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I?m a luddite

By tbragsda ·
Not the way you call your grandfather a luddite, or that irritating assistant to the SVP. No, not that way. I?m very interested and accepting to change, when it makes sense. Strip out the old, install the new. That?s what we have jobs for, right?

Then why even ask why change. We all must embrace change right? I say no. Its part of our jobs to reject change when the change simply cannot improve the process. If our profession exists simply to install the next generation of this software, or that hardware, why should we expect to be involved in the decision making process? We have made our minds up.

Decisions to adopt any new system, hardware or software, follows a process we all are familiar with. When it comes to our part of that decision-making process, it seems like we are immediately the advocates for it. Why?

Let me tell you why I?m spending a bit of time thinking about this. I just completed a rollout of a server based Televantage switch. If you have not seen this thing, look. It is nothing short of phenomenal. One of the reasons that I was a strong advocate of it was its compatibility with our current digital handsets. This cut costs, training and installation time considerably. Now some users are saying ?bet you would like to replace those old handsets?, or ?when will we all get VoIP handsets? or ? There point is, I must want to change the old for something new, and the only possible reason that I didn?t is I couldn?t get it approved yet. When I ask myself the question, what would they do with a new VoIP phone, or how would it improve their productivity, I come up blank. To most a phone is a phone. Why would I have any interest in pushing for a perceived improvement, when I know it would do nothing for them? The users assume that?s exactly what I would do.

Have we have created the impression within the minds of users, and management that were just gadget freaks itching for that next hit of ?new? technology. I contend that we must learn to be luddites. Its in our best interest to take a lessen from granddad. His Stanley #7 plane works better than my power plan ever could, but I must want the new gadget, because I?m a tech guy, right?


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Not a luddite

by JamesRL In reply to I?m a luddite

A luddite is one who yearns for the simplicity of yesteryear and rejects technology. You are simply not an advocate of change for change's sake, and I am with you there.

Microsoft changes operating systems and applications at a pretty fast clip these days. At my last job, we rejected this, and suggested skipping every other upgrade. This actually works out pretty well in the longer analysis.

At my current employer, despite the fact we run a call centre connected to call centres around the world, we have an antique phone system. It still works.

I have been at places where the tech analysts promote like evangelists every new technology that the vendors promote. They wear free jackets and shirts from vendors. They were the first to be outsourced. Learn from that.

I am from the project management school that says you rank projects by benefits. Projects that save money or increase revenue come first. We wouldn't approve projects like SANS unless they had a solid business case with easy to quantify benfits. Too many IT departments don't work that way, and give the rest of us bad names.


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Where's The Profit?

by BFilmFan In reply to Not a luddite

That should be a phrase that is asked every time someone wants to make a change to an environment.

If there is no cost savings, then why are we doing it?

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I'm with you on that.

by Jaqui In reply to Where's The Profit?

if it isn't going to either cost less or improve profits by improving sales then why do it.

I still make use of a pentium 166 machine, running a 5 year old version of linux.
cause there isn't any need to upgrade that machine.
it's stable, secure and reliable.
( also, newer versions of linux are incompatable with the commercial development tool on it. [ borland's kylix won't install into newer versions ] )

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Ask the questions: Is it broken??? Then why are we fixing it???

by sleepin'dawg In reply to I?m a luddite

I'm the majority shareholder in my company and am probably looked at as an obstruction to be overcome in the acquisition of new stuff. I always demand a cost/benefit analysis before we spend any money. When it was time to upgrade our old machines, I conceded because at heart I'm a speed freak and like to have the fastest machine available, especially when it comes to graphics and animated graphics. I was leaning towards AMD 64 based machinery but dithered around a bit and lo-and-behold wouldn't you know it, PCI express cards came out which if you had an express slot could really make graphics fly, supposedly. We usually opt for dual processor machines and it wasn't long before they were available, so I authorized the purchase of these except there was a catch. AMD was slow adding the express slot to their board design and I was really hung on having 64 bit processors. Note: has anyone seen any reliably useful software that takes advantage of 64 bit capability??? No!!! Do not say Windows XP 64!!! Now, we're talking about dual layer processors. Won't they be wonderful when they show up??? However, how long will it be before we see the software to take advantage of all this??? Guess what??? We are still waiting to get those new machines. After all the old ones are chugging along just fine for the time being. If we need a new machine we do order an AMD 64 box especially when we have to upgrade some antique but thats it. Yes I got my old box replaced by an AMD 64 +4200 but like I said I was replacing a 1.2 ghz so it was time for it. Everyone else running 2.6 or faster is just going to have to wait until I see and test some real 64 bit apps. Until then the money stays in the till earning interest and I get very, very interested when it's my money.

Dawg ]:)

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Used to have this problem with PC's

by jdclyde In reply to I?m a luddite

Where people got their PC based on their ego, not their needs.

If the feel they are really important, then they should have a faster computer than everyone below them in the food chain even though all they do is word proccesing and e-mail. That guy doing CAD? The other giving Presentations? They aren't as important so they don't need as fast of a computer.

This is when the local departments made all decisions before the restructuring. Now IT is FINALLY in charge of ALL technology and when someone needs a computer we look if there is one on a shelf first instead of just running out and buying a new one. It took a while to break people of whining "this isn't a NEW computer! WAAAAA!". I never said you would get a new computer, just a computer that will do the applications that your posistion requires.

In the old days each location was run more or less like an individual company. Now it is centrally controled from corporate as one big system that works together.

Still always need to ask, if I spend this money what is the return? If you spend all the money, then the company didn't actually MAKE ANY profit.

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