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[Discuss] Justify your existence

On 12/24/2011 11:19 AM, Edward Ned Harvey wrote:
>> From: at [mailto:discuss-
>> at] On Behalf Of Edward Ned Harvey
>> 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 is a level of support (IT and otherwise) that is necessary just to
> keep the doors open for business.  Many businesses cut their support down to
> this level, thinking of us as "overhead."  But beyond that point - IT is a
> force multiplier, we provide competitive advantage (neutralizing
> competitors' advantage, or gaining our own competitive advantage).  Both in
> terms of our organization's ability to produce more and meet more targets,
> and in terms of our ability to attract & retain talented workforce.
> When you think about it, most of the "coolness" factors of an organization
> are support related, IT and otherwise.  Coolness factors represent a real,
> but often intangible or unmeasurable, advantage to attracting & retaining
> talent.  It's company image, it's marketing for your brand.
> So.  We are justified for two reasons:  (a) Keep the lights on, and (b)
> Competitive Advantage.

Whether IT, customer service, administrative support, all of these
overhead areas are costs. An organization must look at these and assign
a value, and that is the hard part. Taking IT out of it for a moment.
Let's take a business that maintains a full time receptionist to handle
the general phone calls and the clients that walk in the door. They
could replace the receptionist with a sign and a phone/intercom. Or,
what is the cost of the high priced employees writing their own
documents in contrast to an admin assistant. My son-in-law was the only
IT guy at his company, and he hated the company. He finally got a good
IT job in Buffalo and when he gave notice they didn't even believe him.
A lot of time a company does not realize what they have until they don't.

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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