When I first came across this article by Dan Tynan over at Infoworld, I found it amusing, but moved on to other things. On reflection however, the more I mulled over things the more it struck a chord.. Here’s a snippet from the opening paragraph:
IT pros do battle every day — with cyber attackers, stubborn hardware, buggy software, clueless users, and the endless demands of other departments within their organization. But few can compare to the conflicts raging within IT itself.
How true. But what Dan’s point is a very serious one. I can clearly remember working on several projects where the planning and implementation of a large Systems Management infrastructure paled into insignificance against the unholy wars that raged within IT. These arguments varied between budgets, boundaries, support, management buy-in and security to name a few. Some of these disputes were so vociferous and went on for so long that I started to wonder if some of the individuals involved actually worked for the competition!
As Dan states in a great line from his piece, ‘Programmers wage war with infrastructure geeks. IT staff butts heads with IT management. System admins battle for dominance. And everybody wishes security would just leave them alone.’
Here’s a possible example.
The IT Projects Team embarks on a Green IT project. Selecting a PC Power Management product, possibly evaluating several and eventually selecting 1E’s NightWatchman (of course!). The problems usually start when the Operations Team are informed that they have a shiny new piece of software to not only roll out, but support for the foreseeable future. And to make matters worse, this pesky software is going to turn all of their lovely desktops off. Every Evening! Instant conflict.
Then the Security Team get’s wind of things. So there’s this software out there that going to log off users, trash all of their work and power off their computer. What!? More problems.
Oh, and by the way, this software need a new database. The Database Team won’t mind another one will they? Are you starting to get the picture?
What we may have in play here are large egos, poor management and lack of leadership, combined with overzealous team loyalties. Yet these issues can be avoided by some simple communications.
For a start the project team should outline the benefits of the software to the Operations Team. Explain the cost savings, improved computer health and CO2 savings. Discuss the same with user groups (it’s their workplace machines that will be affected!), and try not to be too patronizing! Apply the same principals to all teams. Yes, even the security dudes, you will have to tell them sooner or later!
With Green IT projects in particular, it is sometime difficult to ‘sell’ the concept to other teams, especially if they don’t directly benefit from the cost savings. IT departments don’t usually pay the energy bills and see nothing other than a cost in terms of time and effort in deploying a PC Power Management solution.
At 1E we can help to ‘spread the love’ within IT. We have some amazing battle hardened and highly decorated Systems Engineers out there who have come across every type of IT Turf War in their time (and fought in a few!). We can help to bring teams together to a point of understanding a collaborative working so that your Green IT project runs like clockwork. It’s all in the communication. We can enter the fray, like the United Nations of common sense, implementing a ceasefire and get all warring parties around the table.
Remember, Green IT projects not only save money and help improve the bottom line, (and let’s not forget that IT is there to support the bottom line) they help to reduce our impact on the planet.
We need to love our planet a bit more, love the Ops team, love the Database Dudes, and yes, even Security guys need a hug sometimes too…