IT Bitments

For those who have worked in IT, such as myself, this, article pretty much sums up all we have to go through. The worst part being that when you get tired of these things and talk about them, then you’re seen as bitchy and negative. Maybe that’s true, but it’s a tough line of work which is why it generally pays so much.
I think that point #10 on her list about, “The positioning of the IT department…” is really right on and something I’ve felt for years. In reality, we’ve had the need for strong IT support for the last 20 years. If you want to be really picky, we’ve needed it for the last 10 years where: everyone was using Windows not MSDOS, networks were really happening, email was more commonplace, and the Internet was coming in to its own. In all that time, I’ve never really had the feeling from any place where I’ve worked that they knew what to do with IT. They kind of play hot potatoe with it, tossing it around to be under this department or that one until it finally gets placed under one that seems to be the easiest way out, which is not always the best choice.
Over a decade and people still don’t know what to do with technology! While IT can somewhat fit in with an accounting department as they’re sort of this separate group that interacts with the entire company, that’s not always the best fit. I say this because I’ve realized that IT is lower than the lowest people on the totem pole in an organization. No matter what someone at the bottom does, they can always say, “Well, the computer wasn’t working, that’s why I couldn’t finish it.” Bosses used to blamed their secretaries. Now the bosses and the secreataries blame technology and those of use who are hapless enough to get caught in the crossfire of trying to keep everything afloat. The Little Dutch Boy is a more than apt comparison.
So, what to do? Well, do what a lot of big companies do and make IT it’s own department. Don’t hire people based on tests, but more experience and problem approach. Pull in a consultant to hire your tech folks if no one on staff seems up to the task. Make them feel more like part of the team. And, even if it started out as some guy who used to be an editor that kinda slipped in to supporting all the systems, give IT a little respect. It’s a super tough job and requires people to be both introverted and extroverted at the same time, which I’ve yet to meet anyone that can pull that off.