Thursday, October 25, 2007

Enterprise IT Evolution

I work in Information Technology. "IT." I specifically work in "Enterprise" IT. It is, without a doubt, the most retarded business in the world.

Enterprise IT is a system of IT departments, all working together. Or actually NOT working together, but just pretending to work together. Here's how it happens.

At first there were a bunch of manufacturing facilities. Each facility had its own IT department. Not very efficient eh? Not really. So all the IT departments got together and decided to "standardize." That way people can move between IT departments, other locations can help each other, etc.

So all the departments worked on basically the same equipment and all the same systems. Some brilliant management person looks at all the different IT departments all doing basically the same thing and thinks "why can't we have just ONE BIG IT department handle IT for ALL the locations?"

This sounds brilliant, but in reality it is completely retarded. Because it is impossible to implement, and here's why.

At first you think, I don't need people at every location that know everything about the systems, because they can just call experts at other locations when they don't know how to handle things locally. That way we just need at least one expert working at one location somewhere in the world whenever there's a problem.

But that system never works, because when you are at a location, you ALWAYS give your current location priority over problems elsewhere. The remote locations can never truly get the help they need because the remote people will ALWAYS find and excuse to do something, even if it is trivial, at their local facility before working on something more important elsewhere.

So to solve the locality problem the management creates a "central location" where the "experts" will all move to and then there will never be local issues, only remote ones.

But the people who are experts aren't just experts because they are good at one thing. They are usually experts because they are really smart people and they could be doing anything or working anywhere if they like. Your company is just lucky enough to have them. And they live where they live for A REASON, and it's not because your facility is there. They don't want to move. If you ask them to they'll say "no." If you require them to, they'll quit.

So the call goes out to all the experts to fill the jobs in these centers for experts, and all the experts refuse to go. So they keep looking. These are jobs that have been created, and by GOD they have to be filled. So who fills them? The USELESS people. The people that the individual plants are HAPPY to get rid of.

So all the useless people are gathered together in a central location, called experts, and asked to solve all the problems for all the remote locations. But there generally are NO problems at the remote locations for them to solve! Why? Because NONE of the remote locations were DUMB enough to let the local experts go! They KNOW the Central Location Experts are idiots, so they keep enough local experts around to handle any real crisis. If they can't keep them in their current jobs, they rehire them as contractors.

So now you have a bunch of idiots in a central location with nothing to support, no facility to keep running, and NOTHING TO DO. So what do they do? They do BUSYWORK. Not just ordinary busy work. They create busywork for the remote locations to do. After all, THEY are the team of experts. The remote locations should do their bidding whenever they ask! So in order to make it look like they are working, they send out surveys and pretend to be solving problems, merely to justify their existence.

So the remote locations have had their staff cut in order to pay for this useless central location, so fewer people are doing the REAL support work. And now the Central Location of Experts is creating MORE and MORE work for them, mostly pointless, useless paperwork.

That's why Enterprise IT is the most retarded business in the world.


BrainMc said...

Thanks for helping remind me of one of the reasons I no longer work for a huge company. I remember have wonderful conference calls with "headquarters" and feeling like I was the smartest person in the company.

TechGuyTom said...

I so feel your pain.

Unknown said...

Corporations have been doing that for years. First centralize, then de-centralize a few years later, the centralize. It looks like they need a way to spend money. I assume it's all up to the whim of leadership. If your Pres. of IT wants to centralize, he will. If she wants to de-centralize ....

Human Head said...

(ogod, I'm having flashbacks)

Enterprise. It's impressive, like the starship.

A life comprised of working for a bunch of useless people who like noting better than to sit around at meeting and on conf. calls, tell each other how great they are, say "action item" at least four times, and then make some changes for changes sake.

What's not to love?

It's modern and efficient business.