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[Discuss] Justify your existence

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 10:56 PM, Edward Ned Harvey <blu at>wrote:

> You're in a social situation - at a party or something - You're talking
> with
> some CFO or otherwise interesting financial person about work, and Dilbert
> cartoons, and the wastefulness and inefficiencies of typical corporations
> or
> typical organizations, etc.  Somebody uses a term like "overhead" or
> "secondary" referring to support roles.  But you're an IT person - You're a
> support role, and depending on what is your core business, most likely
> you're overhead.
> With only a moment's thought, and only a few words, how do you describe the
> value that your role adds to the organization?  How do you justify your own
> existence, casually, when talking to a CFO or somebody in a social
> situation?
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at

First of all, I don't see how IT can even remotely be considered overhead -
 when it's done right.  It's like saying eating breakfast is overhead.
 It's the fuel that gets you started and allows you to perform at a higher
level than you would without it.

Somebody could have crap for breakfast and that /is/ a problem, but it
doesn't mean that breakfast is the problem.  The modern world is infused
with technology.  It's a catalyst, an essential element and the oxygen that
pumps life into ideas, energy and output created by top-performing

*Work* needs to be performed to provide a service or product of value.
 Errors cost time and money.  What I do is create automated processes and
tools that perform work 24x7x365 and help people do the same all while
eliminating or reducing errors.
*Decisions* need to be made constantly in order to compete.  I create
reports and tools that allow people across the organization to access the
information they need to make decisions.
*Performance* and systems need to be monitored in order to assess the
health, revenue, output and productivity of the organization, specific
segments or individuals.  I provide the monitoring, reporting and data
collection inputs that make this possible.
*Knowlege, collaboration* and *experience* is often the key to making
better judgements and increasing productivity.  Coupled with smooth *
operations* of *communications*, plant, equipment, vendor, customer and
marketplace *relationships*; knowledge can be put to work to the greatest
effect.  I provide the collaboration systems, documentation, training,
operations and multiple levels of support to ensure that this happens.

I don't think I'd come up with that off the cuff, after having a couple
drinks at a cocktail party.  But now that you've asked, I should commit it
to memory so that I can.

Greg CTO Rundlett

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