back to article IT departments are BRATTY TEENAGERS

IT Departments behave like bratty teenagers by insisting they know best and must always figure out their own way to get anything done, according to Doug Mueller, a Corporate Architect at BMC Software. Such behaviour, he believes, is not very helpful to businesses and syadmins should therefore remember think back to the time in …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I smell BS

    Like management know better right? IT departments are generally shat on by those from above and only get attention when the local sup can't get access to his Excel sheet because he did not take note of the fact there was going to be scheduled system maintenance and keep a local copy as he was advised in several reminders that week.

    Generally the two should work hand in hand. But those who are pushing for their bonuses don't tend to work in a mindstate of anything but 'I have not got time for this' and 'You want me to spend how much on the IT budget?' and 'I'm going to the pub and fuck everybody else who has to stay doing overtime to fix a RAID and backup failure'.

    Generally IT staff are treated like a necessary evil rather than an essential part of making the business work. Admin get treated better than IT staff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I smell BS

      It's a bit of attitude from both sides. Management and departments alike unwilling to concede that sometimes the other side knows better, or that alternative solutions may exist in another universe.

      The company I'm working for, for example, is talking with another company about developing an application for monitoring their emissions. The department we're talking to is very pro opensource and pro Linux. Their IT department is very hostile to anything non-Microsoft.

      This is unfortunate as it will make the development of the application a lot more expensive as I have to port code designed to run on a Linux environment, over to Windows. Luckily for them (and me), I try to write cross-platform compatible code where I can, and the particular piece of code we're thinking of using, has had _some_ testing on Windows, but has only really seen active deployment on Linux systems. I have faith it will work, but have no real contemporary evidence to back that up, thus there will be a good amount of debugging to do.

      And of course, there's the complexity that comes with using a package that will probably require a full-time admin to keep on top of it, rather than an alternative system which so far has been chugging away for a number of other customers, largely with little or no maintenance.

      We also have it from various companies, and the plethora of VPN software that gets used. A lot of it proprietary and Windows-based. A lot of it that conflicts with other VPN software. A lot of it that also is configured to block access to your local LAN -- making supporting the customer incredibly difficult. Its a customer's own IT department that sometimes can be our biggest opposing force to implementing and supporting systems.

      It's a matter of choosing the right tool (software, hardware or otherwise) for the job, and it's in the evaluation of such tools, one must consider all options with an open mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I smell BS

        "This is unfortunate as it will make the development of the application a lot more expensive as I have to port code designed to run on a Linux environment,"

        Sounds like the department you are working for should have spoken with IT first before getting you in...

        A business department getting picking a developer or application suite before speaking to IT and saying, "make this work and support it", is one of the major reasons we have problems in our business.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I smell BS

          experience has taught our company this. Some departments have learnt and others continue to repeat. While I think it is a bad attitude from both sides there is allot to be said about letting the IT department know what is in the plans and what is coming up and add their input.

          Generally Dev's contracted by IT cost more for the first quote but get the job done and work on good relationships already established. Other departments go out and find someone cheap and then get them involved without really looking into details about the company. Causing project overruns and budget blow-outs often blamed on IT.

          Like all areas on business enough value is not put on communication and respect for each ohters view.

      2. DJ Smiley
        IT Angle

        Re: I smell BS

        I work in IT here for a very small firm. We have about 50 staff; and all seem to find me very approachable most of the time with issues from the very simple to the large and complex.

        This doesn't just mean I get the annoying "my phone won't work" and "Why haven't my emails arrived" but I get questions from the devs for my advice on various systems which I may know more about than they do, and together we work through the issues.

        But at the same time, if I'm doing to be looking or even thinking about doing some work on a system which someone else considers "theirs" as many do about the systems they work on every day; I'll make sure I'll ask them the best way of getting things done with the least impact. Its all about give and take.

    2. Danny 5
      Thumb Up

      Re: I smell BS

      i agree!

      This guy talks about doing everything in a uniform way, has he even been to an IT department? Ad hoc work is what my team does best and it's what delivers the most to our companies. Our ability to come up with a sollution that may not fit standards and didn't follow procedure, but it got the job done in record time. Sounds like this guy is saying that's a bad thing.

      Anyone worth his salt in IT knows that procedures are there to protect us, but delivery sometimes demands we bypass procedures. Of course everything in Utopia works acording to procedure, but out here in the real world we sometimes have to "wing it", or "suck it and see".

      1. JohnG

        Re: I smell BS

        "Our ability to come up with a sollution that may not fit standards and didn't follow procedure, but it got the job done in record time."

        *solution

        The procedures are there to protect you. If something goes wrong when procedures were followed, blame is laid with those who devised and/or approved the procedures. If you do something outside of the procedures, you can be sure to receive the blame if something goes wrong afterwards. If the shit hits the fan, you can bet that the people who encouraged you to bypass procedures to deliver something to them quickly will not remember any such encouragement.

        People in IT (and other disciplines) often fail to understand the best or most elegant technical solutions are not necessarily the best business solutions and management may have information which they do not want to divulge to the outside world (yet).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I suppose it's down to the fact that they have very little human interaction, a lack of people and social skills having spent most of their lives locked up in their bedrooms playing on computers

      and the fact that when working they never get praised (something you need to do with children) and only ever get told off for something going wrong.

      Unfortunately when you get into this line of work it's part of the job description.

    4. aaronj2906_01
      Thumb Up

      Re: I smell BS

      "Generally IT staff are treated like a necessary evil rather than an essential part of making the business work".

      Absolutely. Any kind of non-revenue generating staff are viewed as a necessary evil in a company. I have yet to meet an exec that was NOT myopic in this regard.

      If you think of it more like "what do I have to do to make the data that populates my boss' spreatsheets that he submits to his supervisor look good", you will be amazed at the sudden clarity in decision making on the job.

      Unfortunately, when something goes wrong, managers tend to seek below them for scapegoats.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: I smell BS

        This was solved in the past by charging departments for the resources they use. This then covers the cost of the IT department. It also results in the return of many duplicate pc's, laptops, phones etc. You'd be amazed how many workers discover that having a dock for their laptop IS a substitute for a desktop, once they have to pay for it. It also encourages the IT dept to deliver whats needed in the most cost effective manner.

        Whilst the author obviously believes his comments to be witty, and there probably is some valid insights there, it comes across as childish (ironic no?) and ill educated.

        The concept that any and every departments job is to help the business do business is the best possible manner is valid, and oft overlooked. Labelling a specific department as surly is counter productive and frankly wrong.

        Whilst IT departments sometimes do work outside the processes, often I have found this to be because no bugger will follow ours. The marketing dept can sell snow to inuits, finance can dodge tax in way I cannot begin to comprehend, yet when we ask other departments to follow a simple proceedure for requesting an application to be developed it gets ignored, then a HOD gets shirty and demands it asap, so its rushed, with 20-30 different scope changes, without analysis and design and the IT dept gets the blame when processes weren't followed. WE know more about speccing, analysing, designing and building application than other departments. We don't for a second pretend to tell you how to count beans, please don't tell us how to do our job. You need to tell us what you need to achieve and the criteria for judging success and boundaries for the process. Just because you need something tomorrow and didn't ask us 3 months ago when you first knew you needed it, doesn't make it our fault.

        Most IT depts are well aware they need to directly and indirectly make / save as much as possible. I'm very happy to have left the corporate infighting and bs behind :-) I would love to hear the authors impressions of middle management :-)

      2. Goat Jam
        Headmaster

        Re: I smell BS

        "Any kind of non-revenue generating staff are viewed as a necessary evil in a company"

        Not always. Administration staff are usually treated like royalty, usually because they are situated in the same office space as the CEO and his army of sales drones.

        The bottom line is that people are people, and people generally treat people they know* better than the ones they don't.

        * Except for the ones they know and hate of course.

  2. Sloppy Crapmonster
    Alert

    I don't recall taking Dad's advice costing me a five-figure sum.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    6 months ago I couldn't even spell architect now I are one.

    WTF is a 'Corporate Architect'(tm) ? ... and why would I let one from a second-rate software company tell me how to run my business ?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: 6 months ago I couldn't even spell architect now I are one.

      "WTF is a 'Corporate Architect'(tm) ?"

      In this context, a dude/tte who, in theory, designs corporate IT infrastructure from scratch. In reality, unfortunately, they are almost always either management shills pinching pennies, or delegaters trying to figure out who to fire after it all invariably goes tits-up.

      "and why would I let one from a second-rate software company tell me how to run my business ?"

      Simple answer ... You shouldn't.

      1. wayward4now
        Flame

        Re: 6 months ago I couldn't even spell architect now I are one.

        Like the bazoo that advised The Reg to make click "likes" have to go to another page and then be re-directed back in order to get more click throughs. I hate that about The Reg.

        1. Naughtyhorse

          Re: 6 months ago I couldn't even spell architect now I are one.

          not sure whether to like this comment or not :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 6 months ago I couldn't even spell architect now I are one.

        @jake. Ah, we call these dudes infrastructure architects .. This must be a case of job title inflation.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: 6 months ago I couldn't even spell architect now I are one.

          Infrastructure architects tend to know what they are talking about. Anyone with 'Corporate' in their title is probably a hot air generator.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trevor Pott

    should listen to this guy. He could learn a lot......

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Trevor Pott

      Actually I agree with this guy in almost every aspect. IT is not about computers, nor the software you choose. It's not about the configuration you use or which brand name you've tribally attached your self worth to.

      Too many systems administrator forget the very reason we both investing in computers in the first place: because they can do something for us cheaper than paying a person, more accurately than paying a person, faster than paying a person or some combination of the three.

      Risk management is a big element too. “It doesn’t have to be perfect every time.” This is proven by the mere fact that we still use humans to do anything. Humans are fallible; we accept a certain rate of failure by using them for a task. The same goes for computers. You have to look at the specific tasks that computer system is being engaged for and ask yourself exactly how much it is worth?

      Do you buy the high availability with-added-blue-crystals version for that task, or will some old beater that needs a day’s worth of poking every year do? How sure are you of that?

      It isn’t about the sysadmins, it isn’t about the tech, it isn’t about egos or glory or “new for the sake of new.” IT is about money. Specifically making more money than you invest into it. Without the business, there is no reason for IT to exist.

      That said

      …most management are complete fucking morons who don’t understand the above any more than the jihadist sysadmins in love with their new shiny. They either fall into the camp of “demanding the impossible as soon as they read about it in a magazine” or “treating IT like a cost center and pinching every penny until they can’t do the job they are assigned properly.”

      So while I agree with the dude in this article’s take on things – I’ve written articles and comments to this effect more than once – reality rarely allows this sort of focus to exist. Human nature simply gets in the way.

      When management treats IT poorly, IT becomes defensive. The nerds become jealous of what little they have, and are loathe to expend resources to solve a problem, fearing that when they need resources to solve a larger problem they won’t be made available.

      Systems administrators designing and implementing IT solutions in a fully management-integrated and business-aware fashion relies on a level of cooperation and trust between management and IT that exists only in the best run companies in the world. The chances are exceptionally high that you, and nearly every single one of my readers don’t work in such a company.

      Therefore I believe it is far more relevant for to discuss coping strategies for dealing with terrible management than it is to discuss the theoreticals of systems administration in a unicorn factory.

      If you work in a place where management have clue; congratulations. Cherish your job; it’s rare. The rest of the world has to deal with inadequate budgets, corporate politics, hostile management and worse.

      Attitude adjustment on behalf of systems administrators can only go so far towards alleviating those issues. It must be something all parties engage in. You don’t do yourself any favours by being completely servile any more than you do by being overly aggressive and hostile.

      By hey, in a forums where absolute polarisation and binary thinking is the norm, why examine shades of grey? There’s black and white to worry about!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trevor Pott

        Systems administrators designing and implementing IT solutions in a fully management-integrated and business-aware fashion relies on a level of cooperation and trust between management and IT that exists only in the best run companies in the world. The chances are exceptionally high that you, and nearly every single one of my readers don’t work in such a company.

        I'm working to make sure that I am in this kind of company. They were close before, but we're getting there.

        As a few have mentioned before, no matter what, this is still a people business. Understand this and use it to your advantage and to make things better and you'd be surprised at the results.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Trevor Pott

          Only works if the cother side plays ball. How long do you try in a one-sided effort? I lasted 8.5 years before I gave up. Now it's "man the barricades."

      3. Keith Langmead

        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!

  5. Magani
    Linux

    Why...

    ...do I keep getting visions of the BOFH's PFY and The IT Crowd?

  6. jake Silver badge

    Teenager? More like pre-teenager.

    I mean, how much teenage IT do *you* use in your day-to-day life?

    Fortune 500s and the .gov still use Cobol, FORTRAN, mainframe technology and the like, true ...but everybody else? If it's over two years old, it's "archaic".

    That's a mindset provided by idiots listening to marketing, not reality. If the fucking kit works for the way you do business, why in the hell are you (management) planning on spending a boat load of money on new kit that does EXACTLY the same thing, but slower, with higher power costs, more required connectivity costs, and with a training curve for hoi poloi?

    By way of reference, my goto[1] laptop is about eight years old, and my Cellphone is 11ish ... That's hardly "teenage" ... yet here on ElReg, I'm considered an anachronistic old-fart. But I turn a rather nice profit. Unlike Facebook, apparently ;-)

    [1] Knock it off, you know what I mean ...

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Teenager? More like pre-teenager.

      I don't know. I think you're mixing CE and corporate IT up. My experience seems to be that most companies (including our governments!) seem to push their systems at least to the 6 year mark. At that point, entropy takes over and the hardware's rate of failure starts dictating replacement schedules.

      Even with a lot of replacements happening now (that old Windows XP stuff is at the end, for most folks,) I find that a lot of companies are being pretty smart about things. They care about things like vPro. They want corporate stable models for their purchases; they might be starting replacement now, but they want to know they can still get the last round two years from now. They buy spares.

      Maybe it’s a “large enterprise” thing? You’d have more experience in the 2500+ seat range than I do; down in the 25-1000 sat range, 6 year life seems to be about right. Maybe longer, as it’s at about 6 years that people say “I should replace that,” but it can take a while before that replacement actually occurs.

      Phones and other CE devices however…they are on a rapid replacement schedule that I just don’t see with desktops and laptops.

      So I am curious; where are you seeing this? Across which cross section of corporates? It is region or industry limited, or are you seeing it broadly?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Teenager? More like pre-teenager.

        I thought we weren't talking, Trevor ...

        ... Exception to the rule? I'm cool with that :-)

      2. Chris Miller

        Re: Teenager? More like pre-teenager.

        You're right, Trevor, it's partly a scale thing - beyond a certain size mainframes remain cost-effective, and IBM and Unisys still sell a lot of them (probably not to new customers, I'd guess). And there are certain requirements that standard Intel boxes can't easily meet - e.g. better than 5x9s availability. But mostly its legacy software. Financial services organisations will have thousands of man-years of mission-critical, (probably) Cobol code with just enough assembler and JCL scattered through it to make migration practically impossible. So it's always the best short-term decision to renew the mainframe for 'just a few more years'. Meanwhile the folks who know how to maintain this stuff are (sadly. literally) dying out.

  7. Ageing Hippie
    Devil

    Bofh

    Or perhaps the PFY would like to give us their opinion.

  8. davnel

    It's even simpler than that.

    IT was developed as an outgrowth of the Accounting department. It's purpose was, and is, to support the company in doing business. Nothing more, nothing less. The better the IT department, the more profitable the company, mostly because they make it more efficient and reduce operating costs. The IT guys need to remember why they are there, who signs their paychecks, and who pays for all the neat toys they get to play with. In spite of appearances, IT is not at war with the rest of the company. You're all on the same team. If the company fails, you're ALL in the unemployment line.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: It's even simpler than that.

      Not so black and white. Sometimes you just end up in such a poorly run company that yes, the rest of the company is at war with IT. IT can only drive costs down so far. Eventually, refusal to invest by management means that you reach the hard limit of what can be delivered.

      In those companies, resources are usually pretty thin on the ground, and everyone jealously eyes everyone else, looking for spare coppers. No matter how servile IT acts, some workplaces are simply toxic for everyone.

      While a truly toxic workplace is probably not the norm, the workplace where management and other departments are joined up, “on the same team” and understand their role in business is probably just as rare.

      Most companies fall somewhere in between, and the efforts of systems administrators alone are not going to bridge to social and political gaps in management strategy.

    2. NumptyScrub

      Re: It's even simpler than that.

      quote: "IT was developed as an outgrowth of the Accounting department. It's purpose was, and is, to support the company in doing business. Nothing more, nothing less."

      Absolutely, initially the main use for IT was to help automate tedious fiscal tasks, and most IT managers initially were finance managers. Unfortunately that was 20-30 years ago, and "IT" now have to deliver and support systems for the entire company, not just Finance.

      quote: "The IT guys need to remember why they are there, who signs their paychecks, and who pays for all the neat toys they get to play with."

      Why we are here: the other departments need us to support and maintain their automation software (be it Sales/Marketing database, Order Management software, Logistics software, HR database, company email server(s), company file server(s) etc.)

      Who signs our paycheques: Payroll. They sign everyone else's too, it's their job. :)

      Who pays for our toys: a combination of the efforts of Sales, Marketing, Operations, Fulfillment/Logistics, and Finance, delivered to the company coffers, then sorted into budgets.

      We (IT) certainly need to remember that we act as part of a cohesive whole, a gestalt entity. IT are not the only department to have issues remembering this though; Finance have a tendency to believe they are the centre of the company, as do Sales and Marketing. The point I usually hear made to emphasise the viewpoint is "without us, there would be no company" and I agree wholeheartedly with the statement. Without Sales (or Marketing), we get no money and the company tanks. Without Finance, we cannot usefully process or collect the money owed, and the company tanks. Without Logistics, we cannot deliver the goods and the company tanks.

      Now consider your IT department turning off all the servers (and the phones, we always end up getting the telecoms as well) and leaving the building. Sales, Marketing, Logistics, Finance and pretty much everyone else in the company would immediately find they could not usefully perform their job role anymore, as everyone has got used to the level of automation that IT has enabled. We are equally as important as the other departments for the successful running of the company, and what we do these days impacts the entire organisation.

      We're not just there to delete the viruses you get from browsing porn sites at home (on company kit), or to ensure you get a new iPhone and iPad every time Apple release a new one. We are as critical to the running of the company as any other department. Not more so, as some I've met in the industry believe. Just as critical.

      It's just that investment in IT doesn't have as an immediate effect on the bottom line as more marketing spend, and so tends to get deprioritised except when looking to upgrade to the latest shiny (for this I'm including "new Oracle ERP suite that Finance wants" alongside "new iPad that the CEO wants", shiny can be related to automation software as well). This generally means IT start getting jealous of the budgets of other departments, spent on frivolous things like "advertising" and "product development", when we are positive that it would be better spent on a proper data centre upgrade that would result in less downtime and more capabilities for the end users. The board knows that all those things are essential to grow market share, but IT doesn't; we are now comprised of employees who've never worked for another department, and therefore don't properly understand the business end to end.

      tl;dr - In my experience, insular thinking can happen in any department; it's not just us geeks that think we're the most important part of the company. For harmonious working conditions, everyone needs to remember that everyone's job is important in keeping the company running ;)

  9. Robert E A Harvey

    I blame management

    Back in the mainframe era we had Business Analysts, who were not the same thing as machine minders or coders.

    Cutbacks and empire building by managers, especially the ones who became CTOs have tried to merge the 3 roles.

  10. xyz
    Devil

    RANT

    I agree with the bloke in the piece. I'm currently trying to rejig a business's IT (I'm the solutions architect...yeah, yeah I know) and trying to drag the load of whinging, idle, crusty twats that is the IT department into the 21st century is driving me barking. I wouldn't mind if they were actually any good at anything apart from being a massed roadblock, but they come on with all this IT BS that when you dig down into, you find they know eff all about jack. They have in effect kidnapped the business and are holding it ransom in the 1990s.

    And don't get me going about the bloody developers and their constant w4nkfest of new ideas which die on their arse after umpteen months of pratting about. Full of BIG ideas but barely able to code.

    The only useful bloke in the whole place is a 17yo apprentice, so I'm threatening them with making him their boss. :-)

    1. NinjasFTW
      Pint

      Re: RANT

      As someone who switches between solutions architect and various administrator roles I think the problem is on both sides. I've seen plenty of corporate architects thrown down some grand plan which completely ignores things like legacy system interfaces, existing tactical fixes, diferent hardware requirement etc. IT then get lumped with implementing this plan that you can't question because its been delivered by God himself. Once you get bitten by that a few times you natually become wary of it.

      On the other hand you do get IT departments that are so set in their ways that any change is exrtemely difficult to get implemented.

      I suspect that a lot of push back from IT departments is due to the lack of communications between the architect and IT. IT don't feel like they have any say in what they are being asked to do, I usually find that if you get them involved in the process early then they are much more receptive and often provide useful feeback.

      Take the entire IT department out for drinks before you hit them with the plan is also useful :)

      1. xyz
        Unhappy

        Re: RANT

        >Take the entire IT department out for drinks before you hit them with the plan is also useful :)

        should read...

        Take the entire IT department out and hit them is also useful :)

        I'm not being funny here, I've never come across a shower like this lot. I've just had a blazing row with one of my PMs because IT wants documented how to access AD (and add/edit entries), SQL server and IIS.

        I'm not talking about configuration here, but how to actually access these things.

        My responses of "if they don't bloody know they shouldn't be on the server," "send your staff on a ****ing training course" and "google is your friend" didn't go down too well.

        1. PatientOne

          Re: RANT

          "My responses of "if they don't bloody know they shouldn't be on the server," "send your staff on a ****ing training course" and "google is your friend" didn't go down too well."

          You do realise you've lost, don't you? You were in a hostile situation, being treated as the enemy, and they've thrown enough crap your way that you've resorted to stupid statements.

          Next time, do remember that you're an outsider and that there may be something going on that you're not aware of, such as the department you're reviewing being considered for outsourcing and your report/recommendations are just going towards the excuse to get rid of their jobs.

        2. Trevor 3
          Pint

          Re: RANT

          You don't think that maybe they want you to document how you want them to manage these services because you are changing their roles, permission levels etc...?

          It might not be a question of what software they use to update AD or run some SQL, but if you're laying the law down, they might actually want the procedural or management or role aspects of your changes outlined to them more clearly.

          If that's the case, then asking *them* to document what their current job requires them to do might be a better 1st step than just yelling obscenities at them?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He therefore preaches ignoring the potential of the gadget you just bought, downgrading your opinion of your own ingenuity and realising that you cannot devise a way to get stuff done as well, quickly or cost-effectively as a standard process

    Which is funny, we have somebody doing that here too. And yet nobody uses the process suggested correctly (psp / tsp) because frankly, we can't.

    Instead we have to use some mash up using parts of psp, parts of agile parts of test driven development and make the rest up as we go along. Why? Because if we don't management will complain we aren't using the process, even though we really aren't anyway, and we're just making it up as we go along in an attempt to appease them.

    If they dropped hafl the shit and let us work it out our own way we might actually get more work done. Of course that'll never happen, they've already shelled out the few grand for psp training.

    Maybe managemetn should take their own advice. Take a step back and accept that people using the process probably know better as to whether its fit for purpose than some corperate idio who's been brainwashed into thinking its the be all end all.

    Every software development task needs a different process, but managers try to tar all projects with teh same brush.

  12. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    FAIL

    How do BMC equate to

    "deliver capabilities 100% successfully every time"

    Having used their products all I can say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: How do BMC equate to

      Yeah, I'd have given more value to this guys opinion if he didn't work for one of the worst software companies on the planet.

      I've had BMC "solutions" foisted on me several times in the last 15+ years by architects who believe this type of claptrap and I've never encountered one that worked properly without a huge investment in time and money to make the software do what their manuals say it does, never mind the marketing blurb.

      In fact, I'm still waiting for them to deliver a stable Patrol agent that doesn't fail silently so you don't know. That way I won't have to spend time and money putting in a secondary solution to monitor my "standard" monitoring solution.

      Standards are only quick and cheap if they work, Mr Know-IT-All-Architect. Clean your own teenage bedroom before you start telling me how messy mine is.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How do BMC equate to

      I have had to use their Remedy hell-desk software (for which the company paid more than €100K) and can honestly say it's the most useless, broken, outdated, slow and contrary piece of shit that my poor hard drive has ever had the misfortune to support. And I once installed Sonic Stage.

      I seem to recall that one of the user manuals has the database root password in it. It was just the default MSSQL root pass.

      1. Brent Longborough
        IT Angle

        Re: How do BMC equate to

        It must have been Remedy that he was thinking of when he mentioned 'gameification'. As in Wumpus: "You just fell into a pit and broke every bone in your body".

        That's roughly what using Remedy is like.

      2. Medium Dave
        Mushroom

        Re: How do BMC equate to

        "it's the most useless, broken, outdated, slow and contrary piece of shit..."

        And those are it's good points (or were - it's been a while).

        Interesting to be told we're bratty teenagers by the outfit that's done more to promote hair-loss and alcoholism among IT staff than anyone this side of Redmond...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Remedy is bad. ITSM is utterly terrible

        We "upgraded" to ITSM a few months ago from Remedy. Remedy is awkward and clunky and illogical, but once you know it you can generally bypass all the stupid bits and assign/update/close calls quite quickly.

        ITSM is an utter nightmare. It's hideously slow, incredibly complex, massively illogical, and hinders EVERY DAMN THING you try to do. It's so bad that it takes me three or four times as long to handle a ticket in ITSM as it does to actually resolve the real problem.

        Needless to say, ITSM take-up is lagging as people try and work around it rather than deal with the bloody thing.

      4. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: How do BMC equate to

        Remedy. Argh.

        But I have experienced how you can make it less usable than it already is: let the end-user enter their own "problems". At least with a helldesk you have some semblance of consistency in what gets entered, in what language, and non-problems tend to get filtered out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Remedy

          Does this "Remedy" thing have the ability to search through past jobs?

          if so its not as shit as our system , which in intrests of sanity i will name and shame so you can avoid it.

          Ultracomp RedBox

  13. Magister
    Devil

    In that case

    If IT are "Bratty Teenagers", then management are pre-schoolers - viz. "I don't know what I want, but I want it RIGHT NOW! And it must be SHINY!" ("and if I don't get it, I'll scream and scream and SCREAM until I am SICK!")

    The reality is that while there are IT people that suffer with delusions of adequacy, a large number do actually do a pretty good job, given the limits of resources.

    But then of course you get those people from vendors that have to justify their existence. They have a product to sell, so they will insist that their solution will work in every situation and is superior in every way to any other solution; in other words, they are doing exactly what they are accusing IT departments of doing.

    Tell me, why should we be too bothered by what they say?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In that case

      @Magister

      I take it you've met the vendors currently insisting their solutions are the best thing since sliced bread, then complain that we're not 'enabling' their product to integrate with our systems despite them leaving it to us to do all the bloody work, which, incidentally, we're paying them to do?

      And yes, Management are as you say, except ours favours JFDI as their instruction.

      1. Magister

        Re: In that case

        Spent the last 5 years working with one of these; and I spent a weekend fixing a problem that their people caused. They charged us for the work they did that caused the issue, and subsequently charged us for "consultancy" to "advise" us on how to fix it (although their advice was utter bollocks and would have really screwed things up). The fix came courtesy of a tech report found using Google and a bit of hands on experience of SQL Server.

        Subsequently, they then tried to suggest to the directors that the company should get rid of the inhouse IT team and use their support services instead. As I don't work there anymore, I'm waiting to find out how that one will develop.

  14. Mako

    "[P]lus heavy emphasis on configuration management...

    ...so please download our Atrium product. It's totally useless out of the box, but with ten grand's worth of plug-ins and a month of four-figure consultancy, you'll get an asset scanner that will utterly fail to deliver a comprehensive configuration map, forcing you to revert to a physical audit."

    "Oh - and you'll need to give us all your Administrator/root passwords. What? We can't have them? Why not?"

    1. Mostor Astrakan

      Re: "[P]lus heavy emphasis on configuration management...

      That's OK. Once you install the agent, they don't need your stinking root password anymore, they can just bypass the login controls, giving write access on every file in the company to some rancid Windows box.

      But that's OK, they have role-based access controls. In the hands of... who, exactly?

  15. BillboBaggins
    Joke

    Know better

    You see the problem is most people outside of IT say "The IT dept think they know better!"

    Which is plainly NOT TRUE.

    We do not THINK we know better. WE DO KNOW BETTER.

    Get over it!

  16. John Rose

    Analysts & Managers

    I'm going to be provocative. My view is that there are too many project managers who are too obsessed with Prince and other paper generators. Analysts should be the project managers as they are the people who best know what the users want and should be cost & benefit focussed. I also see no use for full time testers as they have no idea what features are vital in a system and what features are of little importance. Again their jobs should be done by analysts.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_up_32.png

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png

    1. britsurfer1

      Re: Analysts & Managers

      Not sure things should be managed by analysts but I do agree that too many people stick rigidly to things like Prince 2.

      As an analyst myself I know the details of the business pretty well and offer advice to my PM's with the insight I've gained. Very often I'm ignored. Recently I suggested some feedback to my PM's terms of reference document which he didn't want to put in. The next day, a stakeholder said the same thing and he included it with no issues.

  17. Steve 149

    In my workplace the IT department spends some of it's time stopping users buying pointless/stupid kit for the sake of it.

  18. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    HAH!

    I'm sure the picture on the 'mouseover' at the head of El. Reg frontpage was of our much loved, and missed Moderatrix.....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well you have to admire his confidence.

    Yes we need to get closer to the business and do things in a methodical reproducible way. Now when the business returns the compliment and doesn't do their own thing wait till it breaks and yell at IT, sign contracts without IT and expect us to fix them etc. things might change. Most decent IT departments are doing their best to change, if they aren't the business in their regularly performed efficiency reviews will recognise this and help them to change.

    “You need to shift mentality into a mode where you deliver capabilities 100% successfully every time, to deliver results to the businesses,” - Is a nice phrase, odd to hear it from the purveyors of a system that has case sensitive name searches, holds ghost searches, you can't save calls you created as you create them and that gives out random error messages most of the time. It may just be the way we have it configured, but it looks like most of the responders here have real issues with Remedy as well.

  20. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Joke

    And as for those brain surgeons, rocket scientists, and physics profs

    They always want to do things their own way as well... Why don't they get that management knows best?

  21. geekclick
    Thumb Down

    Grrrrrr......

    IT Departments behave like bratty teenagers by insisting they know best and must always figure out their own way to get anything done,

    Yes, because thats what we are paid to do, i dont wander down to the beancounters office and tell them that they are running our VAT return wrong, why should they come up to IT and tell us that the way we are allocating space on the SAN isnt optimal.. If you approach IT and say i would like X implimented IT will look at what X is, how it fits in and then determine the best approach to ensure that end of world type cockups do not ensue, they are the ones who will issue a P45 if we cock it up so why shouldnt we do it our way ensuring this doesnt happen?

    Such behaviour, he believes, is not very helpful to businesses and syadmins should therefore remember think back to the time in their twenties when they finally figured out their Dads did know a thing or two and listen to more experienced folks about how to get stuff done.

    What happens if the IT dept is all in their 20's? But also, the same applies in the opposite direction.. Just because you dont know how it should be done, doesnt mean the way we are doing it is wrong...

    Mueller's preferred method of administering this kind of tough love is to point out that IT isn't actually about technology: helping a business do business better is the goal. He therefore preaches ignoring the potential of the gadget you just bought, downgrading your opinion of your own ingenuity and realising that you cannot devise a way to get stuff done as well, quickly or cost-effectively as a standard process.

    BS, no such thing as a standard process, process should be written according to the task at hand not according to a task roughly of a similar nature! As for the gadget remark... Gadget demand is generally driven by management types who want the latest iToy or whatever because thats what all their management type golf buddies have! Most places i have worked IT arent allowed gadgets unless management are bored with the ones they already have and dish them out as hand me downs and consider it a "treat"..

    “You need to shift mentality into a mode where you deliver capabilities 100% successfully every time, to deliver results to the businesses,” he told a BMC event in Sydney today. “You cannot approach IT randomly because there is too much complexity and change. You must have an orderly, repeatable way of doing things.”

    Generally IT do, again its the management and middle management types who end up trying to drive the unorderly through, normally to suit their own petty ridden agenda.

    That mentality means process, process everywhere, plus heavy emphasis on configuration management so that you can always pinpoint just what's going on in IT and how it applies to the business.

    This sounds like a line spun to management by a sailes driod to convince them to take a product they dont actually need!

    It also requires a mindshift away from caring about kit and instead focusing on applications, because all the kit in the world is merely a tool that end-user wield to spend quality time in apps.

    BS, you have to care about the kit, if you dont, your "quality time in apps" will not be quality it will be headache inducing and full of issues! This also sounds like a line to get IT to buy management iPads!

    Which is not to say Mueller is entirely opposed to a pleasant morning spent trawling through log files: he just wants that effort to create information that advances the understanding of how IT powers the business.

    No its done to understand what is going wrong and fix it so that its right.. Most people in IT understand how it powers the business already because people ring you when it doesnt work or when it doesnt work how they need it to!

    Mueller is not, it needs to be pointed out, grumpy with IT departments alone. He also showered marketing teams with scorn, proclaiming they expect the impossible from IT almost as soon as they hear about a new gadget.

    Its not just marketing, see above!

    He also said there's room for some geeky fun in IT, thanks to the trend towards “gamification”. That trend, he said, can motivate IT workers by giving them the chance to top a leader board for user satisfaction.

    This might work for a helldesk/1st line team where their stats are their crust but to those of us above that we dont play games with systems, its an easy way to end up in the unemployment line!

    End-users, he added, could be offered game-like processes to make sure they do things properly and don't wander off the beaten paths in ways that make extra (and stupid) work for IT teams.

    This line read to me as "End users are idiots, treat them as such" which is a fair point i guess, but then according to Mueller I am part of the problem not the solution!

    1. britsurfer1

      Re: Grrrrrr......

      Couldn't agree more!

      I work with a lot of marketing people and they are always telling us how to do things. It would be considered unacceptable for me to tell them how to market stuff!

  22. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    WTF?

    Another wanker trying for his 15 minutes of fame?

    Lord, that's all we need is another consultant-ish wanker with his own spin on IT, probably never having been in the trenches. Our department is professional, competent and courteous. My main jobs outside of the technical aspect would be advocating for users and playing the role of diplomat to keep warring departments from battling each other for resources. I'd agree that a set process is the best way to get things done... that is if the processes aren't faulty and misunderstood by everyone that has to use them.

    We spend a lot of time working around the processes to get anything accomplished in a reasonable time. I'm not talking about major changes that need to go through a CAB. You'd be an idiot to not review changes to a production environment; I'm talking about simple things, like getting equipment for users, setting up access, cell phones. The cycles that management goes though is both amusing and depressing: Hire dozens--lay off dozens. Deploy the latest n' greatest ERP software--change to something else. Get the latest smartphone---chuck it and go to iPhones---now let's get iPads too. Outsouce---insource. Hire from within--hire from outside. And more and more. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's disturbing and disgusting, especially the 10s of thousands of dollars wasted on whims, all that we stoically bear and nod "okay." If anything, I think IT is the grease that keeps everything running while enduring mismanagement. Maybe we would have better processes if IT's input was considered in these changes.

  23. Muckminded

    Alas, there will be no bias here

    as we are all on the same page.

  24. geekclick
    Happy

    Dear Mr Mueller

    Please head to this:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/27/bofh_2012_episode_7/

    Read and digest.

  25. Ru
    Meh

    “gamification”

    I'd say he has a point; there's no shortage of arrogant IT staff in the world who give the impression that their users are the enemy, having totally missed the fact that they're *support* staff employed to ensure that other people can do their jobs.

    Too bad that there's also no shortage of folk (in both peon and management roles) who have equally little understanding or empathy for their techies and the difficulties they have to deal with. There's no fancy management technique to deal with that particular issue, of course. I'm not at all sad to have left behind the world of helldesk and sysadminry, and I don't imagine that those particular career choices will become any less thankless and drudge-filled on the word of a consultant.

  26. The Original Steve

    Bollocks

    Sorry but my view is quite simple:

    The business comes to IT with a problem. IT replies with a solution and a cost associated with it.

    Anything else is down the the IT Department's internal way of dealing with things. IT is a supplier of services to the business. The business however should NOT be telling IT how to run the department, nor should they be telling IT what systems or equipment is required. Just the problem is enough, we'll come up with the solution.

    Anything else is details and piss-poor department-level management.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Bollocks

      Nice unicorn factory. In the real world, business demabds a solution, informs you the budgef is zero and assigns one of your staff to shipping because the shipper just left. Two months later they call you lazy and incompetent because you haven't delivered on the 9 projects you have, and your regular maintenance is falling behind. Then they reassign another staff member and fire a third.

      Theory...meet practice...

  27. cschneid

    Yes, we're all convinced our way is the best. Even Mr. Mueller. In other news, management believes process is a substitute for competent staff.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tend to agree...

    I work developing backup and storage solutions for a [large vendor] which are then punted to SME to large enterprise companies. I have a history doing the same thing for FTSE100 financial companies, so I do know the real world. Without saying too much about what we do, we tell the companies how they will benefit from moving from their current systems to a proposed new system. We demonstrate where they will save money, often very large amounts. The resistance to change that we experience from the storage and backup teams is simply incredible. I am a backup and storage specialist, I have learned something like ten major backup packages to expert level, I love learning about this. I know a couple of major virtualised enterprise storage arrays and many lesser arrays, again I love learning about this. The IT people at the companies we deal with are more often than not hostile in the extreme, they do not accept that anything they've put in place could be bettered and they certainly aren't interested in learning new software or hardware, I just don't understand how you can have this attitude when working in modern IT. I'm pretty sure that it's actually the management who are making them deal with us, because they seem to be happy with the status quo and just wasting the companies money, rather than doing what they do smarter, cheaper and better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I tend to agree...

      "Without saying too much about what we do, we tell the companies how they will benefit from moving from their current systems to a proposed new system."

      No, you're selling a product. You are marketing it on how much a company *may* save, if they swap to working the way *you* think they should. In the end, you get paid and someone else has to clean up any mess left behind.

      "The IT people at the companies we deal with are more often than not hostile in the extreme, they do not accept that anything they've put in place could be bettered and they certainly aren't interested in learning new software or hardware, I just don't understand how you can have this attitude when working in modern IT."

      You are the outsider. They don't know if you're genuine or a shill, they don't know if you're going to leave them with a wonderful solution or a mess that they'll have to spend the next 6 months fixing, or the next 3 months stripping out so they can go back to something they *know* will work. Unless, that is, they were the ones who brought you in to supply a solution. Then they'll work with you because it's their decision to bring you in. In other words: They have 'buy in'.

      " I'm pretty sure that it's actually the management who are making them deal with us, because they seem to be happy with the status quo and just wasting the companies money, rather than doing what they do smarter, cheaper and better."

      The Management make the decision, but unless IT were involved in the decision as to what is being brought in, the chances are they weren't consulted on requirements and specifications for getting a new system to fit with the existing, and so have no 'buy in'. This is a management failure, not yours, and certainly not IT's.

      In an ideal world, IT are instructed to provide a solution. They will then go and decide where they get the solution from. A good IT department will look for what is best for the Company. A Bad IT department will look for what is best for them. This will all be done within the constraint of the budget available, so the solution may not be the best out there, but it is the best for the available money.

      In the real world, suppliers are trying to make sales and will push companies to take the latest bling, promising that it will save the company money while giving the supplier a new source of income. A good supplier will do the best they can as they are concerned for good relationships with their customers, and potential future sales. Bad suppliers are after the money and will squeeze the company for every penny they can get.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I tend to agree...

        Perhaps I should have been more clear: I work for a third party company who is brought in by a large reseller. We don't just instruct people how to buy new stuff, we also show them how to re-use their existing stuff in a smarter way. We still meet a lot of hostility, even when we can demonstrate that they company we're working for don't know about large chunks of their backup/storage infrastructure. In fact, usually, when you say: "look at all this stuff you didn't know about" and they are forced to fess up, that makes them even more hostile, rather than accepting that we know what we're talking about.

  29. Armando 123

    Just a guess here ...

    "Corporate Architect"

    ... meaning he probably hasn't coded (ie eaten his own dogfood) since, what, Y2K?

  30. Rob Crawford

    BMC Software

    Snigger

    That is all

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Computers are easy, people are hard. It was always thus.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT is an iterative art, the waterfall approach is a bloated failure

    Yes, Marketing and Sales need to be managed so that they stop promising what cannot be delivered or be properly implemented in-time, at their cost and schedule. Higher up management need to consult, think and not just pass down unworkable edicts.

    RAD type development approaches are often required to make a good enough product available in-time to be useful for a customer; waterfall is often way too slow; however to do this, the customer must be steered to sign off on a well defined specification, if they want the right product on-time; any changes only get delivered in the next release, after further specification and agreement.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I.T. 'management' are more of a problem...

    Picture if you will and 'red-brick' university, with a reputation for producing excellent computer graduates, with so many independent departmental I.T. systems that were beyond the central I.T. dept's control, working well, rarely crashed and if they did effectively firewalled so the rest of the uni was unaffected.

    Add an ex-skate newly appointed 'director' of I.T.

    Now the uni has all, except the computer science dept., on one system, everything is win 7 and goes through the central servers, e-mailing a photo as an attachment, first the machine your using goes to your 'core' storage and you have to navigate back to the local machine if it's on the local drive. The system is so vulnerable, with central server boot-up every time, on a good day a desktop P.C. takes 2 minutes to reach the login screen, and another 2 to do anything beyond it, and as recent experience has proven 10 minutes to boot and another 10 to login, to a system that won't allow access to filestore, because its crapped out, again. The computer science dept use win 7 as well, their boot is 20 seconds to login, and 5 seconds from that. Why? Because said 'director' wants everyone locked down and locked in under his control. And this WAS a knowledgeable I.T. dept. the staff with real I.T. skill's have been forced to undertake 'help-desk' roles, these are machine people, not people people, so they have been leaving as their job's get down graded, pretty soon we'll be sending smoke signals, the computer science dept know all about those too!

  34. James Gosling
    Megaphone

    Is this all that is left for IT?

    It seems to be implied that there is always an off-the-shelf solution, a standard way of doing something. But that isn't usually how the vendors of the products used in solutions see things. Rather they see it as technology that has be be architect'd for each client anew. This is certainly the case with many enterprise technologies. But then I suppose it is assumed that these skills will come from outside in the implementation phase by consultants. Unfortunately it's a vision of IT that relegates the in-department IT staff to just service providers. That said, increasingly that is what I see, departments which lack the high level skills needed to architect solutions - those staff simply work as consultants or contractors, its the only way they will ever fund the necessary training. Don't get me wrong, I move with the times, but the perspective put forward by this article is one I recognize, but it's one that is as flawed as the bad practices it criticizes.

  35. Rick Giles
    Coat

    What's a schedule?

    I've worked break/fix for many years and it always galled me when some jack wagon in manglement would come in and say we needed to have a schedule for what we were doing/going to do. Then they would get mad at us when we deviated from the schedule. It all came to a head when something of import broke and I schedule the repair in the next open slot... two weeks out.

    Needless to say, they left us alone after that.

    -mines the one with the USB flash drive loaded with my resume (CV for you none Americans) in the pocket.

  36. despairing citizen
    Big Brother

    Six of one, Half Dozen of the other

    The guy does make several good points, and over the last 30 years I have seen IT specialists doing some of the things he describes.

    However Business Managers these days are just as bad. (Previously they knew they knew nothing about IT, until the internet came, now they only know enough to not realise how little they know)*

    So;

    (1) Their is no such thing as an IT Project, they are Business Projects with larger or smaller technical components. (i.e. the corporate network is not the network managers personal fiefdom, it's there to make the company money)

    (2)Your ability to post on Twitter, and build an access database to manage your stamp collection, does not qualify you to advise the company's best DBA on how to design a system with 15m records and 14k concurrent users. (this is a very common in my client facing roles, and I do my best to screen the local IT from the worst of these brain waves from the business managers (esp. Marketing))

    *For every rule there is an exception, I have had one marketing manager on a project who could have done quite well in IT, and came up with several good ideas.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm....

    So far:

    Article: IT departments behave like teenagers.

    IT Guys: Not we don't anyway you all suck.

    It's pretty classic teenage behavior, an utter inability to see that you might be the problem when someone suggests that you are the problem, followed by slagging them off for even suggesting it in the first place.

  38. Dylan Fahey
    Thumb Up

    It depends on who you work for

    I was lucky enough to work for an 'enlightened' management team. They actually helped me put my network together. In return, all that they wanted to know was how it all worked together and what back up systems were in place. They trusted me, I trusted them. And thank goodness for Cisco Engineers and Sales that were always ready to help too.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mueller's point that IT needs to regard itself as enabling the core business to succeed is spot on. However, his credibility is undermined, as others have pointed out, by the fact that he works for BMC. Anyone with any IT experience at all has worked with their software and knows that it's so poorly designed that it demonstrates conclusively that the BMC product managers can't even *think* clearly.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Mueller's point that IT needs to regard itself as enabling the core business to succeed is spot on."

    If only business and corporate types understood that as well... where I used to work, IT were seen as a cost rather than as the asset that co-created the company's wealth.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corporate Architect?

    "My name is Doug Mueller and I am currently working as a Corporate Architect at BMC Software where I am responsible for the architecture and directions of the Service Management process solutions and the Atrium (shared components) products" link

    I assume Doug doesn't actually write the code ?

  42. PerceptionBI

    Bratty teenagers result from poor parents

    Aren't bratty teenagers often the result of inconsistent parenting, lack of clear boundaries and expectations, lack of receptive, two-way communication and a failure to instill proper values?

    Surely, in this case, the constant change, inconsistent requirements of the parent and lack of guidance has resulted in the perception of a poor attitude from IT departments?

    Since most IT departments are dealing with systems which are not fit for purpose, it is testimony to their ability that they are able to maintain what they have. Clearly, however, maintaining and surviving is a far cry from the continuous improvement and evolution which many "parents" demand.

    Put simply, the behaviour of the IT department is as a result of the context created by the parent organisations.

    Would you trust your parents if they lost £13.5bn on a failed IT strategy - perhaps if more attention had been paid to the "bratty" IT Departments, we may have been able to avoid such a costly mistake. Since the teenagers understand the technology far better than the parents anyway, perhaps the parents need to learn how to listen.

  43. britsurfer1

    Generally speaking management dictates to IT what solutions should be implemented and how, even though they have little to no understanding of system architecture, analysis, project management etc.

    I work in a very management facing role on the IT side so I see both sides of the coin, but I can categorically say that many companies just see IT teams as service providers. I.e. "You do as I tell you".

    I think it's pretty ironic that in this day and age, most projects involve some form of IT to achieve competitive advantage or reduce costs, and yet businesses still view IT as a necessary evil, like paying the electricity bill.

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