A day doesn’t go by but that I don’t find another example of while the technology has sped things up so much (both in performance and capability and my understanding of its capabilities) this is being completely offset (and moreso) by the ridiculous, mostly unnecessary and definitely counter-productive business and IT processes, approvals and procedures required just to get the access you need to actually help the companies get things done?
There’s always been some of that in every organization over a certain size, but I am afraid it has become the rule rather than the exception .. to the point where almost nothing is possible anymore.
This isn’t new. Anyone who worked long ago with departments named MIS/DP (the ancestor of current IT or IS departments) came across this.
IT has never wanted to give mere users access to data except as hardcopy. In too many organizations they were forced, kicking & screaming, to give online access to finished reports. But could non-IT users get read-only access to the source databases? No way!
Mere users (i.e., everyone outside IT) were doomed once MSFT introduced Group Policies. Training or certifying users would come out of IT’s budgets. Curtailed productivity is buried in other departments’ budgets.
Sorry to say I go back that far …
But I found that there was a stretch in there from the Mid 90’s until the Mid 0’s when it was better. This was largely because IT hadn’t decided it was necessary to go back to “anal” to save their jobs, to justify their jobs and as an answer to SOX and Basil, etc. Basically they have been waiting for ten years to get it all back in their control and now they have succeeded by scaring their non-IT management into submission.
Maybe this pendulum will swing back but I doubt it. And MS doesn’t seem to get the fact that their very own Office/SharePoin offerings are complete;y at odds with the other parts of their own business that rely on this new IT re-capture of the reins.
That’s what’s surprising me the most lately – seeing MS going head to head against themselves. Trust me – Office is lost.
Seems to me the mid-90s were when lots of departments were being downsized and outsourced, and I recall IT being hit pretty hard. Coincidentally (or not) that’s when I got into Excel programming in a big way.
And even though they’re still being hit pretty hard they are trying very hard to grab back control and in order to do that they are very basically trying to eliminate user-driven computing – which includes deartmental datbases and spreadsheets and especially those pesky outside vendors….
I just had a meeting at a client where we were going to talk with IT (yet again) about getting access to their data for use in a spreadsheet system thye had been using for 10 years (they changed their accounting program last year and we have been unable to get back the access we used to have). I told my client that the first thing the IT guy would say is “Is there any way WE could provide this functionality to you ourselves?” and that was the first thing he said !!! All we wanted was a feed of GL account balances … the most basic of basic requests.
There’s a way to deal with IT asking whether they could replace outside contractors: your non-IT contact would need to tell IT, ideally with you present, that if IT provided the requested data feed you’d have the EXISTING system working for $X – could IT REPLACE the entire system using the system as it existed as the full specs (so IT getting NOTHING in writing from the non-IT department) for $X or even twice $X? And within N months of how long it’d take them to provide the GL data feed?
IOW, the best way to deal with IT is the classic approach: a moderately long 2×4 applied with a bit more than moderate vigor to the body part of your choice.
“IOW, the best way to deal with IT is the classic approach: a moderately long 2×4 applied with a bit more than moderate vigor to the body part of your choice.”
Agreed – but I have seen my non-IT clients sometimes decide that fighting IT is not a good career move – because they have to rely on them for everything else. How important is this little app anyway ? – we can just continue using that crappy spreadsheet …..