Thursday, February 24, 2011

The end of the IT department

My response to

That was a very interesting read, not what I would call a balanced view though and made me write;

My company is the IT department for a number of companies in the UK and I have been the IT manager in charge of departments in the past.
In part I agree there are parts of the corporate IT world that need to be relaxed, but most are based around very old fashioned thinking and cost of upgrading

The IT world is an ever changing industry, people with the right skills today need to upgrade these skills next week.

Also normally the people who work in the IT departments are not the same people that make the decisions to what can and cant be changed in the company.
If I had my way every PC, server would be replaced every year and always be patched to the latest versions of their software, this is however impractical to most companies as the cost of this is inhibitive.

Yes the 'cloud' is amazing and will lower the number of IT support staff in the building, however it just moves these people and their skills outside of the business, wont this just create a hole in the companies shared knowledge?

I have moved a number of companies to the cloud (not really the cloud, but they call it that, I call it dedicated outsourced server hosting) and they are all happy, but in doing this I had to upskill to understand the implications of these technologies for each company to make sure it will do what they need it to.
Now the big problem we are facing is the local adsl circuits are topping out and we are reliant on 100% uptime from not only an adsl line, but also the infrastructure at the other end.

So when a server goes down, exchange plays up, the problem is passed to an outsourced support company, who place the problem in their 'queue', then we wait.... we have no control or input... 9/10 I could fix the problem if I had access to the servers myself (10 years of IT support do count for something) but I cam not allowed access so we wait.....

The cloud idea is good, but I can see companies jumping on the 'save money' band wagon and then realising that moving their infrastructure outside of their control could cost them more in the long run.
one thing that no one ever asks is  "So if it goes wrong (the cloud) and doesn't work for us, how much will it cost to move everything back?" - the answer - LOTS, probably more than the move out as you will need new hardware, licensing, staff, skills...

The cloud is not for everyone, be very careful about what goes where and who controls what.

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