I've been working in IT for close to 20 years, and the average experience of my team's members is 15 years. So with over a quarter of a century's worth of combined experience, you would think business managers would trust our decisions, or at least take our input into account. Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes we get ignored.
Our IT department is in the United States and supports all our remote sites. Each site is overseen by a manager, and we are required to get the manager's approval before we implement any major changes. Usually, the managers listen to us and voice any concerns, then we make the changes together.
[ 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. ]
However, one of the managers continually fights us. For example, we have a remote site in EMEA with an aging infrastructure. The file server is more than 7 years old, the domain controller is 8 years old, and both are out of maintenance. Here's why.
About three years ago, our IT team proposed using a caching appliance that would allow us to keep the primary copy at our core datacenter so that we could use ILM (information lifecycle management) tools to migrate old data to cheaper storage, centralize backups, and still have good performance for the remote site. Before rolling out any changes to the sites, we tested it between our main engineering site and the datacenter over an OC3 with very low latency and deployed one to APAC, which has an E1 with very high latency.
[ Tired of being told to do more with less? Participate in InfoWorld's Slow IT movement: Rant on our wailing wall. Read the Slow IT manifesto. Trade Slow IT tips and techniques in our discussion group. Get Slow IT shirts, mugs, and more goodies. ]
When we got ready to deploy to the EMEA site, the site manager put the brakes on. "I'm not convinced you tested it enough," he said. We explained the testing we had done, the phased approach, and the backout plan, but to no avail. He wasn't going to let us do it. Since he's a supply chain ops guy with no real IT background, we figured he didn't understand the risks of not deploying to the site, so we took time to explain them in detail and to ask questions and think it over. Nothing doing. Our manager talked to him, but he was resolute that the changes would cause major problems for his operations.