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5 Things CFOs Hate About IT
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amiller95901
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amiller95901,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/23/2013 | 10:15:34 PM
re: 5 Things CFOs Hate About IT
If CFOs really follow the thinking that you've outlined in point #2, then I'd suggest that they are hugely ignorant of everything related to technology.

The matter of upgrading is even more applicable to software applications than it is to hardware. Oftentimes, software vendors stop providing support based on your current application version much sooner than based on the version of hardware upon which the application sits. We have multiple vendors that have upgrade cycles that render applications unsupported within 18 months. The reality is that you cannot simply "stick with what works" if you're attempting to mitigate any sort of risk.

Also, asking questions like "why not just use Skype" completely ignores complexities and requirements of identity and access management, ease of systems' integrations/use, and security in general.

In the words of Da Mayor - "those who tell don't know, and those who know won't tell"

With that all said, I do believe that you are right in that the problem is one of communications. IT needs to treat the business as customers, and in doing, work to understand business needs and then strive to effectively meet them...
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2013 | 7:12:51 PM
re: 5 Things CFOs Hate About IT
The particular item to which I was referring: an EMC storage array. At the time, I don't think third parties were offering maintenance and firmware updates for EMC. EMC also came with lots of add-on licensed products such as SRDF and various flash copy tools. Those were licensed products and in order to get updates and patches, you had to be under warranty or on maintenance.
I agree with you regarding desktops, printers and commodity x86 servers. As I said, I haven't been involved in that aspect of IT for the past decade. Perhaps the market has changed but I still question whether or not third party maintenace is available for big-ticket, highly proprietary items such as Teradata boxes, IBM mainframes/AS400s or other relatively expensive Unix HPUX or IBM-AIX frames. Even if they are available, washing your hands of first-party vendor expertise seems risky if you are responsible for service levels.
hstiles
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hstiles,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/25/2013 | 12:46:13 PM
re: 5 Things CFOs Hate About IT
I'm afraid I couldn't disagree with you more. Just because an item of hardware is out of manufacturer's warranty doesn't mean you have to replace it or pay the vendor top dollar for extended cover. None of my hardware is covered directly by the manufacturer. there is an army of partners out there sitting on a mountain of 2nd user kit, happy to sell you support & maintenance for a fraction of a manufacturer warranty.

In fact, this is point 3 in reverse and I see it a lot. IT Management will bemoan the lack of capex budget available to invest in new technology whilst happily handing issuing PO after PO for warranties, etc... that provide little real value to the business.

Upgrade because it adds value, capacity or because the CBA stacks up, not because it's 3 years old.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2013 | 8:20:56 PM
re: 5 Things CFOs Hate About IT
rradina - believe it or not, some of my best friends are technologists, and I did try and explain some behaviors when talking to the CFOs. In a few cases, I got a pause and then: "I didn't know that" -- which tells me that a lack of communication is at the root of many problems. You cite one example; another is the complaint about compliance. In many cases, security is a valid reason to say no. However, what's not OK is saying "no" without explanation, which tends to come across as "... because I said so."
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2013 | 6:42:12 PM
re: 5 Things CFOs Hate About IT
Regarding "2. Whiz Bang Factor" and upgrading current hardware that's doing the job...

It's been a while since I've been involved in the infrastructure side of IT. Things might have changed but 10 years ago, some vendors structured their warranty and maintenance contracts so that it was best to buy a new one as soon as the warranty expired on the current hardware. Unless you want to be unsupported (not at all wise), at the end of the warranty, which from one vendor was three years, the annual service contract costs were nearly 1/3 price of a new unit. In that case, you can upgrade to the new model or if you go three more years on the current model, you have nearly paid the vendor for a new one and yet you still have the old. Now you have to buy a new one. Pay me now or pay me twice later. The older hardware gets, the more likely it is to fail and vendors charge even more to maintain it.


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