It used to be standard wisdom that having someone else manage your data center was a stupid expensive idea. Facility management meant that you couldn't really manage your own IT in your business successfully.
Back in the day, it made sense -- sometimes. Pierce County had less than stellar people in their data center and hired CSC. The last straw was when one of the operators printed eight boxes of Assessor / Treasurer bills on payroll check stock. Drives would have a head crash and the operators would see the read errors, only to move the packs from one disc drive to another... repeatedly... until all 10 disk drives had to have the heads replaced and the packs had to be replaced as well.
They transitioned out of that and things seemed to go well for awhile. Nevertheless, Empire Building became the rule of the day with the two managers in IT controlling millions of dollars a year and 85% of the people -- all while they locked down IT for their own advantage and being -- in defiance of the law against conflict of interest -- married to each other.
It is in the last year that the chickens have been coming home to roost in this coop where the foxes are on guard, paid for by tax payers. It has occured to County Management that outsourcing a lot of the very expensive IT components to the Cloud could make very good sense and save tax payers a lot of money. All sorts of studies have been commissioned and, actually, outsourcing, using the Cloud and buying Off-The-Shelf packages for strategic systems makes a lot of sense to run more efficiently and save a lot of mony. That poor little computer room on the 7th floor of the County City Building down the hall from the Executive's Office is out of power, out of room and out of air conditioning. So much could be cheaper with fewer people.
Ah, but now, who does the research and who makes the decisions? Who looks at the truth? Who does the evaluations?
I had a year of that before I was RIFfed. I told them up front what it would take in my detailed report. They would not listen and went out on their own. They spent plenty of money. And do you know what they found? They found that my figures were right on the money and decided that they weren't going to pursue it any further. On the way out, I was told by the Director to outline a solution to Payroll / Personnel and Budget / Finance. I did and it is 16 pages of details of exactly how to do it. If it were possible to attach the report, I would submit it to you folks so you could see what you think. I also was commissioned to do a study to determine what Open Source Database they should use, since Sybase is costing them an arm and a leg. Well, not them... the taxpayers. I gave them the right solution. The Development Manager had other designs, since he codes applications along with his job as Manager.
The point here is that there is an opportunity to make things more streamlined, efficient and have an acceptable ROI.
The problem is politics.
With foxes guarding the chicken house, the IT management is counting their eggs as they are hatching and decided that they are the ones to make the omlets from now on -- saving their careers while tanking the County IT.
The point here is that the above initiatives are worthwhile in many cases. It just depends on whether the decisions are made by honest business people or by narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and very selfish nutcases.
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