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IT departments are BRATTY TEENAGERS

Submit to tough love from ITSM father figure, says BMC process wonk

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IT Departments behave like bratty teenagers by insisting they know best and must always figure out their own way to get anything done, according to Doug Mueller, a Corporate Architect at BMC Software.

Such behaviour, he believes, is not very helpful to businesses and syadmins should therefore remember think back to the time in their twenties when they finally figured out their Dads did know a thing or two and listen to more experienced folks about how to get stuff done.

Mueller's preferred method of administering this kind of tough love is to point out that IT isn't actually about technology: helping a business do business better is the goal. He therefore preaches ignoring the potential of the gadget you just bought, downgrading your opinion of your own ingenuity and realising that you cannot devise a way to get stuff done as well, quickly or cost-effectively as a standard process.

“You need to shift mentality into a mode where you deliver capabilities 100% successfully every time, to deliver results to the businesses,” he told a BMC event in Sydney today. “You cannot approach IT randomly because there is too much complexity and change. You must have an orderly, repeatable way of doing things.”

That mentality means process, process everywhere, plus heavy emphasis on configuration management so that you can always pinpoint just what's going on in IT and how it applies to the business. It also requires a mindshift away from caring about kit and instead focusing on applications, because all the kit in the world is merely a tool that end-user wield to spend quality time in apps.

Which is not to say Mueller is entirely opposed to a pleasant morning spent trawling through log files: he just wants that effort to create information that advances the understanding of how IT powers the business.

Mueller is not, it needs to be pointed out, grumpy with IT departments alone. He also showered marketing teams with scorn, proclaiming they expect the impossible from IT almost as soon as they hear about a new gadget.

He also said there's room for some geeky fun in IT, thanks to the trend towards “gamification”. That trend, he said, can motivate IT workers by giving them the chance to top a leader board for user satisfaction.

End-users, he added, could be offered game-like processes to make sure they do things properly and don't wander off the beaten paths in ways that make extra (and stupid) work for IT teams. ®

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