By Dave Wright - 2014-02-07
Sometime I think IT has become the victim of weekend warrior syndrome. Every weekend people go down to the big home improvement stores to buy new tools to undertake that “easy” project they need to do on their house, or that “simple” fix they need to do to their car. I do it all the time – either just before I start working, or more likely halfway through something – I will realize that I need a specific tool or product that I do not have. I know that with this particular tool all my problems will be solved!
Some of these tools might be used only once for a single project, or they are specialty tools that serve a single purpose. Just last week I threw out a device that reprogrammed a car CPU. It was very expensive. I used it once, screwed everything up and reset it back to standard! I’ve not even owned that car for eight years and I shipped the device across the Atlantic to America – where you can’t even buy the car!
The worst thing is many of these tools end up being not used at all. They always seem like a good purchase at the time - why not throw in some extra cash to get the really big socket set because it has the “essential” full set of star drivers – that you have never used in the past, and probably never will use in the future! Eventually it becomes hard to keep track of what you have, and harder still to keep everything in working order. Ever looked for something and thought it was easier to just go out and buy it again because you did not know where it was?
In many ways, IT has been tool-hungry over the past two or three decades. Now, many enterprise IT organizations struggle under the vast array of products that they have to work with. The problem is far greater than just too many tools to manage. Departments start to develop silos of data, or repeat unnecessary integrations – how many integrations are there to your Active Directory system? It prevents standardization and consistency in the way things requested, processed, analyzed and reported. The end result of this, the quality and responsiveness of service degrades. It also bloats IT budgets with superfluous training, licensing and maintenance costs. Finally, it presents a fundamental roadblock for automation.
It’s time for IT to “clear out the garage.” Maybe you’ll find that old Rolling Stones vinyl or the router attachment you bought years ago? I guarantee you will find at least three things that do the same job, but you bought them at different times. IT needs to consolidate tools and drive towards standardization to streamline and, ultimately, automate work.
How can you help empower your team to move past this weekend warrior syndrome?