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Is IT degenerating into a field where idiots rule?

By NZBN ·
I dont know about the rest of the world but IT in New Zealand is degenerating into a field where people think anyone can do IT. People dont recognise the skill and training that goes into a degree in IT and would rather trust MCSE which is not even NZQA accredited so in truth is not a qualification.

People seem to trust the advice of idiots these days. No research is done by technicians on the products they sell, they just sell the product they sell cos.
Ask a technician why he/she sells x antivirus and 99% of the time the response is because the x antivirus company is big or because it is good, no research done on the product just go by gut feeling, how utterly and totally pathetic is that. And that is just scraping the surface.
Case in example - true story
Large company in NZ (over 250 pc's per loc, several locs), uses large IT company in NZ to support its IT infrastructure, relys on this company for advice and providing the neccessary IT infrastructure. When we did our case study on the large company last year they had no network monitoring software for thier LAN, MAN or WAN, poor av, protocols bouncing from one side of thier lan to the other causing it to eat network bandwidth for lunch, Windows servers where Linux/Unix would have done the job better, I dont know about you lot but I have had a real gutsful of IT companies saying they can provide a service but all they do is cost thier clients money and dont do a good job about it.

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Haha Amen!

by Ibanezoo In reply to Methinks the problem's wo ...

Same here... 3 guys (well 2 really) to handle 800-900 people spread across 15 locations in a 300 mile radius. We lost count of the computers... who has time to count them?! :) Develop, test, and release this new enterprize tracking app, roll out a domain in that new department, add these 50 email accounts, oh yeah these ones need forwarding but we don't know where yet, fix the CEOs email again because he doesn't know how to use a mouse and folders "are gone damnit! Im the CEO, get them back NOW!", get in the crawlspace and run this cable, we opened 3 more shops so we need VPNs in place until we can get perminant WAN connections set up, 10 computers are dinosaurs and need replacing, why isn't that massive Xerox printer that we never told you about not set up on the network-we need to print!, uninstall the spyware from the sales teams laptops, reboot the windows servers, patch up the Linux servers, make sure your SUS is up to date, purge the mysql databases, 4 shops need new storage servers as they maxed out now, Hey why can't I log in? Do you remember my password? Give Joe a new keyboard because he dumped a coke in the last one, did you know our webpage is out of date-go fix it, write us a program that converts any customer supplied file to a GroupIV TIF automatically from our web forms, save that cat stuck in the tree, go help the government auditors.... Oh yeah, can you have this all done by noon, and don't spend any money!

asdfg eghsdn AAS&>Tqwehy7rhy7quwhehilabnsdfkl

^^^^ Head hits keyboard

At least the paycheck is good and you get to wear the super cape when you pull everything off an hour early ;-)

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IT Management

by pete1978 In reply to Methinks the problem's wo ...

Actually, much of what is being discussed in this thread is an IT Management issue. The average IT person is too busy to have time to discuss what is being done, why, how, and when it will be complete.

Unfortunately, too often IT management is too busy dealing with projects and budgets to deal with the discussion of what, why, how, and when.

This means that there is nobody in IT telling the rest of the company what IT is doing for them.

On the other side, the average non-IT person believes that, because they know where the power button is on their PC, they must be a power user. When they talk to the IT people and hear the true tech-speak, they have no idea what was said and believe, therefore, that it is jibberish. They see the IT people disappear into rooms that are locked off from the rest of the organization.

All of this leaves them with an information void. So they fill the void with the belief that IT is doing nothing. After all, the IT folks probably only lock the server room door so that the rest of the company doesn't know what PC games they are using, right?!?!

IT Management, in spite of their schedules, must take the time to inform the rest of the company on what IT does for them. Sure, they know that IT does a file backup every night. Do they know that IT used the backup to manually recover 1000 files last month saving the company tons of money and preventing end users from having to recreate the files (thus saving time)? Do they know that IT updated the corporate AV package and, as a result, prevented the virus breakout that they all heard about in the news last night? Do they know ...

No, they don't know. IT workers don't have the time or the vehicle to give this information out to the whole organization. IT Management must start informing the organization about what IT does for them behind that locked door. If IT Management doesn't step up to this plate, IT departments are doomed to outsourcing.

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Beyond IT

by Twaka In reply to Is IT degenerating into a ...

I see the problem as one that goes beyond IT which may go back to the head of IT not communicating effectively with upper management and other managers. When the general attitude is one of IT "plays" with technology and is high overhead, the implementation of the solutions that would be best gives way to "make do" with less, quickly.

Till something desasterous happens, or some kind of mandated compliance comes along, the best decisions seems illusive.

Added to that, with the constant changing of the IT landscape, decisions have to be made quickly with acknowledgement of certain risks otherwise projects will go on forever trying to adapt to perfection. Reinforcing the negative view of IT.

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Yes, but there's more to it

by amcol In reply to Beyond IT

Communication has never been one of the major weapons in IT's arsenal...which is really too bad, because it's the single most important skill anyone in any discipline must master in order to be successful.

The idea that "IT plays with technology" comes from two major sources. There's a lot of entrenched IT management that proposes solutions which have all kinds of technological bells and whistles and sound really, really cool but in fact have little in common with business strategy. Which is the other problem...IT managers not taking the time to understand business strategy, that there is one and what it is.

On the other hand, IT management isn't the only culprit. We've had enough years of technology ubiquity that anyone of approximately age 30 or less has pretty much grown up with technology. Those in the 30-50+ age group have been bombarded with enough messages that you need to understand technology, at least a little, in order to simply be able to do your job.

It's a two way street, with a shared responsibility. Both IT management and business leaders need to do a better job communicating, both talking and listening.

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Point of clarification ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to Yes, but there's more to ...

"... business strategy, that there is one and what it is."

How about business strategy, IF there is one, and what it is?

An unfortunate number of business "leaders" have stratigic vision no further than this coming Friday's earnings guidance.

They claim to do what the shareholders want, but ignore shareholders who want to know why the current CEO is making $10,000 an hour and living in a mansion in the Hamptons while the former head of new product development is now a greeter at WalMart.

(Maybe it's because of churn in the CxO ranks? Every couple of years, a new company to be CxO of.)

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Too old to care anymore

by DG_Atl In reply to Point of clarification .. ...

Boy did Too old for IT hit the nail on the head for me. Latest SEC filings declared our new CEO earned 1 mil in wages but the board felt sorry for him and ok'd a 3.5 mil bonus. All the while declaring the IT staff (tech's) was earning too much and proceeded to reduce salaries 5% across the board. Business strategy seems too be shrink this sob till nothing remains. Wall Mart here I come.

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How True

by lrbassoc In reply to Yes, but there's more to ...

ONe of the problems we all face is the constant lack of understanding about how to accomplish business goals. As a consultant I have to face this almost daily. Helping the entrenched big iron face the reality that the business needs superceed what they expect. Because of budget constraints and the lack of understanding on both parts I sometimes feel like a referee.

I also object to the statement that they would rather hear from an MCSE. I started with a degree in Business and moved into IT. I obtained my MCSE and MCT and enjoy teaching others. I even recommend Linux and the retention of mainframes if it is cost effective and the staff is able to support it.

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One other spin on your point

by jbartlett In reply to Yes, but there's more to ...

Its true that business and IT need to work from the same strategy and playbook. This has to apply to all departments, not just IT and "them". However there is a additional element that makes working together difficult in most operations I have worked in.

For some reason people feel they know a lot more about computers and IT than they do and are therefore assume they should have a say in how things are done. They make erroneous assumptions about what is involved in implementing strategic goals through technology. I've spent far more time trying to talk people out pie-in-the-sky ideas and concepts than actually making them happen. Any project where the stakeholders cannot agree on the nature of the problem and the solution is bound for failure. The arrogance of non-IT people thinking they already know the answers just makes it worse.

No one would every dream of telling a chef how to prepare a lunch for 500 people, a pilot how to fly a plane or mechanic how to remove a tranmission. But why does everyone who has read the "Chip Chat" section of the sunday paper think they have the answers and are more than willing to try and trump the IT guy at the next meeting?

Does this happen in other professions?

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Here!! Here!! Author!! Author!!

by Too Old For IT In reply to One other spin on your po ...

"No one would every dream of telling a chef how to prepare a lunch for 500 people, a pilot how to fly a plane or mechanic how to remove a tranmission. But why does everyone who has read the "Chip Chat" section of the sunday paper think they have the answers and are more than willing to try and trump the IT guy at the next meeting?"

I'm posting this up in my cube ...

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Finally someone getting close!

by Churdoo In reply to One other spin on your po ...

I'm gonna try to stay on point of the initial subject, but let me apologize right now as I'm sure my post will be wordy.

"IS IT DEGENERATING INTO A FIELD WHERE IDIOTS RULE?"

In a word "YES!" or actually I think it's been a steady decline over the past 5 years, but for several reasons.

IT STAFF:
In any profession, there are good and bad; there are good cops and bad cops, good doctors and bad doctors, good mechanics and bad, etc. OF COURSE the same holds true for IT staff!

For some reason however, in my experience there are waaaaay too many people holding IT positions that have absolutely NO BUSINESS accepting money for touching a computer or network in any way! Whether it is as a consultant or as an employee, the percentage of incompetent IT people is higher than in any other industry, or maybe at least tied with auto mechanics.

Primadonnas to boot --
In addition to being incompetent, there is a huge subset of them that are primadonnas! They are not nearly as good as they think they are, but you can't convince them of that. They have bad attitudes, i.e. they don't understand that IT is a SERVICE organization whose responsibility is to HELP the business produce its product whatever product that is (yes sometimes in SPITE of the business)! Not only do they not help their customer/employer/etc. adequately, but they don't share information with each other, as if they are so insecure of their own ability that if they help their colleague, they will become threatened.

Poor Business Sense --
True also; a lot of IT staffers have poor business sense, and therefore make decisions that are based on other things and not necessarily in the best overall interest of sound business practices.

Communication --
Many but not all IT staffers are poor communicators.

Those are the main reasons that I believe that IT staff has contributed to the decline.

NON IT STAFF ...
"No one would every dream of telling a chef how to prepare a lunch for 500 people, a pilot how to fly a plane or mechanic how to remove a tranmission. But why does everyone who has read the "Chip Chat" section of the sunday paper think they have the answers and are more than willing to try and trump the IT guy at the next meeting?"

Hurray! jbartlett for your post above! Indeed for some reason, the rest of the world thinks that they have an insight into good IT practices and feels that they can second guess our recommendations, or even worse, ignore them completely!

"... Good with Computers ..."
If I had a dollar for each time I've heard someone tell me "my friend (so-and-so) is 'good with computers,' and he says ...," I would be island-hopping for the rest of my life because I wouldn't need to work.

Unfortunately, just like joe-consumer trying to find the right auto mechanic (no I'm not purposely trying to slam the auto mechanic industry, it's just that I think there are many similarities), anyway, the person making the hiring decisions oftentimes lacks the insight to know which candidate is the tech-wannabe and which is the real deal. Whether it's the non-qualified person hiring the IT manager, the non-qualified person hiring a tech employee, or the person hiring the outside consultant, if you can't separate the IT Men from the boyz, then there's a good chance the wrong selection will be made. After all, based on the law of percentages, if 2/3 of the candidates suck (I think this is a close estimate, and there are subsets of the industry that are worse, approaching 3/4 or even 4/5 incompetent) and the person making the decision is not qualified to make the decision, then there's a good chance that the wrong candidate will be selected.

It's simply too easy for the wannabe that's "good with computers" to talk a good game and BS his way into convincing the poor unsuspecting unqualified decision maker into making the wrong decision.

We good ones, the IT Men as it were, have plenty of work to do with the clients or employers that have the sense (or the luck) to select us; we leave those who make the wrong decisions for the bottom feeder wannabes because there simply aren't enough of us to go around!

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