Eight is enough! IT's biggest frenemies

Colleagues can be both allies and adversaries -- here's how IT can cope with the eight worst types of coworkers

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IT frenemy No. 6: Cloudy Claudette
She has an Amazon Web Services account and she knows how to use it.

Claudette doesn't have time to wait for IT to give her what she needs. With one phone call and a corporate Amex card, she has entire server farms at her beck and call.

She's moving at the speed of business, spinning up Web services, and cranking out innovative ideas faster than you can say "IT asset management audit." But she's also creating IT sprawl in every direction -- as are her pals Darlene Dell, Ricky Rackspace, and VMware vCloud Vanesh.

More than half of IT pros surveyed by PMG, a business process automation vendor, say cloud sprawl is having a negative impact on their operations and budgets. Four out of five worry about security of data in the cloud, and nearly 60 percent are concerned about compliance.

"To me, the biggest concern is security," said Joe LeCompte, principal at PMG. "With cloud sprawl there's nothing to keep employees from putting sensitive files on Dropbox, forgetting they're there, and giving access to their files to people outside the organization. IT wouldn't even know about it."

How to keep them in check: If you can't keep your employees from using public cloud services -- odds are you can't -- IT's best tactic is to get there ahead of them and offer the same things as part of a managed services catalog, says LeCompte.

"If I can call up Amazon and get a server spun up in five minutes, why is IT telling me it's going to take two months?" he says. "The solution is for IT to act more like the Dropbox and Amazons of the world and get fast and efficient. Either it's going to happen in a way you can manage and drive, or it's going to happen outside your control -- and you have an even bigger problem."

IT frenemy No. 7: HR Harriet
Finding and hiring tech talent is hard -- and Harriet makes it even tougher.

On paper, your goals look perfectly in sync. You and Harriet both want to find and recruit talent into the organization, evaluate candidates, and make the right hires. But wait, Harriet has more paper for you to fill out. And still more after that.

That job you needed to fill three weeks ago will take another three months before it's approved and posted. The final job description looks nothing like the one you wrote. Meanwhile, you're doing the work of three people.

"Getting qualified people is hard enough, but human resources and IT never seem to mix well," says Mike Meikle, CEO of the Hawkthorne Group, a boutique management and technology consulting firm. "Getting your job requirements through the HR résumé SEO machine is nearly impossible. Suddenly it's a mishmash of bureaucratic phrases and meaningless buzzwords like 'empowerment.' And that midlevel programmer you want to hire now needs a Master's in Information Systems and 30 years of Java experience."

How to keep them in check: Eventually, every new hire will have to go through Harriet. The key is to keep her out of recruiting and evaluating applicants for as long as humanly possible, says Meikle.

"Try to find a way to work with potential candidates without putting HR in the middle," he says. "Harriet should only be involved in the nuts and bolts of the on-boarding process, not determining who's best suited for a position. That's your job."

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