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Overcoming internal IT's objections

By wordworker ·
Okay gang, here's a hum-dinger for you. How do I 'handle' working with or around an internal IT person who is dead set against a consultant coming into her shop? Here's the scoop.
1) Director of nonprofit agency asks around and gets my name on referral for "help with IT issues."
2) I have great interview with this person, listen carefully to her concerns, and conduct preliminary interviews with the office manager and some directors and managers. They ALL tell me how dissatisfied they are with the current technology setup. Machines are old and slow. The part-time internal IT person (who only works 4 hours a week to get benefits!!) has Lotus WordPro on most of the machines. Staffers have resorted to bring in their own PCs from home... It's Dysfunction Junction.
3) I bring in my subcontractor to do hardware inventory and we meet for the first time the infamous internal IT person. She is in her own world but doesn't act overtly threatened or upset that "consultants" are being brought in.
4) As soon as I leave, she starts riding my subcontractor, tells him what we're doing is a "farce," and there's no way "her users" will EVER want to part with their Paradox for DOS 4.5, horribly designed, full-of-garbage, everything-in-one table database....
5) The part-time IT person is best friends with the office/business manager.

Is there a win-win solution here? My gut instinct is to go into the big director's office with my first/last invoice for time spent to date, and throw in the towel, "unless someone can get the IS person to buy in to what we're doing."

On the other hand, I hate to squander an opportunity to make a good impression and make a lasting, real difference in how these folks conduct their business by upgrading their systems, which was my charter.

So, fight/win or flee? What'll it be? Welcome input from anyone who has been there before. -Jeff

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by Joseph Moore In reply to

So, when I hear stories about networks that have been abandoned, where servers are unpatches, where ACL list are not configured to block anything, where applications are inoperable, where "sneakernet" is still used, it makes me feel astonished.
The IT person at this place should stop wasting everyone's time and get out of there. They are not doing anything to help anyone out. That IT person's customers are her fellow employees, and she is letting them down greatly.

So, I advocate that you stick to your guns no matter what. Sure, it sounds like you are in the middle of a major corporate politics power play. Sorry for that. They are never fun. But, you need to stand strong and remember that what you want to do is right for everyone there. IT will make them more productive, which will help the company be more prosperous. And the better prosperity the company has, the more income it has. The more money, the more the employees will get. And the more money means new employees can be hired, bringing people out of the wilderness and into the air conditioning!

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by Joseph Moore In reply to

Be honest with the state of the "network" there. If you want to not burn bridges with the waste of IT life that is the part-time IT person, then don't go out of your way to harm them. You don't have to slam the person personally.
But their non-chalance and resistance to change to the 1990's (let alone 21st century) is harming the company. YOu are there to heal it. Go and do so.

hope this helps

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by wordworker In reply to

Wow - Joseph, thanks very much for sharing your thoughts. Great stuff.

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by wordworker In reply to Overcoming internal IT's ...

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