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At a time when the Wall Street Journal claims that “Some Firms Struggle to Hire Despite High Unemployment” (Whitehouse, August 9, 2010) and the National Federation of Independent Business’s “Small Business Growth and External Impediments” report states that “Sixty-one (61) percent of those surveyed said the lack of skilled employees is an impediment to growth,” (NFIB.com, November 2011) comes a no-nonsense how-to for… read full release on PRWeb.com
Aggravating though it may be, it seems the big question on IT Managers’ minds right now is whether to move various operations to “the cloud.” You can’t swing a cat without hitting stuff like Paul Venezia’s article exploring some of the hidden costs of cloud outsourcing, this article regarding the death of a cloud service, or an interesting conversation I recently had on LinkedIn that became almost heated.
In all of these, I notice the following:
- There is some super-duper resistance to any suggestion that beloved SaaS services might have flaws.
- Lots of managers think that creating backup systems, et. al. is some magical process that shouldn’t be done in-house if it can be avoided.
I attribute the first of these to (a) brand loyalty (b) a “cool factor” and (c) the fun experience that services like DropBox often provide. But (2) is confounding. Backups and file storage are so super-simple! rsync and samba, et. al. are your friend!
More to the point: we managers have to remember to talk to our sysadmins. The way I put it in my book, Information Age Management, “devising subtle-yet-powerful technical solutions to networking problems is what [your sysadmin] does for a living and if you give him the opportunity, he’ll probably find a way to meet your security requirements
more effectively, less intrusively, and for less money than you would otherwise.”
The place for a question about whether DropBox – or any other service – is appropriate for a given company isn’t LinkedIn but in a meeting between the manager who has to make the decision and the sysadmin he hired to keep The Machines running.
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There’s a very interesting article from Bill Snyder at InfoWorld: “The IT certs that no longer pay extra — and the new skills that do” (click for article)
Mr. Snyder finds evidence that companies are looking for a new breed of manager: the tech/manager hybrid. Presumably taken from the ranks of their technical employees, it is hoped that this new breed of manager will understand IS/IT systems better than their traditional counterparts. What I want to know is: will they be able to manage?
That depends on the person, of course. But more to the point, this effort is a sign that traditional management isn’t working anymore. And although some geek/manager hybrids will work out wonderfully, it behooves any current manager to better acquaint himself with the techniquies in my book, Information Age Management. Information Age Management solves the problems with traditional management but it doesn’t require that all managers become engineers. Rather, they need to follow the techniques in the book and embrace the modern world.
That’s not to detract from Mr. Snyder’s very good article, which is definitely worth a read: