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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Tell a Compelling Story About IT Infrastructure? 192

An anonymous reader writes "Every month we submit status reports to upper management. On the infrastructure side, these reports tend to be 'Hey, we met our service level agreements ... again.' IT infrastructure is now a lot like the electric company. Nobody thanks the electric company when the lights come on, but they have plenty of colorful adjectives to describe them when the power is off.

What is the best way to construct a compelling story for upper management so they'll appreciate the hard work that an IT department does? They don't seem particularly impressed with functioning systems, because they expect functioning systems. The extensive effort to design and implement reliable systems has also made IT boring and dull. What types of summaries can you provide upper management to help them appreciate IT infrastructure and the money they spend on the services it provides?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Tell a Compelling Story About IT Infrastructure?

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  • by BaronM ( 122102 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @04:24PM (#46962285)

    Nice to see someone who gets it. I've been in the IT infrastructure business for many years now, and I think that plumbing, electrical, or another skilled trade is exactly the right analogy.

    That said, the answer to the question that I've found is that the compelling story you tell about infrastructure is all about the future. Specifically, how you plan to evolve that infrastructure to support the changing IT environment and needs of the business while staying within reasonable and predictable budgets. 'Predictable' can not be overemphasized.

    At any time, you should be able to tell the business managers what your infrastructure will look like in 1, 3, 5 years, what that will cost, what alternatives you have considered, and what the major risks are.

  • Re:Save your breath. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pr0fessor ( 1940368 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @05:46PM (#46962913)

    I have been known to send in purchase requests for Industrial Donut Makers, Espresso Machines, etc...

    They are never approved but when they come back and laugh about it, that is a great time to bring up a serious purchase request that has been stuck.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears