Commentary
9/26/2014
09:06 AM
Grumpy IT Guy
Grumpy IT Guy
Commentary

Grumpy IT Guy: Finance Wars

Finance gets mad that we moved their printer and starts acting out. I may ask them to manage virtual machines if they don't start doing their own work.



IT Dress Code: 10 Cardinal Sins
IT Dress Code: 10 Cardinal Sins
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Grumpy IT guy here. Know what's got me riled today? Finance! I don't see them trying to get HR or other departments to do their work for them. So why do they try to get IT to do their work?

Finance is on a slow boil here, and something's gotta give. Not so long ago, we moved their check printer out of the data center. Put it in the Finance area, d'oh! Data center printers are for mainframes! Used to be a line printer; hasn't been for a decade. So why keep it in the data center? Welcome to the 21st century.

Did they say, "Good job, IT?" Or even, "We understand why you're doing this?" Or possibly, "Wondered why it took so long, it was a good (check) run while it lasted?"

No! Instead, World War 3 erupted.

Now Finance is putting in work requests for analysts to run reports. Seriously. Run reports? Next on my agenda: Hire a mainframe operator. And maybe get a bunch of those hamster wheels to power the data center. Run reports for you? Go away! Here's a time machine -- 1975 called, and they want their batch processing back.

And now Finance can't figure out where some money is in the accounting system. So they put in a work request for that. Last time I checked, we were not accountants. Hire an accountant! So then Finance complains to CEO that IT is not being responsive. Yeah, that's right, we're not responsive… to accounting requests!

Tell you what: I will log a request with Finance that we need to hire an accountant. In IT.

[Last week's gripe: the pitch that wouldn't die. Read Tech Sales Reps Gone Wild.]

I have a bad feeling about our ERP replacement project.

One of the first things to do: chart of accounts. Vendor requests that Finance produce a chart of accounts, kind of taxonomy for accounting codes. Request from vendor lands on IT analyst's desk, along with a sticky note from Finance division manager: "Please handle."

Please handle? How about we put a sticky note on your desk about virtual machines and load balancer needed for new system: "Please handle." Maybe Finance can set up the VPN for the vendor, too.

Problem: IT is project-managing the ERP upgrade. Finance could care less: "It's an IT project." Kind of like moms cooking dinner for kids is "a mom project." It is not looking good. Finance staff like deer in the headlights during design meetings with vendor. They ask IT staff to make decisions that should be made by Finance. My staff coming to me saying, "I'm not really comfortable making accounting decisions."

Deadlines being missed... check. Blamestorming of IT... begin!

I don't get it. Why can't Finance just … do their job? No other department acts this entitled. No other department thinks that IT means "do your job for you." No other department seems to invest so little but expect so much.

Memo to Finance: Do your job!

If the world wasn't changing, we might continue to view IT purely as a service organization, and ITSM might be the most important focus for IT leaders. But it's not, it isn't and it won't be -- at least not in its present form. Get the Research: Beyond IT Service Management report today. (Free registration required.)

Grumpy IT Guy avoided historic disasters and clueless people while working his way up the IT ranks, but he retained his keen sense of humor. He now leads an IT organization somewhere in America, as part of the FBI's Grump Protection Program. Need advice? Send questions to ... View Full Bio
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