If you had the choice between (a) tripling your budget for one year or (b) the authority to implement any technology or business changes without question for one year — which would you choose? Granted, this is a decision you would make only in the realm of fantasy, but you can play along.

This is a tough question, because you might be able to do quite a bit with triple your budget, but for me — I would make the second choice. Why? Because every day I see needs that I want to fill; I covet the opportunity to prove points that I have believed in for many years; and I want to address the inequities that I see in the workplace. For this, you need not only the budget, but the power! If my IT genie comes along and grants my wishes, I’ll be ready.

My IT management wish list

  • I would like to prove that you can run your entire IT operation using open source or low-cost alternatives to mainstream hardware and software. Yes, Dorothy, there is productivity without Microsoft Office and, oh by the way, that’s not your imagination — your machine does run faster now.
  • I would like to prove that you can deliver a user’s desktop and all their applications throughout the entire organization via thin client. I almost made this one happen — I just ran out of time where I was — and it was a beautiful thing to see. Imagine a daily environment where it doesn’t matter where you sit or which machine you use — your applications and settings travel with you. Imagine deploying an application to a couple of thousand machines in the time it takes you to install it on one and then sending out a message that says: In order to use the new X, just sign off and sign back in.
  • I would love to convince people that e-mail and files are data and that without context they have less value. A file with the attached e-mail is much more meaningful than the file sitting in a directory all alone — even if that file is searchable. The same goes with e-mail; the thread of an e-mail conversation is more valuable than a single e-mail by itself. I would love to put into place the tools to treat each appropriately.
  • I would love to be able to say, “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” to a superior and get away with it.
  • I would like to be able to hire and fire and adjust salaries to reward or punish based on productivity and an employee’s worth to the organization — all without the red tape of HR and other regulations.
  • I would like to see positions added in organizations where they are actually NEEDED and not because someone wants it.
  • I would like to see logic and thought applied to business processes — not just knee jerk reactions, no thought at all, or –worse yet — politics.
  • I would like anyone that says, “Do more with less,” actually have to do more with less.
  • I would like organizations to make decisions based more on what is good for the customer and society and less on short term profits and shareholder equity.
  • I would like to prove that people can be as productive working at home as they are in the office.
  • I would like to prove that data centralization is a “good thing.”
  • I would like to convince management all over the world that lifelong learning and continuous training/education is what separates stars from mediocrity; therefore, taking training and education seriously.
  • I would like anyone that has instituted an “across the board cut” to have to take an across the face blow to the head. Organizations are made up of discrete units that are not all the same — don’t treat them as if they are.
  • I would like organizations that claim that “employees are their greatest resource” to actually act like it.
  • I would like people to understand what customer service is.

Okay, most of the above could be instituted by a change in policy, business practice, or management philosophy. And as you can see, much of what I want to change is organizational, not technological. But that’s only fitting because the true work of IT is in enabling change in an organization.

So now that I have had my crack at it, what about you? Which would you choose – budget or power, and why? Also, give me your list, whatever you choose. I’d love to see it!