How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs



  • @Pete-S said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    However internal IT doesn't have other internal IT departments to compete with. So having internal IT as a department where the other departments are their "customers" is an unnatural environment.

    It's not unnatural. It's actually very natural. I can't think of any other natural way for it to work. It's how all service departments work. Janitorial, finance, HR. It would be unnatural for IT to work differently.



  • @Pete-S said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    A non-self regulating environment, a monopoly. It's however the defacto standard for larger companies.

    It's not a monopoly for two reasons...

    1. You can fire the MEMBERS (employees) and switch them out, which only keeps the department container "in name" but not in reality. So there is no monopoly even if the model stays.
    2. Internal IT is always at risk to being replaced by external IT. The fear that a more efficient MSP will replace them is ever present.


  • @Pete-S said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @Dashrender said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @Pete-S said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    If you would like a good example of how charge backs can mess things up but have a slight potential of working, give "Keep the Joint Running: A Manifesto for 21st Century Information Technology" by Bob Lewis a read.

    I think his premise is fundamentally flawed... he thinks that treating departments as customers isolates IT from the organization. But that's backwards, it is in doing so that internal IT can attempt to approach the extreme functionality of the MSP model (but never match it) while making IT part of the business rather than at odds with departments. He's missed how it works entirely.

    Remember that the C suite, the CEO, the financial department.... they are the most core of the business and they always see departments in this way. If you want IT to be part of the organization, this is really the only logical model. By the author's logic, CEOs aren't working and/or we should simply eliminate departments conceptually.

    There is a big problem with seeing internal IT as external IT or MSP. First problem is that vendors don't care about customers. Their primary concern is themselves - the ultimate reason for all business. That would not be a problem because that would naturally be controlled by market forces, competition. Those that didn't provide customer value would die. However internal IT doesn't have other internal IT departments to compete with. So having internal IT as a department where the other departments are their "customers" is an unnatural environment. A non-self regulating environment, a monopoly. It's however the defacto standard for larger companies.

    And that is why Scott said they could never be as good as a real MSP/ITSP.

    I thought he meant scale. Because that is another reason.

    The ability to scale and provide more resources at lower cost is one MSP benefit. That they are better aligned to how businesses work long term is another. Those two factors make the MSP model essentially impossible to compete with. Bad MSPs are everywhere, but so are bad employees. All models fail most of the time, but just how open source licensing is always the better licensing model, MSP is always the better IT engagement model.



  • @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    If you would like a good example of how charge backs can mess things up but have a slight potential of working, give "Keep the Joint Running: A Manifesto for 21st Century Information Technology" by Bob Lewis a read.

    I think his premise is fundamentally flawed... he thinks that treating departments as customers isolates IT from the organization. But that's backwards, it is in doing so that internal IT can attempt to approach the extreme functionality of the MSP model (but never match it) while making IT part of the business rather than at odds with departments. He's missed how it works entirely.

    Remember that the C suite, the CEO, the financial department.... they are the most core of the business and they always see departments in this way. If you want IT to be part of the organization, this is really the only logical model. By the author's logic, CEOs aren't working and/or we should simply eliminate departments conceptually.

    I understand how both you and Bob Lewis arrive at your own logical conclusions. I don't doubt both of you have evidence that each one works depending on the company and situation. In the end, both actually have issues as you and Bob point out. Different strokes for different folks.

    As we all know, there are numerous business using different models, yet are healthy and profitable. That is what matters in the end.

    Found this...

    https://www.cio.com/article/3445899/it-as-a-business-is-dead-long-live-busops.html?upd=1572540572681

    So let's dive in...



  • So Bob says this as his leading point...

    "Part of this is because the IT-as-a-business metaphor has led to a strange practice: negotiated service level agreements (SLAs) between IT operations and its internal customers."

    Okay. So first "leads to" is not an attack on the model. He simply is pointing out that even the right model doesn't fix foolish decisions. I've covered many times why SLAs are a trick and a bad idea, much like bidding out projects. SLAs aren't appropriate when dealing with your MSP, they certainly aren't appropriate when dealing with an "internal MSP." If he is saying this to say that this makes the bill back model bad, he's very, very confused on basic logic. Doing bill backs correctly, or just running a business correctly, would not have this problem. This is like complaining that air bags are bad because a driver might still hit a tree. We don't avoid air bags because they don't fix additional problems, we understand that the two are unrelated and that we still need to try not to hit trees by driving well.

    Youtube Video



  • Really, Bob's article isn't bad, and doesn't actually say that IT as internal MSP is bad. In fact, it seems to say the opposite. In fact, the entire article seems to be just quoting a couple of my SAMIT videos strung together and summarized. All makes perfect sense and is totally in support of the internal MSP model.

    In the end he just suggests making a new term for combining tech and business, BusOps. SOmething I've said IT stood for all along and that a new name was needed for. Difference is, I said it was needed, and he came up with a name that he likes. Other than that, it sounds like he's quoting me the entire article.



  • @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    Different strokes for different folks.

    This is a dangerous decision making statement. I get where it comes from, everyone desires for there to be a way for everyone to be right and there not to be a need to drill into logic and determine which ideas are correct and which are mistaken. We are taught all through school to ignore finding the "best" answers, because they don't want people to feel bad for finding out that they were wrong or inferior.

    But it is really dangerous to use, especially in business decision making. There are loads of "alternatives" in tech and business. And we know that what's good for one business is not always good for another. But it's normally said, not in cases where we are looking at "what is best in a specific instance" but to allow a known bad decision to not be held accountable. For example, when spinning disks with RAID 5 was known to no longer have any valid use case left (e.g. it had been a viable "different strokes for different folks") alternative in the past based on business needs, people would say this to justify not having any logical or demonstrable reason for choosing something known to be bad. It's a term used to excuse bad decision making.

    The term is meant to denote that different people have different opinions. I like a red sports car, you prefer a green sedan. That's different strokes. In business, it doesn't apply. In business decision making we use logic and math to show what is the best decision. Avoiding doing so makes something either a hobby at best, or a sabotage at worst.

    Businesses often make bad decisions, this is a key reason that most businesses fail. But we should never excuse not having good logic or a good decision making process because that's fundamentally what can make a business healthy as a business. In Bob's case, he's supposed to be advising CIOs, and from what I've read of his stuff he has lots of good points. I don't know what in his book would make you feel that he was against bill backs, but if you should never feel that you have to excuse him as being an "opinion" based rather than logic based. If that were true, that alone would require you to already not believe that he had a basis. I'm sure you don't mean that, but that's what that term implies here... that you already internally know that he got it all wrong, but don't want to make him feel bad so excuse bad logic or lack of logic as "different strokes" rather than a value to be vetted.

    As IT people we are one of the final lines of defense against this. It's probably our most valuable asset to a business to provide logic and metrics in decision making. Going against this undermines IT as an industry at its core.



  • Bottom line... business needs to be about making money, not touchy feely everyone's opinion is important, even if they didn't take the time or effort to think it through 😉



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    Bottom line... business needs to be about making money, not touchy feely everyone's opinion is important, even if they didn't take the time or effort to think it through 😉

    Why do I get stared at when I say things like this? It must be where I work. .



  • @DustinB3403 said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    Bottom line... business needs to be about making money, not touchy feely everyone's opinion is important, even if they didn't take the time or effort to think it through 😉

    Why do I get stared at when I say things like this? It must be where I work. .

    Probably because it is a hobby, not a serious business. Which you likely know.

    Hobbies are businesses only in a legal sense, but not in the sense that their purpose is profits.



  • @DustinB3403 said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @scottalanmiller said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    Bottom line... business needs to be about making money, not touchy feely everyone's opinion is important, even if they didn't take the time or effort to think it through 😉

    Why do I get stared at when I say things like this? It must be where I work. .

    In a publicly held company, attempting to maximize profits is a legal mandate under fiduciary responsibility. If you have share holders, your management team has a legal requirement to not just make decisions willy nilly. They are legally required to attempt to do that well. They are allowed to make mistakes, but they are not allowed to not try their best. Proving what is someone's best is, of course, impossible. But they have to be attempting it. If you can show that someone is excusing things as opinion or intentionally not using logic, you'd have grounds for a legal suit against the management for stealing from the shareholders for their personal whims.



  • @scottalanmiller said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    both actually have issues as you and Bob point out.

    What issues does he point out?

    One being, that those departments who pay a flat-fee will want more for their money along with the product ASAP.

    Mind you, this is based on the idea that internal IT is being run like a business.

    I point mine out publicly for peer review. Where are his listed without needing to pay to find out what they are?

    Given that the basis he works from is incorrect, I'm not sure what his points would even relate to.

    Your more than welcome to dive into https://issurvivor.com/ and search his archives. Those are free but I don't know if he explicitly has many articles on charge backs.



  • @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    One being, that those departments who pay a flat-fee will want more for their money along with the product ASAP.
    Mind you, this is based on the idea that internal IT is being run like a business.

    Granted. But they will want that regardless. In all cases it is up to central management to manage unreasonable expectations. MSPs have systems for dealing with this and they work really well. Internal IT does, too. Just it requires management to handle it rather than the IT department themselves. But every business has to deal with this regardless of the model used, even if people don't pay directly they always try to get unfair (in their advantage) treatment by all internal functions.

    All of the examples that we've found are "the model is definitely the best, it just can't fix every possible failing." Certainly, I 100% agree. But we don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.



  • @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    Your more than welcome to dive into https://issurvivor.com/ and search his archives. Those are free but I don't know if he explicitly has many articles on charge backs.

    I went through his CIO.com archives and could only find things that supported bill backs, not that were negative towards them or pointed out an alternative.

    Like any good model, it still needs good "everything else" around it. But it fixes more than just "trends", it fixes actual things that are impossible without it. It's the only model (of which we know) that aligns IT to the business, and the departments to the business, allowing the organization to act in its own interest. Any alternative actually encourages departments to fight against the company itself, they are antagonistic to the organization.



  • @pmoncho said in How do you get your departments to quantify what they actually need for their jobs:

    Your more than welcome to dive into https://issurvivor.com/ and search his archives

    His only mention of MSP is from Nov, 2000 when he discovered the term. And he talks about ASPs as well. I had started my first of both, over a hear before he heard the terms 🙂

    https://issurvivor.com/2000/11/20/trend-overload-first-appeared-in-infoworld/

    It really was a new term at the time. But he acts like the concept was new. It was very tried and true in the 1990s. It's an ancient article, just funny that in late 2000 he was thinking that MSPs were some hot, new thing, lol.