Your IT Department

Read an interesting article over on slashdot.org about what to expect from your IT Department.

It is interesting to see what people expect from their various departments and how much they understand and misunderstand. As per usual, when reading something like this, I apply it to my own position in the company that I work for.

I am an IT Technician that works under a Network Administrator who in turn, get this, reports to the Human Resources Manager. But wait, it gets more warped than this!

Our IT Department is essentially a satellite branch of the IT Orginisational Unit that is seated in Germany who in turn administers the bulk of the essential services that we run in our South African branch, such as email and in-house Unix based software that the Germany company purchased and now runs.

If there are any problems with those two services, the Unix one can stop the company from producing by the way, only Germany can resolve the issues, which is a problem when they make an update or software patch rollout which conflicts with the older software that we run here, that they designed but never updated. Being 2 hours behind can be a major problem.

More than this however, is the degree to which our hands are tied by budget concerns and constriants. They might as well manacle our ankles to these desks because we can’t really do much. Our network needs a major overhaul, but there is insuffecient funds to pay for it – we need additional training on new technologies that desperately need to be implemented, but again, no funds, not even for the new software that we need.

And then we are instructed that we’ll be getting a new mail server, which we do not need, and more hardware than is strictly required for it – more than 100 fold, but hey, IT people never complain about overkill – just that this is simply just inaproriate!

So what do people want from their IT Departments and what do people actually know about the way that the IT Department actually works.

I pray for the day when I do not have to report to the HR Manager and have a pre-defined budget and not have to pansy up to an international governing body that has no clue how things actually work in South Africa (bandwidth people, bandwidth!).

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2 comments

  1. Jagdpanzer · May 13, 2006

    You should try working for local government. Lucky I’m just an independant contractor, but still… “we” work under the financial department. Obviously no issues with training (we have to do it ourselves) and implementing new technology is all about how good the sales pitch is. Problem is that usually it is someone else doing the selling and leaving us contractors with the headache of learning to maintain new products and technologies in record speed.

  2. jebb_x · May 15, 2006

    Therein, methinks, lies the problem with most management models.

    I often wonder if it is a case of people in management working towards a singular goal of developing the city, province, country that they work for, or if it is simply a case of trying to gain as much money out of the government while they can and sodd the rest.

    As much as we dislike the concept, managing and developing our nation is as much our responsibility as those in power.

    Certainly, those in government have a far greater responsibility to ensure the services that they promised the people that got them elected, but it doesn’t hurt the individual to try and do something positive at the same time.

    I agree with you Jag, sometimes the governments heads don’t know what the rest of the body is doing, and sadly, often don’t care.

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