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Biotech IT Science

Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization? 243

Posted by timothy
from the it-is-very-important dept.
ros256 writes "I help out a relatively small (100 employees) medical device company that does not have a dedicated IT department. Instead the network admin reports to a manager in the Clinical department. Although this seems unusual to me, the organization isn't really structured at this point to have IT staff report to a department more relevant to the work they do. I've been giving thought as to where within the organization would make more sense. So, I pose this question to the Slashdot community: Where does IT fall within the organizations you work with?"
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Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization?

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  • Few places... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nametaken (610866) * on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:01PM (#32594176)

    A few places I've worked IT fell under Operations, the same people that keep the lightbulbs changed, the warehouse shipping and the driveway plowed.

    Presently I work at a smaller business, where I represent the department. I'm lateral to Operations Director, sales director, etc and report directly to the President and VP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ewg (158266)

      Used to be under Facilities in a company I'm familiar with, but management found that most if not all projects had deep, expensive IT consequences. Elevating IT to the level at which strategy was developed improved planning a lot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nzimmer911 (1553899)
      I work for a wholesale building materials distributer with ~400 employees and ~300m in sales. IT is a department of 5 reporting to the CFO.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by PcItalian (1835114)
        IT Department holding back ~250 employees with a IT department of 2 all reporting to the CFO as well.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          A similar position here. One IT guy for ~200 users on ~150 computers, reporting to the CFO.

          I think the main reason why IT doesn't report to operations here is because the operations manager prefers to be the 'quarterback' of the purchasing department. He has openly admitted to being afraid of computers.

          The drawback to reporting to the CFO is that, being the accountant, he will scrutinize nearly every possible expenditure. Most, if not all IT spending is reactive, not proactive.
          • by Lershac (240419)

            Wow then you may be doing something wrong... planned replacements is where I spend my money (the bulk of it) and it provides less of a business interruption to replace things in a planned fashion than in a reactive fashion.

    • Re:Few places... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:53PM (#32594960) Homepage

      the same people that keep the lightbulbs changed, the warehouse shipping and the driveway plowed.

      That makes sense, assuming "setting an employee up with a computer" to be comparable to "setting employee up with a desk". I've seen some companies where IT operates under the Finance department. I've never really understood why, except maybe because early computer use in many companies was limited to accounting, and it stuck in Finance for legacy reasons. I've seen other companies where there's a dedicated IT department that traces up to the CIO, and it kind of runs independently.

      I think it depends on the company, but a lot of companies miss out by failing to integrate IT very well. They treat the IT support guy like a handy-man who is completely divorced from the company's strategy, and meanwhile the entire business is running on computers. Not that I object to the comparison between support personnel and a handy-man, but if the productivity of your company depends of effective and efficient use of computers, then you might want to involve some people in your strategic decision-making who understand computers really really well. I've seen companies ask employees to spend hours going through a process that a computer could automatically complete in minutes, just because they never bothered to ask the IT guy if there was a better way to go about things.

      • Re:Few places... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Urban Nightmare (147344) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:24PM (#32595440)

        That's the way our company works.

        They don't want to involve IT because we ask to many hard questions like:
        "Who's going to use the system?"
        "Do we want to put that promotion on the web site or just in the news paper?"
        "Do we want to track our click through rate?"
        "Is there power and network available in that spot?" "

        You know, stuff that everyone else just doesn't understand.

        • Re:Few places... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:21PM (#32598422)

          I have noticed that would you do mention potential problems, people see you as someone that is "not on board" or "not a team player." Sometimes they even go as far as to assume you are out to sabotage their brilliant plan.

          When it turns out you were correct, people opinions of you do not change and they either are upset that you predicted the problems and now want to avoid any mention of your existence or blame you for somehow causing the problems that caused their brilliant plan or reform to fail. Those people who had ignored your warnings will go back to the planning board but now without you.

          I now smile and try to seem enthusiastic about any plan, no matter how unfeasible or ill-conceived it may be. And I am doing better (professionally) for that attitude.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jedi Alec (258881)

            I have noticed that would you do mention potential problems, people see you as someone that is "not on board" or "not a team player." Sometimes they even go as far as to assume you are out to sabotage their brilliant plan.

            When it turns out you were correct, people opinions of you do not change and they either are upset that you predicted the problems and now want to avoid any mention of your existence or blame you for somehow causing the problems that caused their brilliant plan or reform to fail. Those peo

      • Cost vs Benefit (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @05:07AM (#32599884)

        If IT is seen as a cost then it will be spun off into a separate IT organization and basically be the same as any other service; water, power, phone, light etc. You'll get a PC and email. The IT org will spend years on each "big project" which will come in late, over budget and will only partially fulfill requirements which changed years ago. Apart from a "Service Desk" and a small core of centralized support staff who spend their time firefighting, users will be left to fend for themselves. This is pretty normal and is cheaper than the alternative.

        If IT is seen as a benefit then the IT components will be integrated directly into the rest of the business. You get a PC, email, office automation, custom apps, etc. There will be local support and development staff who can respond quickly to both business needs and problems. This is rare because it's seen as significantly more expensive than the standard model, though it can deliver huge productivity improvements to businesses. However, in this model, IT costs are rather difficult to quantify so I haven't seen evidence of how much more expensive it is.

        Now, you pay your money and take your choice. Quality vs cost; the same old question. But if all you buy is McDonalds, quit bitching about getting fat. BTW, if you take a look at the org chart in your company you'll see how things are going. For people in the IT business, and that probably covers just about everyone on /. the latter model is infinitely preferable to the former.
         

        • You've described two entire different functions of IT
          1. One which deals with facilities-like mundanities like computer, peripheral, printer and network provisioning
          2. Another which deals with new solutions and directions, mainly software focused (given a commoditized HW space, software drives HW purchases).

          The problem with all this is that IT Operations (first group) are filled with folks who are seen and treated as a cost, thus the organization and people tend to be maintenance oriented and risk-averse (they do

    • Re:Few places... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:55PM (#32595002)
      It has been structurally different in every company I've been in. Especially smaller ones. Sometimes IT reports to the CFO to keep costs in check. Sometimes to COO to get business processes automated and computerized. And if you're lucky you have a CTO who reports to the CEO/board but is free to make decisions.

      Most companies view IT as pure overhead and try to micromanage it's budget out of fear of excess spending. I can't blame them. Once upon a time all you paid for was an office and some basic office supplies. Now your yearly software license costs alone rival your rent.

      A better motivation would be to stick close to their IT department to make sure both sides understand what the businesses goals and visions are.

      "We want to mobilize out sales force"
      "We want a stronger web presence"
      "We want ensure 24/7 up time even in the case of a disaster"
      "We want to make X process and Y process work together more seemlessly using available technology"

      Getting lost in small details or second guessing the decisions of the IT people you pay to make IT decisions for you ends up hurting businesses. Like "Hey! Stop buying $100 antivirus software buy $19.99 ones!" If IT has to waste time cleaning viruses and reformating machines then they have no time to plan for future growth or to research solutions to real business problems. It stifles growth and wastes money in other areas.
      • by skids (119237)

        I've never seen it, but if I ran a company small enough to have just one IT FTE, I'd put him under accounting/financials. IT might suffer a bit for funding as a result, but at least they wouldn't be tasked with some numnut's "visionary" pet project.

    • by ajlisows (768780)

      I work at a smaller place that didn't truly have an IT department when I began consulting for them. When I began I was reporting to the Engineering manager who had been doing some IT stuff and outsourcing what he couldn't figure out. We spent time together figuring out where the company was wasting tons of time and started to do things to make the company more efficient through tech. The President of the company grudgingly tolerated my existence the first few months but when he saw what could actually be

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:02PM (#32594186) Homepage

    I recommend reading The Geek Gap [amazon.com]. It might give you some further insight into the topic (and, if nothing else, it might help your boss and their boss understand the importance of a proper department).

    I also would recommend anyone in an IT or management position to read that book. It's a great read that can be finished over a weekend.

    • So are you Bill or Minda?
      • by Pojut (1027544)

        I would be Bill, although most of the people I work with internally are on the Minda side of the equation. It's my job to listen to their business needs and translate it into a way that we can achieve it from the technical end...I'm something of a translator between the two sides.

        • So you're saying you have "people skills"...

          • by Pojut (1027544)

            I have been accused of such things, yes :-)

            To be more specific, I have a ton of knowledge about the technical side (insofar as my responsibilities are concerned) and enough knowledge about the business side to not only understand their needs, but also why they need them. Acting as a liason between the two seemed like a logical placement.

  • by bragr (1612015) * on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:02PM (#32594188)
    Hopefully not to far, servers don't handle drops well. Keyboards seem to do alright though.
    • That reminds me of the time somebody was telling me about getting a good deal on a "dropped server". I sat there trying to figure out what exactly he meant-- perhaps it had some kind of special low/thin or pivoting chassis or something-- but then he continued on about how the server fell out of the back of a truck before it was delivered to whoever ordered it initially. They had refused it and my friend snatched it up at a bargain price.

      Funny thing is, it didn't last too long because it had all kinds of
      • Funny thing is, it didn't last too long because it had all kinds of stability problems.

        Well, it obviously had stability problems while it was on the back of the truck.
      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        We had a server literally fall out of the back of the truck. Well, the SUV we were transporting a dozen of them in. Coincidentally after about 2 months of service, it started having stability problems too. After that, we were very careful about opening the door when we arrived. :)

        Oh, how I loved to use redundant commodity hardware. We could laugh about a $500 server bouncing off the ground. We wouldn't have been laughing so much if it had been a $10,000 machine.

  • by IICV (652597)

    Where does IT fall within the organizations you work with?

    Nowhere, really - IT just keeps on falling, and falling, and falling.

    • Re:Nowhere (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:31PM (#32594644)

      When I worked at Freescale, there actually was no real IT department there: it was outsourced to an Indian company. They got paid based on the number of tickets resolved, so they were always trying to make up more work for themselves to do, such as creating tickets to set up IM on an employee's computer, or various other trivial tasks.

      • When I worked at Freescale, there actually was no real IT department there: it was outsourced to an Indian company. They got paid based on the number of tickets resolved, so they were always trying to make up more work for themselves to do, such as creating tickets to set up IM on an employee's computer, or various other trivial tasks.

        If they are anything like the company our desktop support was outsourced to, they did it one computer at a time. And for each computer their manual process messed up, they o

    • I thought the answer to the question was obvious - the IT department goes in the basement. It's a familiar environment for IT workers, and it's easy for the other other employees to avoid.
  • Idiots (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tongsy (1188257) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:05PM (#32594236)
    In my organization, it essentially stands for "Incompetent Technician"
  • operations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ubertech (21428) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:06PM (#32594250) Homepage Journal
    I'm also in a smaller IT company (~140 ppl). We have a department of 6 and fall under the Operations area. When we were smaller, it was a wandering soul of a department, but now that we have an IT manager who really knows his stuff, it's great.
  • "Corporate Services" (Score:2, Informative)

    by Beorytis (1014777)
    This group also includes HR, training, health & safety, legal counsel... All the "overhead" stuff we don't sell directly to clients (we are an engineering & construction company).
  • India (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BatGnat (1568391) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:09PM (#32594290)
    India
  • well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by peteinok (1825618) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:09PM (#32594294)
    since I work at a top-10 Fortune 500 company, IT is it's own dept. We do report up through the same executive structure as Accounting, Travel, etc. based on geography and who's located here vs. at HQ in another state.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by vlueboy (1799360)

      A university where I worked had us under the VP of Administrative services. This included accounts payable, employee management and student-related departments like bursars offices.

      I worked at a Fortune 500 providing stock exchange data to banks and trader firms via Unix servers and a Windows .NET front-end. Yet, our division was not separate from Sales, which was amusing. It meant we tried damn hard to keep clients happy and "their" sales reps informed of trouble.

  • I put in a request for a machine 6 months ago and still haven't received it.
  • Currently, in big business (healthcare), my company has a CIO. However, my last job was as IT Manager of a small company (~300 people). There I actually reported to the Continuous Improvement Manager.
  • I'm at a university (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:12PM (#32594330)
    I am at a university, and the computer science department has 5 IT staffers who simply report to the central IT office for the entire campus. Most of the large departments in science and engineering have one or two IT staffers who serve a similar role, but since CS has somewhat heavier computing needs, we are assigned extra people. Basically, the department's IT staff serve as points of contact: they do what is in their power when they can, or if they cannot, they forward the request up to the appropriate person. For example, when I received my new workstation, a university-wide asset number had to be assigned to it, and the CS department firewall had to be configured to allow SSH traffic to the machine; the IT staff forwarded the asset number request to the central office, and took care of the DNS entry themselves.
    • That should read "firewall modification."
      • by vlm (69642)

        Well, now that you have ssh, and you can tunnel absolutely anything over ssh, I guess that part should read as "firewall modification" also, so to speak...

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

              Not just absolutely anything, but absolutely everything. :) Set up a PPP over SSH tunnel, and voila, you are no longer judged by anything on their network.

              At one place, I was the only person who could pull up quite a few "blocked" sites, and I didn't have to deal with their QOS throttling. I never did get any questions about what that weird traffic on the obscure port was either. :)

  • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:13PM (#32594336) Homepage

    I started with a small Medical Contract Research Organization right out of college (25 people) as the first IT person. At that point, I was a member of the data management department, but I think it more importantly depends on the people you have. If you don't have a dedicated IT department, the best idea is to see who has the most knowledge and more importantly, who WANTS to do it. In my case, the head of DM had the most knowledge and had been doing it up until they hired me. In your case, if the head of Clinical has knowledge and wants to do it, they are probably the best choice.

    In most case something like Data Management or Stats or something along those lines will be best, since those people are usually a little more tech savvy. But if they don't want to do it, then it doesn't matter how tech savvy they are, IT isn't going to get anything from them.

  • Where Does IT Fall Within Your Organization?

    On the floor, then usually rolls under some file archive and gets lost. On a more serious note though, it's mostly outsourced but what's left is under Operations.

  • I was the sole system administrator for a finance software development department in a big company, and reported directly to the manager of the finance team. She wasn't a technical person, and had an home office 1,500 miles away. Amusingly, I NEVER saw her in person for the 18 months that I worked for her.

    The good thing about working for her is that she didn't understand what I did, and didn't particularly care to learn. She didn't bother asking questions as to what I was up to, just assumed that I was doing a good job, and gave me great reviews every year. The flip side of that is that she didn't understand why we needed things like new equipment, new software, or training... which left me running the entire development department on 6 year old refurbished equipment that I could "borrow" from other departments.

    That said, it was a good time. I thought myself a lot of useful skills during my downtime, which made me a better sysadmin later on. I wish that I had more managers like that now :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642)

      The good thing about working for her is that she didn't understand what I did, and didn't particularly care to learn.

      I've worked several jobs like that. Most of the benefits of contracting, combined with most of the benefits of full time employment. Frankly, having a boss that could understand what I'm doing, would creep me out a bit, after all these years (decades now) of accomplishing goals unsupervised, it would be like "too many chefs in the kitchen" type of feeling.

  • I work in a similar sized company that manufactures kitchen and bath counter tops and has retail kitchen and bath design showrooms. I'm the only IT worker there, and I work there part time. Well, part time is kind of a misnomer, I work there whenever there is a problem, or whenever I want. That being said, I work about 20 - 30 hours a week on average. I'm responsible for about 45 desktops and 3 servers spread out over 7 locations. We have 3 owners of the company who are the CEO, CFO, and President. My
  • We fall under the administrative division, specifically, the business/technology subdivision. I guess we're big enough (a couple hundred full-time employees and perhaps an equal number of student employees and a few part-time workers) to do that.

  • I work in an office that does the web design and web apps for a large company. We're under the larger PR department, along with the publications office.
  • by DarthBart (640519) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:22PM (#32594454)

    When shit works right - "Why do we need an IT department? They're just an expense!"

    When shit breaks - "Why the hell are you using shit that has to be kept together with duct tape and bailing wire???"

  • The excellent book "The Practice of System and Network Administration" has a chapter on this topic that would make very good reading. If I recall correctly, they assert that organisations usually structure IT depending on whether it's considered a "cost centre" or an "investment centre". "Cost centres" often simply end up reporting to the finance department. "Investement centres" can usually justify reporting to the head of the business.
  • He have distributed IT here.

    There is a genuine IT department by name, which is mostly extremely generic typical business IT support. The printer is broken again. Can you move this PC from the old cube to the new cube? You don't want to work there, except maybe for some plum spots at the top. They report to ... like finance or something, as a cost center. Everyone in the company is their boss whenever something breaks.

    Then there are IT-type people attached to certain departments to run specialized techn

  • ...All over the place.
    • Here we're expected to fall on our swords. Although, as often as we're shoved, it's usually under the bus.
  • IT (me and the dba) reported to the VP of development. His job (and his underlings) was to develop algorithms to deal with the data produce by the DNA analysis systems run by the research group. Since they were the primary "real" server users it was a reasonable match. Back office and desktop support were my problem as well, but I reported those issues directly to the Pres/CEO since that's where my budget came from and the VP of dev didn't care if the secretary at the front desk couldn't get her email.

    "r

  • Finance (Score:2, Informative)

    by plebeian (910665)
    In my 400 person US based non-profit, the Director of IT reports to the CFO. It actually works quite well as they have to work together on most of the strategic planning initiatives.
    • by Chakotay (3529)

      Same here. Local IT reports to Finance, which is a good thing, because all IT does in the views of the "bigwigs" is "spend money" anyway :D

  • We have about 1100 IT folks (includes telecomm, workstations, server admin, app development, the whole she-bang) supporting a bit more than 110,000 users in an org with gross yearly revenues exceeding $2.6 trillion USD. We're our own department. Despite the fact that we've shrunk over the last few years from 3100 to 1100 employees, I tend to believe we'll remain our own department for the foreseeable future.

  • by boristdog (133725) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @04:37PM (#32594734)

    IT infrastructure should be handled by an IT department (network, server & storage support, basic desktop supply and support) but it should NOT handle such things as database development and management, application development, etc.

    Unfortunately, many companies class anything to do with a computer as "IT" and treat a DBA the way they treat a desktop support flunky. Many times I have worked for organizations that decided to grab every departmental programmer or DBA and bring him/her into the IT department, to the severe detriment of the department he/she used to support.

    At one company I worked for they outsourced all the IT and made the programmers, DBAs, developers, etc. go work for the contractor. Lots of them quit and went to better jobs, so the contractor brought in many of their folks from India to fill the open positions. It was a disaster. Eventually most of the departments hired developers, DBA's, programmers, etc. of their own and just gave them all generic "Engineer" titles.

    • by WiPEOUT (20036)

      There is a major problem with the approach you have described: it builds inflexible organisational silos where cross-functional business processes are extremely expensive to establish (due to interoperability issues politically and technically), operate (due to forgoing economies of scale possible with rationalised, consolidated technology investment) and adapt (due to the impact on existing complex interdependencies resulting from point-to-point integrations). This is particularly problematic for companies

  • Allow me to speak in generalities, and feel free to not bombard me with one off "nuhhhh-uhhhs." Unfortunately IT is becoming more and more like plumbing or electricity. Argue all you want, but when your CEO see's your CIO (our whatever acronyms equate) walking into his office he can almost always be sure that the conversation about to occur will (a) not make the company any money or (b) cost the company some amount of money. Years of untalented managers have allowed IT to become a cost center / black hole
    • That's why I work for an outsourced IT service provider. When we work for a new client, it's either because of a positive referral, or their shit broke and are scrambling through the yellow pages (online too) calling everyone in town in a mode of panic. So ya, no shit! No one wants to spend money to be pro-active unless they can be mathematically convinced it will save money or help them earn more by being efficient. Other wise, all work is reactionary.

      But the real killer is when the client bitches about co

  • I work in a small independent pharmacy chain in Texas, we have about 15 stores and maybe around 110 employees total.

    Our IT department consists of me (Senior developer), a Junior developer, a Sys. Admin, and my boss who has the title VP of I.T. My boss is at the same level as the CFO and COO even though he doesn't have a "C" title and they all report to our CEO/owner. My projects mostly cross in to the operations department but the I.T. department has its finger in all departments. Our system administrato
  • by Solitude (30003)

    Owners
    --> CFO
    ----->Me

  • A 100-employee design/manufacturing firm doesn't have someone considered to be an Operations Manager or General Manager?

    Sounds like the CEO or VP is passing the buck for Getting Things Done to the Clinical department manager.

  • I am the IT department. I have the org chart right here. It looks like this:

              Owner
                |
               VP------Me
                |
           _Managers___
          |  |    |    |
       Peon  Peon Peon Peon

    It works out great, although the VP is cluefull.
  • in my organization it falls around the copiers and printers. it sits there for weeks and i dont think anyone notices it.
    it falls in the breakroom too mostly around the microwave, and people never clean it up.

  • If I'm not doing IT, I'm producing web sites. Sometimes I report to our Creative Services manager, other times the President, other times the CFO....and yet other times one of the partners.

    I'm responsible for deadlines, and dead lines. Usually they conflict with each other.

    Oh yeah, I also take out the trash, sell stuff, support stuff, and market stuff.

  • Long ago, the company spun off the IT department into a separate company. The separate company did 90% of its work for the parent company. Then we got sold to a massive global giant who wanted to get into the outsourcing game. So IT is a separate company under contract to the parent company doing the same things for the same salary + a corporate overhead charge that wasn't there before.

    More seriously: a lot of companies put IT under Corporate & Finance division. I.e., the accountants & lawyers.

  • I'm sure it happens elsewhere, but I've noticed this kind of BS is common in healthcare: IT isn't its own beast and is actually beholden to some other organism within the organization.

    I worked at a hospital where the IT Manager was responsible to the CFO (instead of being the CTO herself). Having IT answer to clinical actually makes more sense than this arrangement, as its at least an implicit acknowledgement of IT's direct dependence on the financial situation at the organization - as opposed to, say, clin

  • Operations (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hellfire (86129) <deviladv.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @05:58PM (#32595918) Homepage

    I worked for a non profit company with about 200 people, and there were like 5 divisions, Sales and service, Accounting, Publishing, Marketing, and Operations. IT fell under operations. Operations included things like janitorial services, the guys who managed the HVAC, etc. IT was considered a tool to maintain the business flow, and it actually was a very well thought out department; it seemed to fit just right. I was brought in to assist with the first attempt at a "rolling update" of all the machines in the building from old Win 3.1 boxes to Windows NT, and while I was there we started implementing the first help desk to manage the questions coming in from the new hardware. It was a well oiled machine, and we understood we were exactly that, people who knew our IT infrastructure was simply a machine that needed to be oiled and maintained regularly. You may turn your nose up to the idea that IT belongs under someone who manages the guys who make sure the Air Conditioning works, but in fact that's what we did, and what a lot of IT departments do, or should do.

    IT had three teams, desktop, network, and development. Each was headed by a different manager. A previous post mentioned how IT often cannabalized development, but IT managed development can work fine as long as it's separate from the rest of the IT team and dedicated to it's task. Also the company has to be sufficiently large enough to warrant it. This was a nonprofit publishing company. For your medical device company it depends on what they use IT for. If you basically buy and sell, if you need a development team to manage your sales tools, then they can be in IT and be responsible for these types of programs, but make sure they also are accessible to the people who need them. IT can easily get Aloof and think they don't have to help people who don't do things exactly the way they want, and thus can't get work done.

  • As the sole network admin at my last company, I reported to a software engineer who doubled as the IT "manager", who reported to the HR director who then reported to the 7 owners (a very top-heavy company, with almost 20% of the company being Chiefs or VPs).

    Any purchase that cost more than a cup of coffee required approval of, at a minimum, the software engineer, the HR director and at least one Chief.

    In that company, pretty much anything that involved electricity fell under the IT umbrella. I used to get p

  • We have different types of IT and they're incredibly well woven into the general infrastructure. We have the non-critical workstation people who have the primary shared network the whole site uses for the most part, they have most of the machines on that network, but I there are "guest" and "user owned" machines allowed. This is where email and general day to day work happens. They report to the company that has their contract that reports to NASA. Then we have mission critical networks and computers, t

  • I work at a small (now half the peopl ewe had 2 years ago) TV station, but most other TV stations seem to follow the same route. Engineering.

    Especially in smaller stations, they are the ones with the most equipment, the most technical skill... and the dumping grounds for anything that nobody else can figure out how to fix, whether it is a bookshelf, a coffee maker, a phone, or a multi terabyte SAN...

  • After 20+ years of software and ops consulting I've found that I can generally separate smaller (and to some extent larger) customers into one of 2 categories. The categories are either IT is a necessary evil or IT as a hobby (and sometimes its both.) I would say that less than 1 out of 50 small organizations truly treat IT seriously.
  • On me, of course. Sometimes literally, when I stack the old junker pcs too high.

  • Most big companies I've worked for have stashed it under "shared services", along with HR, facilities, accounting, and other "business continuity critical" work.

    A lot of those companies were engineering firms, meaning they had entire IT-like divisions that spec'd, designed, and tested IT systems for customers. So it was a bit strange getting used to the inevitable turf wars between separate corporate IT and engineering IT divisions. But eventually they carved out their areas of responsibility and authorit

  • They're bitches, Timothy, mostly there to provide comic relief and throw up obstacles to prevent us from getting productive work done. We mostly ignore them and try not to make eye contact.
  • Where I currently work, the IT department falls under the supervision of the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction.

    The last place I worked, the IT department split off at the VP level, with the head being the VP of Information Resources and Technology, who reports directly to the President/COO (Who is also part-owner).

  • I work for a small software company (60 employees). We've got a contractor who does the main stuff, but day-to-day IT is handled by our software installation specialist. He reports to the "Director of Customer Support Services and Product Development".

  • I work in an organisation of less than 50 staff. We have an IT section which reports to the director for corporate services. That director also looks after Accounts.

    The organisation helps the public. Accounts and IT help the organisation. That's why it is called "corporate services". No matter what line of business - medical, real estate, legal, retail, etc - some needs exist in any organisation of significant size: they need to pay their bills and they need their computers and networks and data backups run

  • ...(we operate infrared and sub-millimetre telescopes), we have a Software and Computing Services section whose head reports directly to the Director. There are 2 of us actual IT guys, in the "Computing Services Group", who report directly to the Head of SCS.

    Since the observatories literally cannot function without their respective computer/network infrastructures (not to mention the needs of all the staff - about 55 people), we are a relatively highly-regarded asset. We do everything from pulling cables to

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