When an IT department is too big

8 01 2008

There’s a good article at downloadsquad today titled, “Three reasons IT departments are shrinking.” The three reasons include outsourcing, lack of IT staff and less frequent system-wide changes. I think the reasons cited are very good and speak the truth (You should also read the comments. Some of them are as good as the article).

I would add another reason to the mix and that is that some IT departments are just too big and NEED to shrink.

I am part of an exceptionally small IT department. There are less than twenty-five of us. Nine members make up the support staff, including helpdesk and network support. The remaining thirteen or so are programmers and management. This department supports over two thousand users at more than thirty-five remote locations. We get the job done with current technology and produce solid deliverables.

In comparison, I have worked with many companies that are four to five times our size and the amount of time it takes to get things done is appalling. The various teams don’t talk to one another and in many instances don’t even know one another.

We certainly have our own issues. Being small is not always a good thing and there are times I wish I had more bodies to throw at a problem. When push comes to shove I simply call in a business partner and we do our best to gain from a knowledge transfer when a project is said and done.

At the end of the day we know how to conquer a problem or pursue a solution with the best of them. One of the reasons we can get this done is because we are a small team and working lazy or inside too many layers just doesn’t fly. Not around here anyway.

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