- The IT room is the dregs
Whenever I travel to visit with my IT customers, it is always a challenge to find their office. Even if I find the right building on the Business/College Campus, finding their actual location within the building is anything but certain. Usually it ends up being in some unmarked room behind a loading dock, accessible only by secret passage designed to relieve the building of cafeteria waste near the trash bins. Many times, their offices are one and the same thing as the old server computer room, with the raised floor, screaming fans, and air-cooled to a Scottish winter.
- Nobody knows you are in the building. Often times I enter the building on the upper floors, the floors with windows and young well-dressed professionals trying to move up the ladder. Asking these people if they know where the IT room is usually brings on blank stares of confusion and embarrassment. To them, the IT guy is that person they only see when their computer fails with a virus. Where he emanates from nobody knows, perhaps a trap door opens in the floor. I am not making this up. The usually way I am instructed to meet the IT guy is tht they send me an e-mail instructing me to meet at some well-known landmark out front, like a fountain or statue with a rendezvous time.
- You are expected to be an expert in Wireless technology. Let’s face it, the companies that make wireless controllers are sending out patches almost hourly. Why? Because they have no idea what works in the real world, and so you are part of the experiment. The real fact is nobody is an expert in real-world wireless technology. As the IT guy, you can never admit to any holes in your wireless knowledge. If you are not willing to lie, there are plenty of people with no experience willing to make that claim with a straight face. You just can’t be honest about this – because your boss has already told his boss you are an expert. Here is the last paragraph of a recent article on Verizon’s trial with the latest 5G wireless….
Of course, 5G wireless has never been truly tested at scale in true market scenarios. There’s talk of gigabit capable speeds, but how would a single tower supporting fixed wireless 5G at scale compare to fiber and HFC based networks connected all the way to homes and businesses? No one really knows – yet.
Setting up a new wireless network with the latest technology is like a taking a physics test in wave propagation before you have taken the class, and expecting to pass.
- You will never get rewarded if things work without issues. I like to compare a good IT tech to a good umpire or a ref in a soccer game. At best, if they do a perfect job, nobody notices them. If I ran a big company, I would hand out bonuses to my IT staff for the days I did not need them, but I do not have an MBA. (see next paragraph)
- Any time a company hires a brilliant MBA from some business school, the first thing they do is explore outsourcing the IT staff. Why ? Because nobody teaches them anything about IT in business school. They live in a fantasy world where some unknown third party with a slick brochure, and an unrealistic low-ball estimate, is going to care more about IT needs than the 4 poor schlubs in the basement who have been loyal for years. You and the in-house staff have always been on call, missing many weekends over the years, just to insure the IT infrastructure stays up, and yet the Harvard guy will shoot himself in the foot with outsourcing every time.