IT Management

Pete Clark on z/VSE: An Open Letter to Management

2 Pages

n today’s multi-platform, multi-architecture information systems world, the strategic choices for storage and processing of data are diverse, challenging, and sometimes confusing. Most businesses need all the help they can get making and implementing strategic decisions.

Then why are more and more managers making unilateral, major decisions without valuable input from their IT staff?

The Problem

To put it simply, many high-level managers no longer trust their technicians enough to seek their input on major decisions. Are they required to? No, but it does make sense to include these folks, since the technical staff are usually the most trusted, stable, and knowledgeable employees.

They are typically long-term, loyal employees, who have demonstrated their trustworthiness. They have access to and responsibility for the most important assets of your business.

Now for the scare factor. Their technical ability usually ensures that nothing you can do is protected from them. So whether or not management likes it, they trust them every day, and it seems that trust is well-founded, as every day the technicians do their jobs and add to the success of the business.

Yet, these same folks can’t be trusted to provide honest, valuable information on future direction and technologies? That would seem to be bordering on insipid insanity.

Typically, these folks have the best view of your current platform, data, and applications. Their knowledge is a major asset for maintaining current platforms and for any move to a new platform or technology.

Your technicians may or may not have the best view of new technology, depending on whether they made an effort to stay informed and educated. Blame here can be shared on management’s failure to educate and the individual’s lack of initiative. This problem can be solved, but most seem to want to ignore it, which is a poor choice!

Often, we forget that those buried in the trenches doing the day-to-day work have little time to pause and look at all the new technology. Given a chance, most technicians engage new, beneficial technology and try to take advantage of it. After all, your technicians have generally been the agent of change and historically are the most eager for it. Saving money and insufficient staffing are poor excuses and poor exchanges for technical stagnation.

2 Pages