I used to work as a field analyst at the studio/corporate headquarters for a large entertainment conglomerate in California.
As is common in dealing with end-users, a lot of the issues we dealt with had to do with locked accounts and expired passwords. All of the field analysts had admin rights on the domain so that we could unlock accounts and reset passwords in a timely fashion. No third party had to be involved, and folks were able to get back to work very quickly. Most of us developed close working relationships with our end-users, and it was good public relations to have a familiar voice answer the phone when users called IT.
[ Want to cash in on your IT experiences? Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we publish it, we'll send you a $50 American Express gift cheque. ]
This system worked pretty well. We analysts were able to set our own priorities for basic support issues, our users were able to get back to work quickly, and IT management rarely had to get involved with day-to-day support -- things got done and everyone liked it that way. Everyone, that is, except top management and the bean counters -- they wanted to cut operating costs and, in their words, the "lowest hanging fruit" was the IT department.
Enter the outsourcing trend to the scene.
As part of the search for an IT outsourcing provider, management had prospective companies engage in a reverse bidding war. Most of the IT staff referred to this as "selling us off to the lowest bidder."
In a further demonstration of the disconnect between "business savvy" and "IT best practices," upper management decided to split the outsourcing contract to save money. There were surprisingly few layoffs, and most of the conglomerate's IT staff were merely transitioned to the two outsource providers. Those of us who provided end-user support were outsourced to one provider, and those who worked for server administration were outsourced to another, thereby creating the most cumbersome IT structure possible.
As the go-live date for the switchover loomed, we were fed the usual lines: "your job will not change" and "only the company name on your check will be different."
Of course, in reality this couldn't have been further from the truth. All of the field analysts and system admins left on Friday as employees of the conglomerate, and came back on Monday working for different on-site vendors.