Social Enterprise

IT leader Jay Rollins: IT needs to quit 'chucking things over the wall'

Jay Rollins is the former Vice President of IT for Churchill Downs. Learn how Jay got into IT, the career path he took to CIO, the most important lesson he has to share with other IT leaders, and what he's doing now.

Podcast

Jay Rollins is the former Vice President of IT for Churchill Downs. Learn how Jay got into IT, the career path he took to CIO, the most important lesson he has to share with other IT leaders, and what he's doing now.

This is an episode of the Tech Sanity Check podcast, which features interviews with CIOs, IT leaders, and leading vendors in the IT industry. To subscribe to this podcast on a regular basis you don't need an iPod, just a computer. See below for the various options.

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About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

23 comments
reisen55
reisen55

Not only hardware, but American IT staffers are being chucked over the wall in droves as third world staffers and H1-B visas are hired because (a) they are young grads with zero experience and/or (b) can tolerate salary at 1/4 American wage with no or limited health care benefits. It's all about those nasty expense items folks called, eh .... employees.

jetpowercom
jetpowercom

A few comments: 1) Dumb question: What does the interview have to do with its title? 2) Not-so-dumb question: Disney bought Toysmart.com in 8/99, just in time for the holiday season. This was a heady time, just before the dot.com boom became the dot.bomb bust. May 22, 2000: http://money.cnn.com/2000/05/22/technology/toysmart/index.htm. 3) Does Toysmart's meltdown say more about a product, or about a business strategy? 4) Our hero rode Toysmart's wave up, and he rode it down, all while in the position of stabilizing its IT infrastructure. Certainly, our hero headed out before the next phase: July 10, 2000: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/07/toysmart.shtm. Studying such companies provides many and serious lessons. I have no doubt that our hero learned them well.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Business invented cubicles, not IT. Business creates the walls, not IT. Any attempt to manage something you do not understand can only succeed through circumstances beyond your control. :D

hallc3
hallc3

Outstanding cast, it was informative and I came away with some wisdom and not just mundane factoids. Thank you.

Eugene.Miller
Eugene.Miller

Employed. Antique Flash installed. Flash updates prohibited by security. iTunes? Podcast? Repeat, employed. Repeat, employed. Curious. Who is your audience?

keithpanco
keithpanco

So much content (even downloading mp3's) is blocked by corporate networks. Perhaps this info should be presented by old-fashioned html.

atoms
atoms

Nothing is blocked where I work, but we don't have enough bandwidth for very many of us to stream audio or video. So we just don't. Furthermore, most people can read the contents of the interview or whatever in a fraction of the time it would take me to listen/watch it anyway. So even if we had the bandwidth I'd be much more likely to read it than to watch it.

marleyziggy
marleyziggy

I won't listen to or watch articles. Takes too long, wastes bandwidth, can't skim or skip to the next major section if appropriate. Print exists for a lot more reasons than the fact it's more byte-efficient than a/v. Someone who doesn't grasp that fact doesn't get my attention. Period.

fred.wagner
fred.wagner

I agree After blowing an hour here and there on Webinars, I skip them completely - much rather read the text at my convenience that tie up my attention completely for an hour of office time. I rarely view videos on office time anymore, and they're not blocked.

Desert__Rat
Desert__Rat

And if the high points are relevant enough the text can be printed and discussed offline with peers 'n beers rather than huddled around a speaker.

Marquisem
Marquisem

I read fast. I especially read fast when all I need are the high points of an article and not the anecdata. I get the online video is the cool, neat thing for MySpace and Facebook, but when I'm looking for info, I'm looking for text.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Or do you gather the requirements in the beginning and simply deliver the product at the end? Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=800

-Q-240248
-Q-240248

I did not listen to this....however, I can say that whatever IT 'chucks' over the wall, it's all because management allowed it to happen.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Finding the balance between reacting to changing requirements (or perceptions of them) vs completing the project has always been the hard bit. Regular formal or informal reviews(depends on various Ws) helps even if only communicating well you said you wanted this more, or we'll do it in the next version. Throwing it over the partition in an essentially iterative environment costs time, money, quality and eventually your business. Lots of people in IT are still in denial over this and feel you should be able to nail everything down, have an unchanging plan and an exact roadmap. Near as many feel that the imposition of a plan cures the uncertainties as opposed to simply sweeping them under the carpet. Of course lots of people are really stupid, or at best ignorant. Change is a given.

alaniane
alaniane

so maybe they're able to get unchangeable spec, but in-house software development as soon as I get the spec in my hands it's already obsolete.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

it's just got nothing to do with whether they've changed or not. :p

glgruver
glgruver

Scope creep and creeping elegance are the two biggest things we encounter in government. It never fails, we think we have everything nailed down and then some politico has a brain storm and wants to add things "while you are at it, why don't we.....". This, after numerous meetings, memos, emails etc. prior to starting the project.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

1) Just let it happen and lose control, so then you'll over run, over spend and success will depend on meeting expectation for an acceptable amount of extra resource. Succeed for the customer, not for your business. 2) Don't let it happen and produce something that doesn't meet the client's needs. Succeed for the business, but not for teh customer. 3) Manage expectation, that's the business' and the customers. The one thing that you can't do is ignore it. Change is a given, the only time everything is nailed down is lids on coffins.