take the view of "oh, they don't need to know those details", and are then annoyed when the solution presented doesn't meet all the requirements that have existed purely in the managers own head. If there are specific constraints, objectives and long term plans then we NEED to know about them.
Any task can be broken down into Why, What and How. Why and What are down to management to decide, and they NEED to tell us the What with which we decide on the How. IT don't need to know the Why as long as the What includes those constraints and considerations that will make a difference to How. Management can make suggestions for How, but at the end of the day, that's what we're paid for!