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[Discuss] Justify your existence

> 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?

There are a few ways to answer this question.

(1)Compared to a CEO, the value proposition is much better for "support."
A CEO typically makes over 100x an average worker. So, you are one 100th
of a CEO. Yet you help others be more productive. Your value multiplies
the value of others.

(2)Quite frankly, as maligned as IT is, a modern company can not run
without IT. The modern company needs data and data infrastructure for
decision making and (depending on the nature of the business) creation of
the "product."

(3)Being almost 50, I remember a professional world where people did not
use computers. Watch the tv show "Mad Men." There were secretarial pools
of women who merely typed. Invisible as IT is, it is necessary, and has
allowed the workforce to change in such a a way that menial jobs once
relegated to a "lower class" of worker is now expected from everyone, and
that "lower class" of worker no longer exists. Employees now present a
more and richer value proposition for the employer because they do more
than menial tasks.

(4)The modern executive in a company must be able to evaluate several more
orders of magnitude more data than his counterpart did a generation or two
ago. The spreadsheet, originally seen as a tool for for accounting, has
become the defacto tool for managing business and creating strategies. The
IT and support staff make this possible on the scale required for modern

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