Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Discuss] Justify your existence

On 12/16/2011 07:46 AM, Jerry Feldman wrote:
> On 12/15/2011 10:56 PM, Edward Ned Harvey 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?
> Having been both in management and in overhead positions. In many
> businesses there are cost centers and revenue centers. IT is usually a
> cost center providing essential services. But, IT is a cost that in many
> cases cannot be tied directly to revenue.

Perhaps. Even when IT isn't the "business of the business" as another 
poster described, IT in my opinion has the most potential for impacting 
things directly related to revenue: employee efficiency, marketing, 
research, etc.  IT pervades everything a company does.  IT in many cases 
is what sets good/great companies apart from their competitors.

So the biggest thing you need to do IMHO is not let people conflate 
"overhead" with "non-essential".  All senior management is overhead. 
That doesn't mean they are non-essential.  Great IT, just like great 
senior management, give the company a competitive edge.  I think you 
could make a strong argument that great IT gives /more/ of an edge than 
pretty much anything else (where "great" IT means being cost-efficient 
as well as capability-rich).

> At Digital, years ago, we moved the entire Unix commands group the
> Bangalore, and my group (compilers, development environment) moved
> the assembler support to India.

Ouch. You can't be successful in business by outsourcing your core 
technical competency.  Unfortunately, many businesses didn't figure this 
out until after they'd tried and failed.


BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /